Today, global business expansion is a continuous trend. While some companies expand due to their global nature (for example, educational platforms such as Coursera), others migrate from developed markets as they are unable to find their niche in their home countries and grow into emerging countries as happened in the example you can read here. Irrespective of the business motivation, it is a key task for executives to devise effective communications strategies ahead of and while executing such ambitious plans.
We at Mosron Communications prepared a bespoke checklist of critical elements to facilitate the communications strategy for companies that are going to take a dive into a new business environment.
- Local Communication Patterns. Do you already know local verbal and written etiquette? Research if there are any peculiarities in B2B communications and consult with an experienced consultant on how to manage email correspondence with local partners.
- Time Zones. As the world is divided into 24 time zones (some countries contain almost half of them, such as Russia with its 11), the possibility that you will experience a prolonged jet lag and will have to communicate with partners and vendors who are several hours ahead or behind you is quite high. Equip your team with this information in advance and plan your schedule accordingly, as well as those of third-parties. Mutually beneficial partnership starts with respecting the time of your partners.
- Market Research. As true as it is, communication is helpless if the product / service is hopeless. Take inventory of your business proposition and research whether you offer the local audience what it really needs and can make use of. For instance, have you already created a version of your website in the local language and partnered up with a vetted copywriter / content writer for your communications assets?
- Risk and Competitor Assessment. It is perilous to dive to the bottom when you are not aware what this bottom may hide. What kind of challenges have market newbies faced in this market in recent times? And who else is pulling your audience blanket in this country? Thorough assessment of the business environment and comparative review of your competitors will do you a favour.
- Media and Event Platforms. If you know where you are heading but have no idea with whom you will share stories about your product / service, you are likely to expend finite resources that you would need to defend to your management or Board. Create a list of relevant media and event outlets and build virtual connections with journalists & organisers ahead of your full-scope market expansion. Or simply engage a local PR consultant who can show you the safe places and best people to engage in the new country you are expanding to. For the sub-Sahara African Market, Mosron Communications is definitely your g0-to #Partners for expert guidance on B2B Communications and PR services.
Have you been filling your business communications scorecard while reading this article? If your communications strategy consists of less than all five elements listed above, it is subject to revision.
While you KNOW what you are going to tell to the new market audience, it will not be heard without understanding and articulating the HOW.