Driving global sales for manufacturers

Andrew Dorn, Industry Leader, Information Intensive Business, Acxiom Corporation

When Andrew Dorn, Industry Leader, Information Intensive Business, Acxiom Corporation, was recently researching the top manufacturers in the United States, one topic kept coming up — the strong growth expectations focused on the world’s emerging markets. With the economies of the U.S. and Europe in flux, Dorn felt that, now more than ever, manufacturers need to be attentive to those emerging markets.

“The world is now flat,” says Dorn. “Competition comes from everywhere, so manufacturers need to be everywhere.”

Because of that, Acxiom has partnered with Smart Business to present a special one-hour webinar: “Driving Global Sales for Manufacturers: Why global growth for manufacturers is more important than ever.”

During the webinar — on Wednesday, September 19 at 1:00pm EST — we will discuss why global sales for manufacturers is critical, what factors should be considered in developing or refining the  international strategy, and, finally, present a roadmap that can be employed to optimize chances for success.

Featured panelists will be Zia Daniell Wigder, Vice President and Research Director, Forrester Research; Jennifer Barrett Glasgow, Global Privacy and Public Policy Executive, Acxiom; and Michael Biwer, Managing Director, Acxiom.

“As you enter the global market, it is imperative you understand the privacy laws in each country as they are quite complex and some are very stringent, for example, having criminal penalties for some violations,” says Barrett Glasgow.

Other topics to be discussed include:

  • How to determine which countries to enter and what data to gather to understand regional customer requirements
  • Recommended approaches to building country-specific strategies that can help facilitate smooth transitions, lowest possible cost-of-entry, and consistent performance
  • Considerations for navigating the complex web of country-specific data protection and privacy laws companies must adhere to in their efforts to connect with customers and prospects
  • Best practices used by leading companies that have successfully entered new markets

“The U.S. and European economies are still recovering and the balance of growth is constantly shifting,” says Dorn. “For example, China and Brazil have been experiencing strong growth. They are encountering a maturity curve, but that doesn’t lessen the importance of the issue — manufacturers need to be diversified and have a presence in all major world markets.”

The webinar, “Driving Global Sales for Manufacturers: Why global growth for manufacturers is more important than ever” will be held at 1:00 pm EST on Wednesday, September 19.

Click here to register for this free event!

Taking advantage of international opportunities

As you make your business stronger financially, you may start looking at growth opportunities abroad. In doing so, you may also see all the challenges that present themselves — differences in not just culture but business practices and financial regulations, as well — and decide it’s just too much work.

“It’s just those first three to six months that are often challenging, frustrating and frightening, to certain degrees, and sometimes people say it’s just not worth it, but in today’s world, it is worth it,” says Bob Celata, executive vice president of PNC Bank. “The amount of economic growth outside the United States is huge.”

The key is to reach out to resources that can help you successfully prepare for and navigate international territory.

“Clearly, they should, first and foremost, speak with their primary bank and determine whether or not their primary bank has the skill set to assist them on the global side,” Celata says.

Another great resource is the U.S. Department of Commerce, which has programs ranging from basic to highly sophisticated to help organizations with these initiatives. Additionally, Celata says it’s important to talk to your accounting firm, which can help you with a lot of the logistics, and often trade organizations can assist with these endeavors, as well. These different resources combined can help you recognize the challenges and differences you may encounter.

“You have to be aware that there are different cultures,” Celata says. “Many countries take a break in the afternoon for a couple of hours. You have to be aware of the time differences in the world and communication networks.”

You also have to recognize that some payment services may work differently. For example, here, you may be able to do a wire transfer until 6 p.m., but in some countries, if it’s not submitted by mid-afternoon, then that transfer will go the next day.

“As companies look to do business overseas and they start to expand in individual countries, they just have to be prepared to think about it a little bit differently than they would in the United States,” Celata says. … “Once they have two or three cycles of the same transactions, it actually becomes pretty standard and pretty methodical, and it’s just continuing to follow the rules.”

How to reach: PNC Bank, www.pnc.com