Going Global – Assessing Viability And Steps To Launch Product In A New Territory

Oct 07 Posted By Raamish Rana

In a highly competitive, and globalized world of today, it is imperative that companies products and services reach to international markets have a greater probability of sustaining performance. While expanding internationally is important companies should be vary that not all markets are equally attractive, and certain factors need to be given serious consideration. Insights shared by Simitri Chand therefore offer some support:


Legal and political factors

The attitude of the foreign people, government, institutions can all make meaningful impact on how a product is perceived in a foreign market. Therefore, it can benefit internationally oriented companies to take into consideration how value can be generated in foreign markets in terms of generating people interest and fostering benefits to attract a larger support base. In addition, certain political indicators such as political stability of country, and attitude of people to the host country can indicate the likelihood of company sustaining in the long run– example country trade liberalization policies can indicate about foreign people attitude towards imports. Other factors can include legal systems, political ideologies largely supported, tax systems, and public attitude toward international products/services.


Social and cultural variables

Countries can differ in a number of cultural and social dimensions including but not limited to: religion practiced, ethnic boundaries, food, e.t.c.  Thereby in deciding to enter a new market, companies should alter products subject to social factors and tastes that prevail locally. Even marketing practices have to be localized to the preferences of local people. Socio-cultural settings do require adapting a new type of ‘marketing mix’. A core example could be that advertisements should entail cultural values or perhaps translating messages to a local language.


Economic variables

It will also serve a great deal if the company can evaluate economic conditions and understand economic stability of a country – A number of factors can be considered: Exchange rate stability, income per capita in selected segments relevant to one’s product, economic well-being in general with openness to trade, and general contribution of the relevant sector to the country’s overall GDP to assess anticipated competition or how much people spend in general.


Careful evaluation of the target market size

When launching a product/service in a new market it is important to take a venture approach to launching the product as argued by Irene A Blake, and serves a highly impactful means. This entails conducting an extensive market research to determine product/service attractiveness in a target market. 

Therefore as argued by Irene A Blake, this exercise should entail a series of steps:

- Undertake an assessment of needs that the product can actually serve in the new market. 

- Carry out a market research to identify the demographics of customers interested in the product, whose solution the product would solve, and customer willingness to pay. Market research should extract customer attractiveness to competitor products. Market research can be completed through surveys or by hiring a market research firm or through individual means of conducting surveys, and focus groups. 

- Size the market to determine how much revenue can be generated and extract key drivers in the market together with their growth rates specific to local markets

- From a sample of target market, prototype the products to obtain a feedback from a reasonable sized sample

- Prototyping can be iterative, focus groups can also supplement until there is a reasonable level of surety and confidence that the product matches the requirements locally.

- Identify a series of external factors that can affect the business including but not limited to natural disasters, economic shocks, likelihood of additional competition e.t.c

- Evaluate completely, the costs associated in launching the product in foreign market such as capital commitment, operational expenses, administrative expenses, overheads and others.

- Analyze all the collected information to consider if it is economically viable for the business to progress ahead


Assess company capability to deliver

- For a company deciding to launch internationally, it should be able to assess with reasonable confidence that it can establish a competitive and sustainable advantage in terms of superior product than competitors, sound company capabilities, solid consumer base, established group of partners. These elements can help explain company capability to beat the competition, and indicate a likelihood to sustain. Additionally, it is important to establish a strong local connection. People preferably with a strong experience in the local market can also contribute largely to the company success.



1. Chand, Smriti. "5 Factors You Must Consider While Your Company Is Entering to a New Market." N.p., n.d. Web.

2. A. Blake, Irene. "How to Determine Market Viability for a Product or Service." N.p., n.d. Web.

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Lessons For Start-up Globalization Early And Rapidly

Nov 11 Posted By Raamish Rana

In times of rapid globalization, it is important that start-ups are able to take advantages of launching themselves globally to take benefits of scaling, and do so as early as possible. With a focal point of technology start-ups this blog will analyze the work of Tony Bailetti to discover the important actions that are required from the viewpoints of management teams, and technology startup to launch start-ups globally. Tony has analyzed about 21 start-ups operating in about 12 countries, and identified 6 elements essential for start-ups to globalize early. 


The rationale behind globalizing early is usually provided in that by globalizing early and quickly, start-ups are able to tap into new growth opportunities by: ‘reducing revenue source risks, raising the value of the start-up, and increasing the size of start-up’s addressable market’. 




