Note: The English version of this article is from HBR, the Chinese version is compiled by Heaven Zhuhai Branch Rudder. As businesses move towards globalisation, companies can gain a competitive advantage by targeting the right international markets and adapting their products and strategies to attract local users. Also avoid these easy-to-make mistakes as described below.
Marketers are often at the forefront of a company's global expansion. Market teams often need to be responsible for conducting market research to determine whether the company should expand, and also to create a plan for acquiring customers.
I used to be a business consultant, and the client was the marketing director of companies that needed to expand globally. During the period, I noticed some obstacles to an enterprise's expanding market globalization. Below and listen to my one by one-way.
1. Unclear positioning of the market to be entered
These market executives tend to target overseas markets with vague regional terms (for example, "We're going to focus on Asia," or "we want to increase our growth by a bit in Europe"), but these simplistic and vague words are problematic. You can ask others what you mean by "Europe" here, and you will get all sorts of answers-Western Europe, the European Union, the eurozone, and so on. In this case, we should use the grain size of the country to locate a market user. Marketers should remember that each country has its own local legal provisions, cultural norms, currency forms and payment methods, as well as unique business practices.
According to the clear need to achieve turnover and the primary output target, it is very necessary to refer to a wide range of regional markets into a country. It is also critical to build a local marketing team of the right size. Refining these markets from the outset is a great help in prioritizing your future market priorities, building your team's programs, and budgeting, which is the key to whether you can ultimately achieve your desired goals in a global strategy. These goals must be targeted when conducting research in the local market:
- Figuring out the size of the market
- Get detailed information about your target customers
- Find out what solutions they have now
- Find out where your product can be cut into
Many companies are not able to consider these basic product positioning when facing different countries, and ignore the strong local competitors.
2. Insufficient attention is given to internal data
Developing a global market strategy requires more complex and professional market research, and different research data will help you figure out which markets are best for you. The most important data are the following:
- How much market opportunity is expected to exist in the market
- How much input does it take for your business to enter the market?
- What have you accomplished so far in the market?
Many businesses rely heavily on external sources of data to make decisions. However, if you can conduct market analysis in person, you can make it easier to determine whether your product is strong enough in the market to match the market, and you can better answer the two questions down.
Does this market have a huge market space to dig, or is it simply not worth entering? Is there a short sales cycle in this market or is there a bigger win for other markets? Will the purchase price of a certain market be higher? These types of problems end up being the only ones you can answer, and third-party sources don't know who your target users are or what your brand is. When it comes to better-suited research data, marketers can prioritize global marketing decisions based on this data.
3. No adjustments to marketing channels
Many companies, especially those in the West, believe that they can capture other new markets by leveraging the experience model that allows them to succeed in the domestic market. Brand consistency is really important, but different markets actually need different ways of marketing. For example, in a country where people-to-people relationships such as Japan are a high cultural value, sales of products and services through local distributors and channel partners will be more efficient than if you are selling through direct sales models.
Similarly, marketers need to change our channels in a timely manner based on the behavior of different markets. Even in the same region, different countries will be a difference. In Brazil, for example, because of the popularity of Facebook as a social media, you will find it more efficient to conduct marketing campaigns on it. In other Latin American countries, Twitter may be easier to help you get a large audience quickly, so you should use Twitter as your main marketing channel. While some channels are available in a large number of different countries, you will need to conduct detailed market research ahead of time to find out which channel has the best results, and these surveys tend to be highly dependent on local experts.
4. No adjustments are made to the product
Companies should have different "product market matching" in different countries. But what we often see is a company trying to deliver the exact same product in different markets, ignoring the fact that they are facing a wide variety of customers. For example, if users in the new market are not comfortable with the advanced features of a software, the software company will not be able to gain the same success in this new market as it does in this country. In fact, they should put a more basic product in the new market, first let the market users to understand their products. Similarly, a more advanced market may require more functionality than what you already have.
Pricing is a similar issue. Because the customer value proposition in different markets varies greatly, the price will change accordingly. In reality, it is not always necessary to adjust the price system frequently because of the need of international market, but many companies find that they will grow faster if they adjust according to different markets.
Payment forms may vary across countries. For example, marketers should make different pricing strategies based on whether they have a cash or credit card that is popular in the market ( or if they're used to paying with cash, you're going to set a 9.99 price ).
5. No local team to guide
One of the most disappointing mistakes I've ever seen in a company is that they hire very competitive, talented local people to serve their overseas markets, but ultimately they don't have the success of taking these local people into account when making strategic decisions.
During my time as a business consultant for business globalization, marketing executives often asked me questions like, "What do you think is the best way to move forward in France?" Why have we not been successful there? What changes do we need to make? "My answer is always," please consult your local team. "They often admit that they didn't take advantage of local sales people, partners, suppliers, consultants, and customers.
This is really important because these people are not only aware of the problems in this country, and since you hired them, it also means that they are very clear about your business.
The biggest challenge to working with those who have a deep local view is to communicate. The marketing team must therefore establish a system that effectively captures and digests local staff's opinions and recommendations.
Don't expand your business to a country. Take advantage of the networks you already have, and pay extra attention to local feedback, who are the most trusted advisors on the market.
6. No thorough consideration of the complementary services of globalization
Marketers use software to enable them to post information on the site, to send messages for communication, to post social media updates, and to perform other key marketing campaigns. But the same tools do not support all markets. For example, maybe the software you're using is only supported in 5 languages on a webinar, and your marketing automation software needs to be in dozens of languages. Maybe your payment plan will work in just a few countries, but your CRM (Customer Relationship Management System) has information about contacts from hundreds of countries.
Marketers need to make sure that they can actually market to the customers they want to enter, which means thinking about how to display the local currency, being able to send e-mails to them in their time zone, supporting local languages, and so on.
As businesses move towards globalisation, companies can gain a competitive advantage by targeting the right international markets and adapting their products and strategies to attract local users. It is a wise choice to avoid these easy-to-make mistakes as mentioned above.
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Six mistakes that enterprises make most easily during the process of global expansion