Too often do the leaders of our age, great men and women, fall into the trap of looking at problems too closely; focusing too much on one tree when there is a whole forest. Unfortunately marketing agencies and innovators fall into the same trap, focusing only on their direct and local markets instead of looking outwards.
There are many reasons for this phenomenon, some agencies just get stuck with the “goldfish” frame of mind, and content themselves with focusing only on what they believe they can handle. But a goldfish only grows as much as his bowl allows him. And we at Dialogue international have seen far too many companies that have allowed themselves to stay in their bowls for far too long.
We could help pull you out of that bowl with our agency network (Check us out), but in case you aren’t comfortable jumping into that ocean head first, lets get your feet wet with a few simple steps:
- Pick a target market
Instead of simply targeting a country/market that’s right next to yours, look at the global market and identify the market based on factors relevant to your marketing strategy and culture. A good tip for when you’re doing this, is identify a market that is similar to your local market in which you’ve already thrived in, a market with similar working environment, legal structures and economic traits. This step should also be taken in tandem with step 2.
- Have an international voice
Looking at this step at a glance you would think “So I need to hire people that speak multiple languages” and while that is technically correct, you cannot ignore the fact that simply being able to speak a language is not enough to convey even simple messages. Each market, while possibly being somewhat similar will have a different identity, and identity is conveyed by language as a whole, not just with words, but with tone, with reference and culture. If you pick a market that has a different language than your local one, make sure you have a native speaker of that language to facilitate communications and convey the proper voice for your content and strategies.
- Get to know your new market
One of the many challenges of going worldwide in any business and in any industry, is getting to know how to maneuver in that market. If you followed step one, then you’re thinking “But isn’t it supposed to be similar to my local market anyway?” Yes, but similar doesn’t mean the same. Every market is different and when you are small and trying to grow wasting time and resources getting to know this market is just bad business. So why not buy over an existing agency/business already? Immediately getting an existing office and its resources right from the get go is a huge advantage and would immediately equip your business with a team that has a wealth of knowledge about this new market and its ins and outs. Alternatively if you do not have the proper budget to buy out an office, hiring a small and experienced team native to the new market will suffice.
- Finding clients
If your agency is at the point of international expansion, then you already have your very own process for finding clients, but one of the best tips we can give for when you plant your flag in a new market is PARTNERSHIP. Partnering with another agency ensures that they will hand over work to you for a number of reasons: their budget is too low, they have no interest in the project, they don’t have availability, they don’t have the required skills or expertise, etc.
There you have it, 4 simple steps to get expand anywhere in the world! And if you ever feel like you need more help in a foreign market, or you want to become one of our partner agencies, please feel free to get in touch! We are currently partnered with 18 independent marketing agencies around the world and our reach spans 28 countries.
Thanks and good luck out there!