Hence a useful explanation of the 6 elements essential for early start-up globalization follow:


Problem scope: It is absolutely necessary to scope the problem at hand. A keen understanding has to be gained about the problems facing a large number of domestic and foreign organizations


Stakeholders’ commitments:  The stakeholder commitment towards start-up growth is an important precondition. This provides for the ability of numerous key stakeholders to narrow down the scope of differentiated solutions with an aim of extracting a high customer willingness to pay for such solutions, making referrals, and extracting a higher customer feedback.  


Collaborative entrepreneurship: This entails that a flexible worldwide collaboration is made of resources through transportation infrastructure, web-based transactions operations, and common resources enabling organizations/individuals to act quickly on business opportunities. Also systems should be as flexible and responsive to changes in market needs.  


Relational capital: This requires building up of key relationships that will enable a company to quickly collaborate with institutions, entities, and individuals around the world. Relational capital can be leveraged to solve some of the pressing issues cost effectively, and efficiently. 


Legitimacy: As a highly important element, legitimacy creates trustworthiness in the eyes of key stakeholders including partners, customers, suppliers, and investors that is important to strengthen relationships for future opportunities. 


Global capability: It is important to have the ability to adapt to uncertain environments, together with willingness to deliver customer specific products/services and/or support programs regardless of the location where a company operates.


All the aforementioned elements including problem scope, stakeholder commitments, collaborative entrepreneurship, relational capital, legitimacy, and global capability are based on survey of 21 companies. Some or all of these elements are already found on some of the leading global businesses of the likes of web-based Amazon. Hence these offer useful starting point to understand important preconditions that can ultimately enable start-ups to grow quickly, and early in the process. 


Source: Bailetti, Tony, “What Technology Start-ups Must Get Right to Globalize Early and Rapidly”. (

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Does Your Startup Have A Profitable Content Marketing Strategy?

Dec 16 Posted By Aj Khan

Do you, like most other CEOs, consider Content Marketing as a Cost Center with money, time and effort being spent on various Online Marketing Campaigns for your Startup.  Do you face the same situation which every other CEO faces when the she asks the Marketing team on what is the “Return on Investment” (ROI) associated with a specific online marketing campaign?  Usually the answer by the Sales and Marketing team is that it is very challenging to associate specific sales revenue to specific marketing activities. 

For Online marketing activities, whether it is Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay per Click (PPC) or Inbound marketing, the challenge has always been to associate specific leads to specific customer acquisition.  Other traditional forms of marketing such as Advertisement face the same dilemma.  This is true whether we consider advertisement in print media or television or various forms of online ads.  Event marketing is another expensive technique for the marketer.  In this case, the leads generated are captured and can lead to defined sales.  However, the ROI on event marketing is generally quite prohibitive.  Thus, marketing techniques are considered more suitable to enhance brand awareness rather than being attributed to specific sales revenues or even enhancing efficiency to drive down costs.  In short, Marketing remains a Cost Center for the CEO. 

The Million $$$ (or is it the Billion $$$) question is whether Marketing as a Corporate practice can become a Profit Center on its own?    

The answer to this dilemma is simple.  Its time for businesses to adopt a Content Marketing Strategy as a business model.  Marketing should no longer be defined as a cost center itself, albeit one that ensures increased sales and hence, higher revenues for the overall organization.  To make this happen, CEO’s and CMO’s should ensure that Marketing has defined revenue streams associated with it and develop as strategy based on the concept of “Return on Audience” (ROA).

In today’s connected world, the Marketing department can be defined by its reach and engagement with its intended audience i.e. the total number of audience and how engaged they are with the organization’s content.  Through online Content building activities, any Marketing department can enhance its reach and ensure the successful engagement of its potential customers through a community platform.  The engagement of these potential customers can even be leveraged by monetizing them through various means such as paid subscriptions.  This is just one example of Marketing as a Profit Center.   

Today, there are many examples of companies using a successful Content Marketing Strategy to build and enhance their Audience.  The best example of this is Red Bull which has successfully developed a community building strategy through its online and offline marketing activities.  Today, the question that is frequently asked about Red Bull is whether it is a Content company that sells energy drinks or is it an Energy drinks company that has a lot of interesting content?

Your business, Your Startup, Your organization can also successfully build a profitable Content Marketing strategy.  Such a strategy will not only enable your company to sell its products or services, it will also make your marketing a Profit Center.  This cannot happen by just posting on social media or participating in another tradeshow or starting a new blog.  The only way to enable such a success is to understand the Paradigm shift in Marketing that is currently taking place and develop a long-term, focussed and goal driven Content Marketing Strategy.



