KPMG Private enterprise organised their second “How to” about going global, this time in Dublin. I am the lucky person that is asked to moderate. Like the event in Cork, we had a great mix of companies in data, ICT, food, pharma, engineering, marketing, media, consultancy and anything in between. Dovetailed by experts from KPMG, Ulster Bank, Business-Achievers and Enterprise Ireland. What did I pick up as themes?
Distribution, distribution, distribution
The choice of the right distributor is critical. If you want impact and cloud go for number one or two. Picking the best distributor in one country will also give you the credibility for your next distributor in the next country.
To get to the right distributors, you need to intimately understand the value chain and the criteria distributors apply when selecting new partners. In other words, do your homework,
Storytelling is everything
Storytelling is a topic close to my heart. It is also a hot topic. It started as a way to cut through social media (you can download my book here) but is now part of every part of any business. Leadership, innovation, internal communication, the CEO as CSO (Chief Story Teller), but also as a way to give your distributors the tools to sell, particularly through PR.
Selling is always emotion
Because selling is always about emotion and a good authentic story that resonates. With the emphasis on “resonate”. Hence the need to have a deep understanding of the local culture. The importance of anthropology and psychology as part of marketing. Again it is about doing your homework.
Do your homework
If you do not do your necessary homework, you will target the wrong market, spend money on the wrong marketing channels, tell the wrong stories, pick the wrong distributors and eventually spend more than you make. 60% of the marketing campaigns are useless. That is silly. Which is why we invented market research and BITS.
Scaling, growing and export need money. It would help if you were financially literate. A large portion of Irish SMEs is financially illiterate. When you plan to export, you need to make the calculations and financially map the journey. How much do you need? What type of capital should you go for? What advisors do you need? (which also part of the story and why they invented KPMG) What other sources of funding are available. Can Enterprise Ireland or the LEOs help?
Innovation and finance are important when thinking about export and as I observed myself when I managed Invent-DCU, not enough SMEs use the brain power of the universities to help with new product development and/or R+D, including extensive financial support. Go visit your university. We organised up an innovation bus once to allow SMEs to visit all three campuses in Dublin in one day. Happy to do it again. Drop me a line.
We talked about many other things, including Br.x.t. Thankfully we also spoke about the opportunities in Germany, China, Holland and the USA. Pick your region and go for it. If you need help, contact Alison in KPMG, Fionan in Business-Achievers or myself. We will be happy to help.