Matching your global aspirations to your business priorities
Is your company thinking about expanding beyond its current market? Considering pushing past the borders you know so well and extending further afield? Most of our clients already have and we have been privy to their learnings and helped them in the journey.
The only way to have any chance of success is if a solid global marketing strategy is in place.
This month, we thought it was worth a look at the groundwork a business should do develop a global marketing plan, no better starting place than developing the right strategy.
Step 1: Clarify your business purpose
Think, how do you define success for your business? You can’t grasp how a global marketing initiative is going to make a difference, and thus set it goals, if you don’t have a clear vision of what success looks like for your organisation.
Are there geographical hotspots for your audience? Is your primary focus revenue? Are you wanting to diversify to mitigate risk?
For the initiator, yes you, getting ‘buy in’ from others across your business, helps you to know how your vision is going to make a difference to the budget holders as well as to you.
For every bit of support means help!
Step 2: Understand where priorities compete
If certain key individuals have significant influence and always seem to manage pushing their chosen targets forward, going head to head with them is never going to be the best use of your energy.
To get some momentum going on a global marketing strategy it therefore makes sense to ensure it aligns with targets other people are keen to pursue and provide support on. So for example..
The Board want to focus on growth – Perfect. Crossing borders and going global aligns with this objective very well. A shift of emphasis, therefore, will be what you need to focus on first.
Local campaigns will undoubtedly still do the initial work, but they need to be informed by a global mind-set ongoing. Local content for each location, underpinned with your global brand messaging, talk ad learn from other.
Market share is under attack – If your company’s energy is being directed towards fending off competitors, then a global marketing strategy needs to be framed (at least initially) around competitive differentiation.
Liaise with your sales team and provide them with the tools they need to define themselves in the new markets you’re planning to introduce them to and you’ll have copious amounts of support for your global marketing plans.
The bottom line is where it’s at – Profitability is the mainstay of any business, but when it’s at the top of the agenda then considering how you can maximise your return in a new location is key.
Drawing in other departments, sales, operations, and finance is a very good thing to do!!
The next step is to diversify – It’s a life-saving strategy for many businesses when their market place is fast-moving. Spreading the net wider to new geographic locations is a very effective strategy for mitigating the risks involved in only trading locally.
Finding where your product can fill a niche is a dream scenario so hunt one down…
Step 3: Getting championing support
When you’ve been able to identify which objective has priority in the organisation, it’s a lot easier to then go and write up your high-level strategic mission statement for going global.
If you can then emotionally connect with your internal influencers, you’ll begin to feel some forward movement.
Start seeking out those prize individuals, those who perhaps have a natural interest in overseas trading anyway. If they identify that your efforts will help them meet their own targets too, they are more likely to rally to your cause as a natural step.
Of course, it makes sense to also investigate who else could have a stake in the rewards of your global plans. This sounds obvious, but there may well be departments already regularly dealing with overseas customers who would be delighted to spread the global word.
Consider your customer services team… who do they liaise with already? Your finance department… are they already dealing with cross-border transactions?
Step 4: Take time to hear the blockers’ concerns
There will always be people in an organisation who ‘diss’ a new initiative when it’s mentioned, understanding why they might block your plans will help you to mitigate the issues they raise in the future.
Remember they may well have a point that needs to be heard anyway. Taking their views into account, to a certain extent, will over time help to secure their support too.
Then, when that’s all been done, we’d suggest you go take that first concrete step forward and write up your strategic plan. Fortune favours the brave, as they say… and having done your homework, you’ll be in a good position for that courage to pay great dividends.