Let’s Grow your Startup into a Billion $$$ Global Enterprise

For success strategies and advice on your Startup growth strategy – including Global Branding, Sales, Content Marketing Strategy, Sales, Community Building and defining a Global Business Model, go to .


About AJ Khan

AJ Khan is a member of the International Advisory Board (IAB) of International Initiatives for Creatives Innovators and Entrepreneurs (IICIE).  AJ is also a mentor, speaker and consultant on Innovation & Entrepreneurship focused on Startup Growth, Branding and Marketing.  AJ wrote “The Global Age of Entrepreneurship” which you can buy at Amazon. If you need help applying Content-driven Growth principles in your company or would like AJ to speak at your event, please contact AJ here or connect with him on LinkedIn. 






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6 Success Tips For An Effective Content Marketing Strategy In 2018

Jan 09 Posted By Aj Khan


Content Marketing has become a buzzword in the online world and large corporations, start-ups and Small Biz are finding considerable business success by adopting this strategy.  The Business Success of Content Marketing for companies like Red Bull has laid out a path for others to emulate so that these companies can not only survive in this competitive environment but can also thrive in today’s globally connected world.  However, it is shocking how many companies, large and small, still do not understand the potential of Content Marketing and continue to rely on traditional methods of marketing for generating leads, building brands and driving revenue through additional sales.


In 2018, companies that do not have an effective Content Strategy will continue to become irrelevant in the marketplace.  However, an effective Content Strategy can make the company gain visibility for its brand and drive customers through a successful buyer’s journey to enable Sales.   Below are 6 Success tips to build a Content Strategy that drives business success for the organization 


1.    Content Marketing is a separate revenue stream

To develop an effective Content Strategy, organizations need to consider Content Marketing as a revenue stream.  This will not only justify the RoI for the marketing effort, it will also inspire the marketing team to drive more leads and enable successful demand generation.  The concept of Return on Audience (RoA) should be considered as a key KPI to measure the success of the Content Strategy.  The ultimate aim of the Content Strategy should be to build a loyal audience of prospective customers who pay money for premium content to make the organization’s Content Marketing Profitable.   


2.    Have a Documented Content Strategy

Most organizations that start on the Content Marketing journey do NOT have a document Content Strategy.  There is no central repository of their digital assets and there is no alignment of the digital assets to the products for which campaigns need to be developed.  Most organizations do not develop Ideal customer profiles and there is certainly no collaboration between the various team members that need to complete the various digital activities that together comprise an effective and successful campaign.  All the effort that goes into new digital marketing campaigns need to have an end goal that benefits the origination’s overall business strategy.  Thus, a documented Content Strategy becomes critical to the business success of the organization and needs to align with the Organization’s defined business strategy.  




3.    Content defines the Buyer’s Journey

Ask yourself two simple questions.  First, do you know the flow of Content that any visitor to your digital assets will pass through?  If you do know the Content Flow, then do you understand the user actions that would be enabled by passing through this Content Flow?

You can consider Content Flow as a GPS enabled map for the visitors of your website, blog, landing page or any other digital asset.  This map guides your visitors through the buyer’s journey for your organization and ultimately, builds a Customer Success-focused business model.  There is the one most important thing to remember while developing the Content Flow Model for your organization’s buyer’s journey.  Remember it is never about yourself or your business. It is always about the pain point that you are trying to solve and how you are adding value to the prospective customer.


4.    Explore new Content Ideas

The beauty of Content Marketing is that it gives you the opportunity to explore new ideas.  Every time you create content, do not aim for perfection but explore new thought processes.  Maybe the reason your content is not building audience is that you need to change the perspective from which your audience need to see their pain point.  Maybe the reason is that your Content is not targeting the correct audience.  Maybe you do not have influencers following your content. 

Only by exploring new content ideas and changing the perspective of how your audience see your content, you will be able to build an effective understanding of your audience and have valuable insights into their pain points. 


5.    Have Visual Content

“A picture is worth a thousand words”.  Visual Content is the key to the Success of your Content Strategy.  Use images, infographics, videos and other visual content to grab your audience attention and engage them in conversations.  Build a loyal following that waits for your next piece of content and remain relevant in a world where everyone is overwhelmed by content.


6.    Distribute Magnets

All that awesome content has no value unless it is visible to your prospective audience.  You need to define a short-term and long-term strategy to drive traffic to your digital assets.  Where would you distribute those initial magnets that will bring visitors to your landing pages, readers to your blogs and viewers to your Videos.  Have magnets that are simple and to the point and give something for free in exchange for the user’s email.  If you own the user’s email, you have direct access to the audience and can then engage them directly to nurture a long-term mutually beneficial relationship with them. 

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