Moreover, companies that have climbed to the top at home can use global growth strategies to enter new markets overseas. With a great global growth strategy, companies can also diversify and gain access to the international talent pool.
But what are the top five tactics that companies can use to boost their global growth? And what does it take to establish a global brand? Read on to get the full lowdown.
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Conducting in-depth market research is integral for global growth. Companies must do their due diligence. This research must also be multi-faceted. To begin with, companies should start by looking inward and conducting an internal business audit. SWOT analysis, which stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat, can help companies gain insight into their strengths and weaknesses, while competitive analysis allows them to see how they stack up against industry competition elsewhere.
Of course, for your business or organisation to be successful in new markets, it’s also essential to conduct market analysis. This means examining consumer attitudes in target markets, assessing market size, and looking at the state of a country’s economy. Another essential component of international market research is investigating local laws and regulations. This helps companies minimise commercial risks and ensure that their approach is legal and above board.
Time and time again, Starbucks, in particular, has proven itself to be a high achiever when it comes to market research. Back in 2008, it launched its My Starbucks Idea platform, which it uses to tap into what consumers want. This platform helped to propel free-WiFi and much-loved Cake Pops onto the scene.
Once a company has extensively studied the market they wish to enter, the next step is to develop an unbeatable international marketing strategy. An important point to note is that one size definitely doesn’t fit all when it comes to marketing campaigns. Companies, of course, must consider cultural, political and geographical factors and local trends.
So, a company’s core values won’t change when it’s expanding abroad, but other aspects of the business will undoubtedly shift. This includes changes to advertising campaigns, pricing, messaging and product/service delivery.
Many big companies have mastered the art of international marketing. For example, Coca Cola has established itself as a global brand through developing small community programs. Whether that’s sponsoring the Support My School programme in India or partnering up with sports charity StreetGames, Coca Cola is now one of the world’s most recognisable brands.
That said, global marketing isn’t just for the big names; smaller businesses can benefit massively from launching an international marketing strategy. According to the Federation of Small Businesses, these marketing efforts mean that now, at least one-third of SMEs trade internationally – although Brexit has strongly affected this. Today, going global is seen as essential for SMEs.
For successful expansion into the global market, companies must ensure that they don’t miss the mark when it comes to recognising cultural differences. It’s important to optimise localisation so that each customer feels catered to, and identifies with the product or service offered.
Over the years, big brands have successfully boosted global growth by focusing on localisation. McDonald’s, for example, tailors its menu depending on the taste preferences in the region it is targeting. In Malaysia, the menu offers a Mango Mcflurry, while in India, it offers a Dosa Masala Burger. Netflix, meanwhile, has also climbed to the top with its localisation efforts. Not only has it translated and dubbed its TV shows and films, but its interfaces, apps and content are localised too.
That’s not to say that some companies haven’t made BIG blunders when it comes to localisation. Back in 2018, Italian fashion house Dolce and Gabbana found itself in hot water when it released three “DGLovesChina” promotional videos. The videos were deemed to be culturally insensitive and racist, and the Chinese government even got involved. Not a marketing win.
A great international SEO strategy is essential for achieving global growth. There are many different components to a successful international SEO strategy; we’ll explore some of them below.
Of course, companies must prioritise local keyword research. This means examining which words are used by international audiences when searching for products and services. Equally, companies need to look at where they already rank for these words and undertake keyword competitor analysis. Organic search volume is also another key consideration.
One incredibly important piece of advice here is to always use human translation when it comes to keywords because machine translation can really mess up an otherwise excellent SEO strategy.
URL structure is another crucial area that should not be overlooked. Google uses this kind of geo-targeting to determine which pages should reach specific audiences based on language and location. Here, companies can choose from using top-level domains, subdirectories and subdomains.
It’s also important for companies to language-target their websites. Hreflang tags and meta language tags are helpful here. Using these tags will ensure that the content made available to users is language appropriate, and a company’s translated pages don’t end up competing against each other in search results.
A massive 70% of internet users aren’t native English speakers. On top of this, recent research from CSA found that 76% of online shoppers prefer to buy products with information in their native language. So, it’s vital that companies invest in quality translation services if they want to attract new client bases and establish themselves as a global brand.
A top-notch example of a company getting its translation right is Airbnb. Now available in 220 countries, both its website and app are translated into 62 different languages. In 2019, it “human translated” over 100 million words, and that’s not to mention the millions of words of user-generated content that is processed each year!
Translation doesn’t always go to plan, though. Sometimes even the biggest companies can make mistakes when it comes to translation. When KFC tried to translate its slogan “Finger Lickin’ Good,” it actually became a far more sinister message in Mandarin, translating into “We’ll eat your fingers off”. Meanwhile, Green Giant Co.’s Jolly Green Giant became the “intimidating green monster” in Arabic.
These examples emphasise the importance of using high-quality translation services. Companies should strive to accurately and effectively convey what their brand stands for so as to enhance the way they communicate with their audience, rather than damage the brand’s reputation overseas. There’s no room for mistakes when it comes to translation, and blunders can lead to potential customers and clients feeling alienated and offended.
Although achieving global growth may initially seem like a daunting task, following these five tactics is a sure-fire route to success. By employing these steps in their growth strategy, companies can establish themselves as a powerhouse in their industry.
After that, the sky’s the limit!