Exporting products and services is on the agenda for most business owners in the UK during 2015 and beyond. The Boston Consulting Group goes as far as to say businesses that export will grow between 4x – 8x faster than those that don’t.
So What Are We Waiting For?
In many cases the reluctance is driven by a number of factors. It is a venture into the unknown and businesses need to take into account high expected costs, impact on cash flow, diversion of attention and focus away from the main business, and their attitude towards risk and potential failure. However, if the right approach is taken, export could be an extremely successful strategy for many organisations.
Croud is a leading Search export business; we are well-positioned experts in this space. Our team is responsible for successfully launching Netflix into 13 European markets at the end of 2014, and also runs pan European and global strategies for clients like Etsy, a top 10 Google shopping client, in markets as broad as the US, and right through to Australia.
For those businesses pondering their next market launch there are some key Google tools to help with your due diligence. Using these can assist in making an exploratory venture as simple and as low risk as possible.
Export is Google’s key focus for 2015 – so outside of the below, watch for much more in this space during the year.
Research and Planning for Export Phase
This is a really useful Google tool that can provide businesses with key insights into how consumers consume above and below the line media throughout the user journey, i.e. through the purchase funnel. The tool can let you view different purchase behaviours in different markets.
User trends are currently available across 39 different countries, with many more to launch in 2015. This is extremely useful before launching any marketing campaigns and products into a new country.
Looking below at a couple of examples, in Finland you can instantly see a wide variety of key information, such as:
Device trends in Finland:
Daily activities on a smartphone:
You can even dig deeper. For example, through exploring hotel bookings in Finland, you can discover the reason behind the purchase:
This pretty much does what it says on the tin, i.e. enables you to learn about smartphone adoption and usage across 48 countries.
It has a pretty nice functionality included which allows you to create custom images and charts. This information will ensure that you have a full understanding of the mobile consumer in your chosen market.
In 2015 every business needs a mobile strategy and this is a great resource to help determine yours, or your client’s, by market.
Again a great Google resource. The Google Public Data Explorer allows you to view very large datasets across a variety of key advertiser or business metrics.
There is a lot of information available here, but some of the parameters we use more commonly at Croud are economic, demographic, and geographic. All of these metrics are easy to explore, visualise, and utilise for new market planning.
One of the oldest Google products on the market – Google use it to predict everything from Flu outbreaks, through to viewing trends in searches for “vodka” and “hangovers” from December to January each year.
This product becomes a very useful tool and not just for new product launches. You can drill down into statistics about your products within your current regions, for example, what is the demand in my region for designer dog shirts vs designer dog collars, or the demand for real ale in Portsmouth. In export terms Google Trends also allows you to view and contrast search volume patterns for your products or services across regions and time frames, i.e. what is the demand for real ale in Turkey, or designer dog shirts in Monaco.
It’s been around since Search was born and is a great research tool for building new and effective Search Network campaigns, or expanding existing ones. You can search for keyword and ad group ideas, get historical statistics, see how a list of keywords might perform, and even create a new keyword list by multiplying several lists of keywords together. As a free AdWords tool, Google’s Keyword Planner can also help you choose competitive bids and budgets to use with your campaigns.
Croud wouldn’t recommend the following three tools to most businesses, but if you have very little budget for testing they can be useful. The below tools aren’t options for those with a global-local business strategy of localisation or a translation that Croud would provide, but if you can’t afford the offering of businesses like Croud, they can be a useful starting point which is why we have included them.
Question – Can you operate in a market without infrastructure in your chosen markets?
If so, then Google has some very nice tools focused around making things simple for businesses – please note, these are tools for the smaller business, but nonetheless are very useful.
Go global now.
This is a tool that has a few elements to it:
- It can automatically translate keywords into your customers’ language
- Geographic distribution: you can see where customers are searching for your product, from Poland to Mexico to Zimbabwe, or anywhere in between
- Estimate advertising costs: aim to make the most out of your ad budget by comparing cost estimates and demand across languages and locations to get some pretty comprehensive intelligence on the markets that you want to focus on
2. Website Translator – Our personal favourite
A great tool for SMBs – it quite simply makes your website instantly international.
When someone visits your site, the Website Translator compares that person’s browser language with the language of the text on your website (60+ languages).
If the languages don’t match, your visitor sees an option to automatically translate your site into their browser’s language. I’ve been doing a lot of research around event planning in France recently and this tool has been invaluable to me so I have a lot of love for this product!
This is another useful tool which offers functionality similar to the Global Market Finder, but you can translate your AdWords, keywords, and ads automatically.
Simply upload an AdWords Editor Archive (AEA) file into the Translator Toolkit, then share your translated files with your multilingual optimisers or professional translators, who can optimise your campaign through Translator Toolkit’s campaign editor.
This tool is not perfect by any means, but if you have localised resource it can really help to speed things up for you and provide some useful information and insights.
Google Internal Tools
There are some heavy hitters here. These tools are usually run by the internal “GET team” – global expansion team.
1. Global Market EvaluatorThis tool offers a high-level overview and market insight into countries you are looking to export into. Google can support you directly with research and background information, and even present the findings to your clients if required.
This market insight can give you data and information on everything from credit card user behaviour, all the way through to mobile behaviour.
2. Go Explore
Another internal tool, but for me a powerhouse tool for determining export strategy.
This tool can go granular, here’s your peer set, here’s where they are active and where they are not; this is where the opportunities are, all vital information when planning to export into another country. Go Explore is a tool that can only be used when you are one of the key export agencies like Croud, or you are a high-value direct client. The insights provided by this tool really are worth the money.
Another new tool which is coming soon focuses specifically on products. It will provide information such as, the
popularity of Google Shopping and mobile search and whether or not product extensions are really important for example. Current variants are available, but this is looking like the next useful Google external tool likely to be released.
Any questions on how Croud can help you on your global journey then please get in touch, until then happy global expansions one and all!