Internationalization: when, how and why

Internationalization: when, how and why

Internationalizing the company is the new watchword for companies wishing to grow and increase turnover.

Today, and increasingly in the coming years, looking abroad is and will be a priority action, without which many opportunities, economic and otherwise, will be lost. Any business, regardless of its sector or size, will be able to move in this direction by exploiting different channels, especially online. In fact, the web is the great protagonist of many internationalization experiences in Canton Ticino, in Northern Italy and in many other parts of the world. Small or large businesses have managed to export products and services to Europe and other continents thanks to simple but effective digital tools, first of all the website with an integrated e-commerce system. But the concept of internationalization, and the relative advantages associated with it, go beyond just selling.

Let's think, for example, of a hotel or restaurant with a multilingual showcase site. Compared to a competitor present in the same location but without content in multiple languages, the hotel or restaurant with a virtual presence in English, German, French (and other languages ​​that are now mandatory, see Russian, Chinese, Japanese and so on ), will have a better chance of obtaining reservations from the contact form when a person, from his own country, plans a vacation, a business trip or other kind of travel. An obvious but often overlooked conclusion (or worse, ignored) both by the entrepreneur and by the communication agencies that deal with marketing. The result? Wrong investments because they were made without knowledge of the facts or in non-priority directions. Let's see a practical example of a wellness center without an adequate internationalization strategy. It is clearly an imaginary reality, but not for this far from the cases we find ourselves dealing with every day as a specialized web agency.

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Choice of internationalization without targeted strategies.

Choosing to internationalize the company implies a series of actions to be carried out on several levels, from legal to administrative, from human capital to logistics. Here we will deal with our field, digital marketing, using the example of a customer who has made certain decisions without an analysis of the priorities and objectives to be achieved. Let's therefore assume a similar scenario: with the new year, the Wellness Center (henceforth ICB) decides to address a foreign public, aiming in particular at customers from North America and Russia. At the time of expanding the potential clientele the website it is already translated into English, French and German, as well as into the main language, Italian. The path taken involves the creation of AdWords ads in English, to be shown in the geographical area of ​​the United States and Russia.

The agency that follows ICB assumes that US and Russian clients have the same interests and are affected by the same type of communication, using (first mistake) only one AdWords campaign with identical ads. Furthermore, the importance (second mistake) of translating the site into Russian is also underestimated, maximizing the investment for that public of tourists (and businessmen) who do not know English well enough or do not have enough patience to read the pages – booking form included – in another language. Worse still (third and final mistake), they don't take into account that in Russia… Google is not the main search engine! In fact, it would be much preferable to create a campaign on Yandex, the No. 1 search engine on Russian territory. Three mistakes that undermine the success of the campaign and the entire internationalization operation towards North America on one side and Russia on the other.

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The importance of relying on qualified professionals

The example of the ICB center that we have just seen is just one of many that could be put on the table to demonstrate how easy it is to waste money (as well as time and human resources) during internationalization processes, regardless of budget or other factors . What is missing, in the vast majority of cases, is the marketing strategy, a shortcoming in turn due to the lack of professionalism of those who should manage the promotion and, consequently, the digital part of the internationalization. It goes without saying that relying on a specialized partner becomes the only possible option to avoid wasting money without a certain economic return. Without exaggerating, it can be said that any internationalization initiative NOT accompanied by a preliminary marketing strategy is doomed to failure. Now that the new year has begun, we advise all entrepreneurs to be vigilant and critical, remembering that internationalization remains a great opportunity for growth, but can also turn into a dangerous trap.