Join Doug Ladd for an in-depth discussion in this video T is for "technological", part of Marketing Foundations: International Marketing.
- A friend of mine is what you might call forgetful. He travels to Europe on business about once a year, and each time he ruins a charger for his smartphone. You see, the electronic grid in Europe is set at 220 volts, while in the U.S. we operate at 110. He just can't remember that his phone charger needs to be connected through a converter. Around the globe, there are differences in infrastructure and technology that can have a significant impact on your ability to take your product into new markets. If you manufacture heavy-duty construction equipment that's moved from location to location by truck or train, it would be important for you to be certain your equipment will fit under the bridges and on the rail systems in the new market.
Believe it or not, railways in different countries sometimes have different widths between the rails. It's especially important to look at the technologies upon which your product or service is dependent, to ensure they will support the distribution, trial, and adoption of your offering. This technological assessment is important, as it may help you avoid the situation where your new customers can't buy or use your product due to a lack of infrastructure support. To perform your technological analysis, I'd suggest you create a list of all the steps required to get your product from the shipping dock to the end user, and don't leave anything out.
Be certain to write down all the steps, along with how things are moved from one point to the next. In the first column, list the moves your product makes. In the next, you should list some of the details, and don't take anything for granted. Does your product come in an oversized box? Is refrigeration required? Is it okay for it to get wet? If you're providing a service, is immediate payment required? Next, you should capture the details about how a new customer first experiences your product or service.
Do they need special complementary technologies, such as a certain voltage, type of wireless signal? Do they need access to clean water? Where does this trial experience take place? Does the retail outlet have enough room? Or is your product one that people in the new country will not be comfortable trying in public? Then, think about the environment in which they will use your offering continuously, after they've tried it. Do they have to transport it very far to get it home, or to their place of work? How will they carry it? How will they dispose of it when they're finished? Is the packaging appropriate to get it all the way from the dock to the end of its useful life? I would encourage you to get several people involved in this process, and role-play various scenarios and potential customer experiences.
As a result, you may end up creating new product and service ideas that you hadn't previously considered, and open new opportunities for your business to grow.
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