Global expansion is a given for your organisation, in fact that’s why you’re reading this page. Fortunately, you haven’t made the decison on where to target yet or perhaps you have but you want to be sure you’re doing the right thing?
One thing is for sure. When you research the reasons why international expansion projects fail, you’ll find that frequently this will be attributed to a lack of research or rushing in without doing proper background checks and planning. It’s very easy for people to say that and there are many case studies which prove their point. But it still doesn’t represent very positive help – effectively the argument is “Most people don’t do enough research and you’re probably going to fail too – unless you pay me an awful lot of money.”
Well we don’t mind if you do want to “throw money at it” and would be pleased for you to throw it in our direction. However, we do also think that the process is much easier now than it used to be. Back in the nineties, they invented this thing called the internet or web which makes this whole game much easier. In fact, expanding overseas is now so much easier than it was for your forebears. No longer do you have to board a rocky ship, which might make it back from that trade voyage and then again might not.
Your website is a fantastic tool for examining the level of interest there is from markets all over the world, regardless of whether you’re actually able to sell anything or not. Instead of relying on a small group of people to give you feedback and a critique of your product offering, you can talk to thousands, even millions at relatively low cost.
Just as important as your website in your planning of your research are the many “big data tools” as they’re now called which enable you to look at what’s happening on the wider web and jump in at just the right point and location.
And no, we do not mean that traditional research methods are defunct, in fact we can deploy focus groups and one-to-one research on your behalf anywhere in the world. However, we’d really suggest that these are fine-tuning research techiques (qualitative if you’re fussy) and that the newer web-based research methods are much more about choosing the right candidate list in the first place (sort of quantitative research if you want).
So, why bother? Why not just run a few marketing experiments and see how it performs? Depending on how your business rolls, that might indeed be part of the research, but we firmly believe that you need to play to your greatest strengths first. Success or failure in the early stages of international expansion tends to have a disproportionate effect on future international planning!
It won’t provide you with an instant answer, but it will give you access to a team who DO know how, what and who to ask.