Feb 21, 2013

drivers in brands' internationalization

Today I'm writing about how and where to start developing an international brand from a strong local brand, and which are the main drivers for integrating the international attribute into the brand architecture.

Feb 20, 2013

opposable marketing

We were all taught manners in our commercial relationships; we should not speak badly about competition in front of our clients, but we should differentiate; we should not ransack for competition inside weaknesses, but we should monitor them and stay informed.

Competitive intelligence. Everybody does it, but only few talk about it.

Here's something nobody talks about: how to market substitute products. So I'll call it Opposable Marketing.

Dec 5, 2012

don't call us, we'll call you

In business technology buying process, 75% of influencers and 80% of decision-makers said that they are the ones to find vendors (through research) rather than responding to a campaign [source: MarketingSherpa]. Outch.

Which shows without a shadow of a doubt where the marketing effort needs to be invested: your technology company must be visible and found in those channels and places where your prospects could be searching for vendors such as yourself. 

For those active, control-obsessed, results-driven marketers, this might sound terrible. I do many direct marketing campaigns, myself, and expect results from each of these. But if the moment and the path are not in my hands, what else is there?

Actually, lots and lots of harder and smarter work. The outcome that you're after is called Attention.

Nov 22, 2012

recipe for: direct emailing

Email marketing is increasingly challenging as lead generation method, as more and more email services seem built to reject approach attempts and protect the account holder from the thousand random spam messages landing in inboxes.

In case you're cooking (or overcooking, like me) a B2B direct emailing campaing with the purpose to generate leads, here are the ingredients you should have on the table before geting your hands into the task:

Nov 12, 2012

how we made our product best on the market

This is a story about a B2B international company entering the Romanian market a while ago, finding a rocky territory, taking the challenge and achieving to produce and market the best product available in its sector - fiduciary B2B services.

You have to know that the raw "material" used by this int'l company to create its product - company data - is found, in Romania, in a diversity of sources, more or less known, accurate, concurring or updated. Ergo the difficulties, later turned opportunities, of creating a complete and coherent product to offer to the market. 

Initially, this company came with a product similar to what the competitors were offering, but soon it stepped out of this "safe" zone and steps were taken in the direction of leadership:

Nov 5, 2012

country-of-origin effect in international marketing

Are you aware that, whey your (say Romanian) company's products are judged by a (say German) buyer, your country's reputation plays a role in the decision making process?

Yes, this is another challenging thing about international marketing: you have to be aware of your country's historical or cultural aspects and understand that, although these aspects have nothing to do with your products' quality, they exist in the mind of your foreign client.

Add to that the fact that the clients tend to form a general opinion on the quality and performance of the products originating from a given country based on their previous experiences with other products from that country.

Oct 30, 2012

international marketing: whois

Challenge: define international marketing

International marketing is a skill, a function or an attitude. 

International marketing is a great deal of books and college courses. It's a profession for the curious, that involves continuous  exploring and learning.

International marketing is probably the new normality when it comes to marketing in general. Because there are no such things as local companies anymore. Every company has to face international markets, foreign partners, global competition.

International marketing can mean a set of activities planned by the Headquarters that help the company take off to other destinations. Or it can refer to the actions executed by the subsidiary that help the company land safely in a specific country.

International marketing is a phase, right after export marketing and before the global marketing, where a company markets it products with a country by country pace.

International marketing can mean building the perception that the company, once successful and stable in its home market, is ready to take it to the next level. It means learning to mitigate or leveraging the country-of-origin effect and using the cultural preconceptions to introduce and position your company.

International marketing means tackling uncertainty and taking on lots of challenges, losing control over context and learning how to start over again. It is a fight between standardization and localization, between centralization and local autonomy.

International marketing means an experience and many many fails, but it's also the best source of growth and expansion. And finally, it's no longer optional.