Overcoming The Obstacles To Global Expansion Through Digital Marketing

Rising pressure on businesses constricted to the local market

Globalisation, coupled with the development of infrastructure and digital capabilities around the world, has enabled companies to take their businesses from the local market to a bigger, busier, and better global stage. However, many companies, especially Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), are still constricted to the domestic market because business owners are afraid of the unfamiliar business landscape abroad, high cost of failure, and limited resources. Based on a research in Singapore conducted in January 2019, only 14% of SMEs intend to expand abroad, and nearly 50% do not plan to do, citing the lack of funding and unfamiliarity as the top two reasons that deter them from global expansion.

Bringing your business across geographical boundaries

With the slowing economic growth in the domestic market – aggravated by the pandemic, more businesses are feeling the pressure to expand overseas – to expand reach, diversify risks, and maintain viability. In the current business landscape fuelled by digital capabilities, growing a business through the traditional route of relying on a local market before expanding to the next country with a physical team to spearhead the overseas business, should not be the only option considered by businesses. Business owners can now build international companies from day one by leveraging on existing digital and infrastructure capabilities.

Leveraging digital capabilities to scale your business

With technological advancements, many digital tools can alleviate the additional risks of global expansion – financial risks, compliance risks, operational risks, and more. Leveraging on these digital capabilities including Cloud, Software as a Service (SaaS), and Digital Marketing, businesses can revolutionise the way they evolve and expand.

For instance, by engaging a cloud-based SaaS provider that helps to manage the end-to-end expansion process on a platform, including entity formation, setting up a global workforce, compliance advisory, accounting that follows foreign regulation, to business reporting – it helps to reduce the critical risks aspects that hinder a business from pursuing its international goals. Such providers are also more time-efficient and cost-efficient as compared to setting up a completely new physical team to spearhead the overseas expansion.

Another alternative that business owners can consider is to tap on platforms that allow you to reach the global audience from your domestic market – such as digital marketing and e-commerce. Due to the travel restrictions, more than 22% of consumers are relying on cross-border shopping through e-commerce platforms, and they are spending more as compared to domestic-only shoppers. To capture the attention of these global consumers, businesses can adjust their marketing campaigns to effectively communicate to both local and foreign customers – taking into consideration the nuances of both side. Businesses can also enable international purchases on these e-commerce platforms, as well as ramp up on your SEO and SEM strategies in countries with their key target audience.

Leveraging these digital capabilities bring three key benefits:

  • Businesses can attain a global reach as digital marketing content such as posts on social media can be promoted to more than one region. Taking it a step further, marketers can also localise the content to fit into the culture and consumer preferences.
  • Digital marketing enables tracking and reporting. As businesses may be unfamiliar with foreign markets, they can leverage on the digital marketing online analytics tools such as the number of reach, interactions, and more, to make informed decisions about the market and optimise the campaign to fit into different countries they are in.
  • Content can be adapted quickly through automatic translation tools in these digital marketing platforms – reducing the resources required to adapt content for different countries, languages, or devices, enhancing the go-to-market speed for businesses.

Realising that you want to bring your business across the border is the first step. While expanding on a global scale comes with a full suite of complexity and risks, there are resources such as SaaS providers, Digital Marketing platforms, and more, to help alleviate these challenges and empower you to take the bigger leap of faith to step on the global stage.