International Marketing and Market Entry

International Marketing and Market Entry

Are you lucky enough to have conquered the domestic market? Thinking about going global, taking over the world? Before you embark on world domination, have a quick read of our beginners guide to international marketing and market entry. Here at marketing.com.au, we find that a good old pros and cons list can be very helpful when making these big life decisions. Sometimes, you just need to simplify the situation. So, we’ve put together our own pros and cons list for international expansion. Pros: Some international markets present better profit opportunities than the domestic market A bigger customer base will enable us to achieve better economies of scale We will reduce our dependence on any one market We will be able to counterattack some of the big, global competitors in their home markets Our customers often travel abroad and require international service / presence Cons: We may not understand foreign preference fully and could fail to offer a competitively attractive product. We may not fully understand the international business culture We might underestimate foreign regulations and incur unexpected costs We may lack managers with international experience The international markets that we enter might change their commercial laws or devalue their currency or implement any number of other economic changes The main point is, if you decide to expand into international markets, you must ensure that your products and marketing activities are consistent with the local market and local sensibilities. The best way to do this is to undertake in-depth research and analysis before committing resources to international expansion. You should research foreign culture, regulations and costs. It is also a...
Core Marketing Concepts Refresher: SWOT Analysis

Core Marketing Concepts Refresher: SWOT Analysis

I know, I know. You’ve been waiting with bated breath all week for the next riveting instalment in our core marketing concepts series. Well, take a breath. There’s no need to wait any longer; it’s here! Today we are going to take a sneak peak at the concept of SWOT analysis (Note: this should in no way be confused with the burly-looking SWAT teams that arrive in full body armour in all American action film produced in the last 20-odd years). SWOT analysis is a means by which to monitor both the internal and external marketing environments of a company, a person, a product, a place or even a whole industry. It is a structured planning process used to evaluate Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats: Strengths: characteristics of a company that give it an advantage over competitors Weaknesses: characteristics of a company that place it at a disadvantage to competitors Opportunities: elements that a company can exploit to its advantage (increasing profitability) Threats: elements that may cause challenges for a company (decreasing profitability) Internal Environment (Strengths and Weaknesses Analysis) It is one thing to be able to find attractive business opportunities, but quite another to be able to capitalise on them. To capitalise on available opportunities, a company must be self-aware; every company needs to evaluate both its internal strengths and weaknesses. Strengths and weaknesses can be evaluated in a number of ways. A simple checklist (including items like reputation, market share, customer and employee satisfaction and retention, product quality, service quality, pricing effectiveness, distribution effectiveness and financial stability) can be quite effective, if the company (or the company’s...

Outsourcing Is Not Just For Global Companies

Last week the web was buzzing with news about “Bob” who was caught outsourcing his job to China and paying someone less than a fifth of his salary to get the job done. The interesting insight is that “Bob” had always received amazing performance reviews for his work over the past several years and did not lose his job because of his or his contractor’s quality of work. You don’t need to think that outsourcing is just for US employees who want to watch cat videos like Bob or large financial firms. Even small business should be considering how to use outsourcing to streamline their business activities. I wanted to highlight some of the many platforms available to everyone that allow you to get the largest or smallest tasks outsourced, so you can focus on running your business and starting from $30. Elance I have personally found Elance to be easier to use once you get used to it, so I have mostly used Elance for outsourcing tasks but have admitted that it can be a bit of trial and error finding quality suppliers from open proposals. My advice for Elance is to open an invite only project and then manually invite the top 10 outsources from the relevant category or skill set, and I usually select a preference for companies over individuals. I have found the response to project invites to be fairly quick and there are plenty of options around budgets and recommend selecting the fixed cost option. Freelancer Based in Australia, Freelancer.com is one of the best known crowdsourcing and outsourcing marketplaces with over $1 billion...

Using Social Media in the Marketing Mix

In 2011, 80% of businesses in America with over 100 employees will use social media marketing. Compared with two years ago, when only 42% of companies were using social media, this is an enormous change (source eMarketer). As more and more people adopt the use of social media in their daily lives, marketers are being forced to recognise the potential of this communication tool and integrate it into the marketing mix. Social Media is one of those mysterious (and slightly scary) terms in the world of marketing. When Facebook exploded on the world stage, followed not long after by Twitter, all those ‘slow adopters’ buried their heads in the sand and hoped (or in some cases prayed) that it would quickly evaporate. Surely this was just another passing Gen-Y fad? No such luck. Social media has changed the way advertising and marketing is rolled out: bombarding customers with endless two-for-the-price-of-one email deals creates short-term leads but does not ensure long-term success. Social media allows two-way communication with potential customers and can generate online conversations about your brand between customers. So how do you integrate social media into your marketing mix? Make social media part of everything you do; social media is more than just another marketing tool. It would be really easy to just create a Facebook page, update it perhaps once a week (or every other week if I’m busy). That’s social media isn’t it? Not quite. Consumers do not participate in social media so that marketers have another vehicle to deliver their two-for-the-price-of-one spam. Consumers want to communicate with other people, connect with their friends, their family,...