Join Doug Ladd for an in-depth discussion in this video The shifting global marketplace, part of Marketing Foundations: International Marketing.
- One of your best friends has an important birthday the day after tomorrow. You completely forgot about it until just now. Even though she's been dropping the hint to you for more than three weeks. No problem, right? You can run to the nearby campus record store, find one of the old vinyl albums she's posted on her Pinterest wish list, and get it sent by way of priority mail. But here's the glitch. She's in London, and you're in San Francisco. Ten or even five years ago, you would have been stuck without many options.
Now you can simply pull out your smartphone, search for a classic vinyl store near her, buy it and have it delivered with time to spare. The internet has changed everything. As a result, just about anything you want to purchase is now available to buy around the clock and across the globe. Wake up at 3 a.m. and remember that you forgot to have copies of your big keynote printed for the client presentation? No problem. Stuck in Brazil and need to find an attorney that speaks English and understands the finer nuances of Brazilian traffic laws? No problem.
But you know this already. The key question is, what does this mean to your business and your plans to expand to new geographies? One key implication is that competitors from other lands are likely already coming into your home market. Are you seeing increasing requests from your customers to match prices they find on other websites? Encountering more negotiating behaviors from your customers? Experiencing more abandoned carts on your web page? These are all early indicators that competitive pressures are picking up, and many times the entry strategy used by new entrants is to reduce price to win share.
Another implication is the need to prepare for entering new markets. If you don't have a website yet where you can educate customers on your product or service, how to use it and why it's better than other options, you need to get this done. If you already have a website but it's only available in English, you should start researching translation services for the countries you may enter. A simple search for website translation will get you started. If you're not ready to go that far, think about how you can test the waters by using some of the online marketplaces such as eBay or Amazon.
These are good avenues to test the components of your marketing mix, such as how your describe your product or service to potential customers in other markets before investing too much money. Because you're likely to have customers buying your products online, you may have people buying from you in other countries. You may already be operating internationally and just not know it. So a good first step is to ensure you have a plan to get your website translated to the languages of your new markets. Next, if you do have some customers outside your home market, think of how you can get feedback from them on the way your product is positioned and how it works for them.
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