3 Ways to Network for International Growth

Launching into a new international market is an exciting next step for growing businesses beyond domestic pursuits. Often, however, businesses make costly mistakes from lack of awareness for cultural preferences. When advising our clients, Localize often encourages teams to develop a feedback loop for content and translation with a local partnerships team and defined metrics of success.

Build a Local Partnerships Team

Spending time to network and partner with community professionals will…

  • Establish your brand identity.
  • Generate excitement before the launch.
  • Build an engaged customer base.
  • Open up opportunities for co-marketing.
  • Help avoid costly setbacks or potential strains on your reputation.

Meet the clients that will use your service and engage them in the places they work, live and play. This includes businesses in complementary industries that can tap your company for leads (and vice-versa)!

3 Ways to Network for International Growth 1

Conduct Free In-Person Market Research

Engaging your new international target market can be a very cost-effective and insightful way to build a customer base, but… how can you become integral to the local ecosystem?

  • Learn about the culture and lifestyle.
  • Sponsor events (like contributing to local charitable causes).
  • Guerrilla marketing (e.g. flyers, billboards, t-shirts, and so on).

Case-Study: Airbnb

When Airbnb launched overseas, they conducted a 3-month A/B test, which revealed that customer adoption and retention was 5x higher with networking (over other modern marketing strategies). Here’s an excerptfrom their GrowthHacker case study.

Though tourists were traveling to typical locations in France, not many locals were using Airbnb to vacation within the country. They decided to take two approaches to growth, setting up an A/B test for several small vacation markets. They randomly selected half of the locations to physically visit, and half to target using Facebook ads like the one below:

3 Ways to Network for International Growth 2

It turned out that cost per acquisition was 5x better for actually sending people into markets. Not only that, but after “kickstarting” these markets with a human presence, they kept growing 2x faster by themselves.

The power of networking and business development can often be overlooked, especially in global expansion, with plenty of subtle benefits. To grow quickly in a new market and overcome challenges more effectively, there is no better way than feet on the ground and studying the locals.

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