Expanding your business beyond the borders of your home country comes with huge advantages and unique challenges. Access to new markets, international brand recognition, and connections with local talent are all major upsides to going global. On the other hand, businesses that expand internationally must deal with local regulations, new languages and cultures, and even local competition in the new country.
Compared to companies that make physical goods, overseas expansion is easier for advertising technology companies. Ad tech companies can avoid issues like physical packaging, manufacturing regulations, shipping, and electrical plugs and voltage.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the considerations for ad tech companies looking to expand their operations to another part of the world.
Start With the People
Having a local manager or team—someone who knows the language, culture, regulations, has standing relationships with potential clients and other factors relevant for doing business in the target country—is crucial. Whether this is an office staffed by employees of your company or a partnership with another company, it’s very difficult to expand into a new country without the right people in place.
Most importantly, don’t assume that what works in your home country will work in other countries—especially in an industry like advertising, where culture plays a big role. By having locals in place who have experience with your industry and the target country, your company will be able to avoid costly mistakes.
As you expand your business internationally, you’ll almost certainly run into unexpected issues and bumps in the road. Staying agile doesn’t mean giving up and changing directions as soon as an issue occurs; it means adapting to changing circumstances and continuing to build value.
Most importantly, don’t try to “power through” issues that come up, especially cultural incompatibilities between your home and target counties. Take issues and roadblocks as useful feedback and adapt to overcome them.
Focus and Adapt Your Customer Support
It’s usually easier to resolve your customer support issues when you’re talking to a representative from your native country. Not only will the representative be on the same timezone as you, but they will likely be a native speaker of your language.
Give your international customers the same kind of customer service experience that you would want. They should get immediate support, not wait an entire workday for your customer support team to wake up.
The Big Takeaway: Prepare Thoroughly
Lots of companies have had failed international expansions because they jumped in headfirst without having a good plan, the right people, solid infrastructure, or the necessary agility. Expanding internationally is a big undertaking, even for an industry like advertising and marketing tech.
For many businesses, developing a partnership with another company is a great way to ensure international success. Companies with existing international footprints can be great mentors or partners to other companies looking to start their international journeys.
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