#Asia Aim for a bigger market or keep it small and focussed? Some pros and cons of going global vs keeping it local


Marketing is essentially the art of relationship building. In addition to cost and quality considerations, people prefer to do business with companies that they feel they can relate to

You’ve started the process of bringing your startup idea to life. The essential part of this is determining how and where to market. Specifically, should you market locally, or would your company be better served if you scale your marketing efforts globally from the start?

The pros and cons of marketing globally

Let’s start with some bad news. You’ll have to deal with the following cons:

Con: You have to tackle language and cultural barriers

Marketing is essentially the art of relationship building. In addition to cost and quality considerations, people prefer to do business with companies that they feel they can relate to. In fact, many customers will pay a higher price to do business in their own language.

Language isn’t the only situation. So is culture. Each location has local catch phrases, for example or different ideas of what is socially acceptable.

As a result, global marketing means that you and your staff will have to get educated regarding new languages and cultures. There’s also the complexity of translation and localisation.

Con: The cost can be significantly higher

Translation and localisation add costs to marketing efforts. Then, on top of that you have to consider travel expenses. You’ll also need to focus marketing and advertising efforts on more traditional and social media outlets. You may also encounter licensing and regulatory fees. Because there are also legal issues to consider, you may need to add the cost of a lawyer who specialises in international business.

Also read: 5 signs that you need to localise your product

Con: Marketing across time zones can be complex

There’s no way around it. Hosting live events, webinars or streaming can be challenging if half of your audience is awake and the rest goes to bed. Same thing with scheduling social media updates — you’ll have to strike a careful balance here.

Now, let’s move on to the definitive benefits:

Pro: More markets can lead to more sales

Let’s be honest. The main motivation of marketing globally is to get the attention of more potential customers, and increase the chance of getting leads. Ideally this will lead to more sales. Simply put, it’s easier to find target markets if you go global.

Pro: You may receive better valuation or better investments

If investors in your local area are too risk averse or simply cannot come up with the capital you need under acceptable terms, it can be necessary to focus on both audiences and investors on a global scale. You may also find that global investors are better connected, and more accepting of unique or innovative ideas.

There are also the pros and cons of marketing locally only

Con: There may be not enough resources to sustain growth

If you are in an area where the population is too small earn enough revenue, it can be nearly impossible to stick with a local marketing strategy. The same applies if the startup ecosystem is simply not viable. If you cannot get the support you need with regard to infrastructure and taxation, for example, it’s going to be difficult to gain traction on the local level.

Also read: Why hyper-localisation is key to optimising voice-based SEO

On the other hand, there are times when a location has the ideal infrastructure for supporting a business, but not necessarily an adequate local market for generating sales and leads. One example of this is Sweden. The country is home to more software companies than any other country in the EU. However, most of these focus their marketing efforts globally.

Con: Local culture might make innovative products and services difficult to market

Depending on the culture where you are, you may encounter parochialism. Local markets and investors can sometimes be resistant to ideas that are different. This can impact both product acceptance and response to your marketing efforts. You can overcome many local marketing challenges by getting it right with the local SEO strategies.

Pro: Lower marketing costs

If you decide to focus only on local audiences, your marketing costs will almost always be significantly lower. Simply pitching to local media is much easier and less expensive than designing pitches for multiple international media organisations. You will also save on travel and other expenses. There won’t be need to invest in localisation services either. It’s fairly difficult to sustain global marketing efforts without hiring marketing consulting firms. By sticking with local marketing, you may be able to keep marketing efforts fully in house.

There is often great community support behind local businesses

There is a definite, populist advantage to being a local business. People find the idea of patronising ‘locally owned and operated’ businesses. There is a definite impression that locally owned businesses provide more attentive service and higher quality products because there is built in accountability when doing business with people where you live.

No cultural learning curve

You are much more likely to be in tune with local culture and customs. This means you and your staff won’t need to educate yourselves in order to properly build relationships with your target audience. This can also give you a competitive benefit as your knowledge can put you at an advantage when compared to other companies that are not locally operated.

Clearly, there are many factors to consider when determining whether or not global or local marketing for your startup. The points above should serve as a jumping off point to conduct a costs-benefits analysis.


Want to be part of the ecosystem?

Register for your Echelon Asia Summit access pass now! Enjoy +10% off Echelon Asia Summit Startup, Investor and Corporate passes just for being our favourite e27 reader.

The views expressed here are of the author’s, and e27 may not necessarily subscribe to them. e27 invites members from Asia’s tech industry and startup community to share their honest opinions and expert knowledge with our readers. If you are interested in sharing your point of view, submit your post here.

Featured Image Copyright: michaeljung / 123RF Stock Photo

The post Aim for a bigger market or keep it small and focussed? Some pros and cons of going global vs keeping it local appeared first on e27.

from e27 http://ift.tt/2rlPeHk

This entry was posted in #Asia by Startup365. Bookmark the permalink.

About Startup365

Chaque jour nous vous présenterons une nouvelle Startup française ! Notre pays regorge de talents et d'entrepreneurs brillants ! Alors partons à la découverte des meilleures startup françaises ! Certaines d'entre elles sont dans une étape essentielle dans la vie d'une startup : la recherche de financement, notamment par le financement participatif (ou crowdfunding en anglais). Alors participez à cette grande aventure en leur faisant une petite donation ! Les startups françaises ont besoin de vous !