If you’ve read some of my other ‘view from the boardroom’ posts (here, here, and here), then you’ll see I like to express my POV on the 'global’ view of things. It probably comes with having parents from two different continents…growing up in the UK and living most of my working life in the US (and then marrying a woman also of mixed heritage, meaning my children have grandparents from four different countries and three different continents).
I have found that having a global perspective provides a competitive differentiation in this world. It allows you to see things from different angles and learn that there are many ways to 'skin the cat', or in Chinese, 'the cat which catches the mouse is the good cat no matter if it's black or white.’
At this stage in the ‘game’ of building a startup, the global thing we embarked on four years ago is now bearing 'lots of fruit.’ If you find your business in a similar growth stage--or aspire to get there--then perhaps you’ll find some value in our lessons learned.
Being global provides at least three major advantages for us as a company:
Our revenue is distributed. Instead of relying on a single market, our customers and revenue come from multiple markets, which makes for a smoothing of revenue because it's rare for markets to all turn down simultaneously. In addition, our growth rates vary widely across these markets as different cultures react differently to the concepts of Influencer Marketing (IM): for instance the UK is fully embracing of the concepts, whereas Germany has been much more cautious about it. However the aggregated revenue growth number is much higher than a pure US only growth number would be.
Having a global presence is a key purchasing criteria of Global 5000 firms. When a Global 5000 firm considers building an Influencer Marketing program, most firms eventually reach the conclusion that such a program must be ‘truly global’, but executed locally. 'Truly global' means having a standardized operating model with similar programs for execution activities and metrics for measuring success.
Therefore the toolset they will purchase to support such a program must in turn be truly global. Can you imagine the VP of Marketing Technologies going back to his CMO and saying, "In order to build a global IM program we are going to have to buy a tool for each of the 25 countries we do business in!" It would be the same as if the head of sales said, "We need a CRM to support our global sales force--but there isn’t a global one out there, so we need to buy one for each country.”…An obvious non starter…
Today social media has removed borders and created a frictionless, global communication channel. With over two billion active social accounts worldwide, it’s never been easier for people to connect with each other and consume content on a global scale. And the same goes for product reviews, since people can now react from anywhere in the world. As a company this forces you to think global--whether you like it or not. We’ve learned to remember that people, including influencers, are keen to share opinions about your product regardless of their location. It’s best to seek global perspectives in order to fully control the conversation about your brand.
Traackr is not just a CRM for Marketers. Our platform must understand the social networks of significance in a specific country and understand how to find Influencers in that country, which creates an order of complexity far greater than a typical CRM.
So, when a Global 5000 company considers buying a tool for managing its global Influencer Marketing program, it HAS to make global capabilities a key requirement of its purchasing criteria.
Traackr has continued developing as a global Influencer Marketing platform: this continues to be an area of major investment for us. Nowadays, users from 38 countries--up from 34 this time last year--login to the tool on a regular basis to discover helpful insights. We now monitor influencers in 240 countries (and FYI there are 249 in the ISO standards organization list) - up from 100 last year. We also now officially support 11 languages (up from 9 last year) and index content in 68 languages (up from 24 last year).