The time is ripe for a number of companies to go global. Global markets are created through platforms such as Alibaba allowing small merchants to sell around the globe. Gengo has fortunately offered a number of insights that are highly important are provide lessons for growth.
Some of the factors leading to failures are not worth ignoring though: some choose to expand without testing and due diligence, while some might not invest adequately.
Start-ups in Silicon valley have been known to adopt a “lean” approach which requires “validating market early, constant communication with customers, and testing products” only to be confident that we have the right products before embarking on sales.
It is worthy to note that expanding internationally can be viable only if products are proven success in local market to test products in international markets.
Taku Harada, CEO of Orinoco, a marketing agency in Tokyo believes that Biy.ly and Survey Monkey only expanded in Japan following their success in US.
In this capacity, foreign products might be immature when launching into a fairly mature market through a tailored approach, example Baidu, a web search product only launched Q&A services in a fairly mature web search market in Japan to test first.
Therefore the key for going global is to complete your research through careful and calculated market research as Tokyo-based incubation firm Digital Garage’s CIO Minami Kazuya indicate “after experiencing large number of users tweeting in Japan, did Twitter develop their application for Japanese”.
In terms of sales, and marketing for products, similarly lean globalization entail “doing social media, online advertising, and SEO will always serve a better place to start”
Choosing easily-testable. Inexpensive and scalable distribution can come in new forms such as “simple landing page to test concept in a day”
Therefore as has been highlighted through research supported by Gengo, it can be further alluded that impact on core business can be minimized through lean approach.
The lean approach “minimizes the risk of going global, to gradually optimize and further make larger bets”. The global presence can mature into “smooth running machine” and can be broken into phases: “ Research: This is needed to understand target market, competitors, and marketing strategy; Launch: Phase when “real money is beginning to be invested but aim is to maximize learning, maximizing flexibility, and minimizing expenditure; Growth: Given, a greater traction in target market, invest heavily to “optimize around a particular approach”; and Maturity: Allow to optimize sales and marketing to invest heavily for scaling
Source: Gengo.” Going Global – Part II – Lean Globalization”