Join Doug Ladd for an in-depth discussion in this video Thinking of foreign markets like portfolio options, part of Marketing Foundations: International Marketing.
- I'm sure your business is just like every enterprise in which I've worked. You have more money and people than you know how to use. You stay up late thinking how can I put all this cash to work and keep my teams busy? Maybe not. The reality is we have to make choices about the projects we can afford to do, and that includes making the decision of whether or not to expand internationally. Often companies look to the marketers to play a role in gathering or presenting the data needed to make a decision on which country to enter and when.
The reason is because the people responsible for marketing are typically also the ones tracking industry trends, growth rates, and competitive information. As part of your planning or budgeting process, you should be looking for opportunities to grow your business. A good first step is to create a grid to help demonstrate where there may be opportunities to grow outside of your home market. To do this, you need to gather some data. There are several ways to start, but I'd recommend beginning with the size and growth rate of the industry or category in which you would compete, and the countries you're considering for expansion.
To find the industry size and growth rate of an industry within a different country, the first place to look is to the trade group or organization that covers your industry. The U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service division of the International Trade Administration's office is another source to consider. You can find information from them at buyusa.gov. You may not always be able to get data for the most recent year, but you certainly want to have the information be as fresh as possible. If you don't have any luck there, searching within media sources that cover the industry or business publication, such as the Wall Street Journal can be another good option.
If you compete against publicly traded companies, you may find useful information in their filings in shareholder reports. Once you have your data compiled, it's time to chart them so you can visually communicate the opportunity for your company. The left side, or y-axis, is for the growth rate of the industry, and across the bottom, or x-axis, is for the size of the markets you're tracking. With the information you've uncovered using this grid, you'll have a picture of where opportunities lie in a much more engaging way than a spreadsheet.
For example, this matrix can become even more interesting when you use bubbles to convey the population size of each of the markets. The key is to present the information that is important to you and your company. I encourage you to experiment with this tool, and think of different options that will be meaningful to you as you make your decision on which markets to enter.
The course also investigates options for global expansion, such as exporting, licensing, joint ventures, and direct investment, and details how to put together a successful marketing mix using distribution, promotional methods, and translation. Plus, learn where to turn for more information about your specific target markets.
- The rise of the global consumer
- Learning about customers in global markets
- Accessing foreign markets
- Adapting products
- Balancing risks and rewards