Aug 28, 2012

local offices - autonomy vs. control

I always wondered what's the healthiest amount of control Headquarters should exert over their offices abroad.

I'm not talking legal or administrative; I'm not debating branch vs. subsidiary as incorporation form; I'm wondering about the intricacies of headquarters' control over the local offices - how much freedom should the latter have in terms of market strategy?

Working in subsidiaries, I sought independence in some marketing decisions and had to fight for it; working in Headquarters, I'm looking for absolute control over the communication and actions, although I'm fully aware of how important local business culture knowledge is.

Aug 25, 2012

estranged press releases?

This post is about my experience with how to improve your chances for the publication of press releases when you're sending them to foreign publications.

Say your company Headquarters is located in some country in CEE.

Say your company has commercial interests in other European countries, without having established a direct presence. So you have no local staff.

Say your marketing actions are handled centrally from your company's headquarters.

Say you've done your homework and built a list of relevant publications from the targeted countries.

How do you get these media channels to support you and publish your releases?

Aug 21, 2012

the silver bullet

The competition analysis provides valuable information about the strengths and weaknesses of your company, ultimately helping you answer the client's question: Why should I work with you, rather than with your competition? 

Do you have in place a system to collect and disseminate information about your competitors? 

Or do you occasionally trip on articles or pieces of data you'd like to keep, but haven't quite found the right storage format? 

Aug 16, 2012

visual introduction to Int'lMkt blog

Aug 13, 2012

online research: industry

Following my previous post on online research - where to search for country information, today I'm writing about how to search for industry data.

This is a summary of what, how and where to search for when you want to gather data on an industry from another country.

Valuable, quality data is not difficult to find online, even for free, when you know where to look.  

I'll work on an example: let's assume we're looking for information about the automotive manufacturing industry in Czech Republic.

So here are the Whats, the Hows and the Wheres:

Aug 11, 2012

associations: the hands-on type

Following my previous post on key bodies and assessing them on how up-to-date their statistics are, I'll add several other signs that you can rely on these sources in your online industry searches.

The local key body is the main authority that gathers and publishes yearly the industry overview and the local market statistics. That being said, you should expect to find 2011 data on their website or in their publications.

However, before taking this source into consideration, first check their number of members and what percentage of the industry to make, to make sure their facts and figures are relevant and that their representation warrant comes from the majority of the industry players.

Aug 9, 2012

where to start your int'l career

A franchise is an excellent place to start learning international marketing, and I'm not just saying that because it's how it happened for me.

A well established, serious franchise organization is built around unitary concept, has a standard product, a clear business model, and an operational system in place.

In my company's case, the business logic was that the more countries were covered by the franchisees’ network, the stronger the overall service was.

Aug 8, 2012

direct marketing: you're doing it wrong

If you're a beginner in direct email campaigns, read the 10 items below to see if you're doing it wrong.

Three important things about this post:

- it addresses rookies

- it refers to cold campaigns
- it speaks mainly about preparation & sending, not about content.

Read below what are the basic mistakes to avoid if you want your emails to catch the eye of the targeted person. The first two are the worst, I'm sort of stating the obvious with them:

Aug 6, 2012

it's who you're connected with

LinkedIn Visual Network Mapping Tool – InMaps
I'm going to document several dilemmas I've had for a while and publish the info I've gathered, with the prospect of putting them in action.

So these posts come less from my experience and more from research; I'll follow up on these actions and explain what has indeed worked for me and what hasn't. Or you can visit my LinkedIn profile and know I've succeeded if I have 500+ connections.

Today's question is how to connect with target professionals on LinkedIn and transform them into leads.

Aug 2, 2012

LinkedIn European demographics

LinkedIn describes itself as the world’s largest and most powerful community of professionals, with members from over 200 countries and 170 industries.

Some countries more than others, indeed.

Ever wondered about the demographics on LinkedIn? I did, and today I saw all this useful data about usage per country, industry, company size, job function, and members’ age.

LinkedIn is almost 10 years old, and it has reached 147 Million members in 2012. Apparently, 2 new users sign up to LinkedIn every second.

Aug 1, 2012

lost in migration

OK, 'Lost in migration' is the name of a brain game I like to play, but this post is about bumps a company can hit when migrating its brand into new markets.

Since these days I'm working on registering brands at international trade marks institutions, I remembered having read about unfortunate trade names meaning when you translate them into another language.