Where Is Your Business?

There is no easier way to promote your business than meeting Google Places. Quickly and free application to reach Google users. Make your listing really shine to engage your customers with photos, videos, offers, public response and more. And don’t forget to get insights in order to make smarter business decisions!

In addition, it is recognized as a valuable marketing tool for SEO. Your Google positioning is likely to improve. So, what are you waiting for?

 

 

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Social Media: A Way of Marketing

Every day I’m more interested on Social Media. It offers a wide range of great resources either in a personal or professional way.

I have just been reading an interesting presentation (in spanish) that Carmen Urbano did for an important forum in Spain. It was about how to boost your business through social networks and I couldn’t agree more with her. In the case of companies which work with overseas clients I see it even more attractive, distances get closer.

Some of the most known Social Media resources are:  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs, YouTube, Picasa or Flickr. They are tremendous databases and have an incredible audience.

Before starting on it, it is more than important to plan and develop and strategy in order to take care over the company’s image. In addition, your marketing online should be the perfect complement to your marketing offline, try to balance them.

To sum up, If I were in charge of a marketing department I would not hesitate to use this valuable and cheap way of promoting your business. People are used to be more on social networks than looking for information through search engines.

 

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How to Find the Necessary Information

At the beginning, internationalization process requires a lot of “desk work” to achieve as many information as possible. However, the problem is that we have a lot of things on our minds and we don’t know how to start this information research. Reviewing some notes I took during my studies I have done a sketch in order to make this process easier and in an organized way.

As you can see, the most part of this information can be taken without travelling overseas. What’s more, this information is frequently free. Just plan and be organized!

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Google Insights as a Clue

Probably one of our many doubts when deciding to internationalise is: Where am I going to export? Today I want to present one of the simplest tools to answer this question: Google Insights.

This service provides insights into the search terms that people have been entering into the Google search engine. It provides a visual representation of worldwide interest on a map, and even regional interest inside each country. It also displays top searches and rising searches that may help with keyword research.

For example, if we have a company of olive oil, we just have to type “olive oil” in the search terms* box with the filters we wish. In this particular case, from 2004 to present inside the food and drink category, the result/interest is:

Surprisingly or not, the biggest interest comes from United States followed by Lebanon and Canada. Other things that could be interesting to take note is that the top term searched is “virgin olive oil” and the first one in the rising searches list is “olive oil can“.

It’s quick and easy, try it and got an idea!

 

*It has been noted that term order is important, and different results will be found if the keywords are placed in a different order.

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How attractive is the industry? Measuring Competitiveness

During the stage of the decision to internationalize, we must know the competition in our industry. One of the most useful frameworks for analysing the competitive structure has been developed by Porter, with his Porter’s five-forces model.

The goal of competition analysis is to find a position in industry where the company can best defend itself against the five forces, or can influence them in its favour. Knowledge of these underlying pressures highlights the critical strengths and weaknesses of the company and shows its position.

Let’s see each force separately:

Market competitors: It is utterly important to analyse them. The intensity of rivalry depends on some factors: the concentration of the industry, rate of market growth, structure of costs, degree of differentation, switching costs and exit barriers among others.

Suppliers: The higher the bargaining power of suppliers, the higher the costs. Commercial Managers of companies are usually a great source of information at this point. They are always in contact with their industry.

Buyers: What do they really need? Listen to them.

Substitutes: The presence of substitute products can reduce industry attractiveness and profitability because they put a constraint on price levels.

New Entrants: It means an increase of the degree of competition. What is more, they often go in for the kill.

After analyzing these forces, firms can reach some conclusions in order to “attack” its target countries/markets.

 

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5 helpful Links on your first Export steps

There is a range of sources to which firms can turn in exploring potential overseas markets. This time I would like to share 5 links as a tool of taking information. They are mostly business directories in which you will find helpful information on potential competitors, suppliers or joint-venture partners.

Kompass (www.kompass.com): Probably the most known and complete business directory. It provides directories for each country, giving details on types of products and the companies which manufacture them.

Yellow Pages (www.yellowpagesworld.com): It is an international directory of online Yellow Pages.

Europages (www.europages.com): The European business search engine in 26 languages.

Alibaba (www.alibaba.com) The world’s largest site for sourcing reliable manufacturers, suppliers, importers, exporters, buyers, wholesalers and quality products.

Alexa (www.alexa.com): It is not exactly a business directory. Alexa provides information about websites including top sites (Global, by Country and by Category), Internet traffic stats, metrics, related links, online reviews and much more.

This is part of the market research in your export process and they are completely free. Check it out and take advantage of it!

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The Global Economy in the short term

Our product or service can be anywhere around the world as well as in the domestic market. This fact needs a previous research before taking action. The potential oversea country should be a place where our product/service fits well, and it doesn’t mean that this country has to be one of the most powerful in the world.

Nevertheless, it is so important to know in what way the global economy it’s going to move and try to invest or do business in countries where the economy will rise. In this sense, it’s just been published a survey among executives and more experts which shows the importance of emerging economies in the shorter term. And… which are these emerging economies? Well, it’s expected that Brazil, China and India become more influential over the next five years. On the other side of the coin, the United States, the Eurozone and Japan will decrease or remain the same.

Most of respondents expect their own profits and revenues from emerging markets to increase. In my opinion, any of these emerging countries is a big market with its huge population, which means a wide range of opportunities for companies that would like to do business away from its borders.



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