International Growth

The conventional way to start an international marketing & sales operation is complex, costly and uncertain. But it doesn’t need to be like that.

With today’s availability and affordability of digital tools, we now have the opportunity to achieve international growth at a fraction of the traditional cost, provided that we do it right.

New tools and services make it feasible for businesses to expand into international markets in a more agile and rapid way than ever before, reducing risk, reducing cost, and increasing speed.

I help businesses with an international growth ambition to take full advantage of the digital era with excellent, internationally tuned content, marketing automation, by gathering market intelligence and by connecting people through my considerable international business network.

Go abroad. Be lean. Use inbound content. See what sticks.

In order to deploy fast for international growth while controlling cost, I suggest we take a lean and agile approach.

The traditional way has been to select a country on a hunch, conduct market research, and send a country manager to the destination for a year or two to create a sales organisation, forge local partnerships, build sales channels, and carry out brand and product marketing campaigns.

Our lean approach, on the other hand, goes something like this:

  1. Select a dozen countries on a hunch. Set up a dozen minimal viable websites, one for each target market. Create inbound content in culturally neutral ‘World English’ and translate that master content for each local website.
  2. Keep at it with frequent, fresh content for, say, six months to learn what works. Engage with your audiences to learn what they really need and want. As soon as you gain traffic or earned media attention in any of your target markets, amplify it with additional owned content, influencer outreach, or advertising.
  3. When you get business traction in one or more of your countries, you can start developing more tailored attention strategies for those markets.

Going abroad means that there are more factors and complexities that may determine success or failure than you could possibly plan for. Therefore, use inbound content marketing to see what sticks and only build out your sales organisation in those markets where your offering resonates with an audience.

The Finnish-Dutch connection

During the second half of 2018 and the first half of 2019, I will be involved as a coach to ‘Software from Finland to European markets’ an internationalisation programme with support from the Finnish Association of Software Entrepreneurs (Ohjelmistoyrittäjät Ry) and the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY-keskus).

The programme will take a dozen Finnish SW companies to my home country, the Netherlands, where I was a business and technology journalist before moving to Finland and specialising in digital marketing.

Holland is the 4th largest trade partner for Finland and the 3rd most significant destination for Finnish exports. The Dutch market is also considered a natural step for many Finnish businesses on their way to enter larger, surrounding European markets.

What you get from Cluetail

What you get from Cluetail is the know-how to quickly build and execute your capability to enter one or more foreign markets at the same time and test the waters.

You get excellent content planning, creation and delivery in ‘World English’, as well as outsourced management of translation and localization to relevant web channels. I will help you position your offering online, automate what can be automated, and develop relevant international business relations.

There are a couple of different ways that we can work together:

  • One-on-one coaching
  • Team coaching
  • Interim management
  • Specialist services

If you have an international marketing & sales ambition, we should probably have a chat. Call me at +358 50 59 33 006, or drop me a line at <>

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