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The right ingredients for a slice of global success-infused cake

Faith, trust and pixie dust aren’t the preserve of Disney movies. They’re actually the ingredients to working better on a global scale – and used effectively, the three could grow your company to soaring heights.
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This year’s SuiteWorld event was aptly named ready, set, grow. With so many intriguing concepts touched upon in the keynote speech, however, we sought opinion from NetSuite’s SVP of strategy and marketing, Jason Maynard.

Finding the topic for the event itself was a reasonably easy feat. Through means of feedback, NetSuite sought consultation on what subject matters would garner the most interest. The majority leaned towards discussing ways to foster and maintain growth, a concept Maynard deemed intriguing given that it was one of the most important threads that tied NetSuite customers together.

“Everyone is on a quest for growth,” he explained. “One of the biggest trends we’ve seen in that regard is that companies are going global roughly three to four years faster than around a decade ago. But it doesn’t necessarily mean more businesses are selling overseas. It could be that chosen suppliers are abroad, or that the company makes use of a mobile workforce. These trends persist no matter the corporate size.”

Global growth doesn’t come without its considerations though, Maynard said. If you’re obtaining more customers, establishing offices world-wide, as well as acquiring additional skill sets from new staff, then you’ve hopefully thought of setting out some core values.

As Maynard said: “Traditions and beliefs make your company unique.” When you’re small, it’s easier to communicate and practice these. As you grow and branch out across the globe, your culture becomes harder to maintain.

“What we’ve learned from some of our customers is that you need to know what you did well in your own market,” Maynard said. “That doesn’t mean ignoring local customs, but it helps to bring across certain employees to infuse that DNA into the new market. Employ those who believe your business is magic and who can infectiously spread the culture pixie dust to others.”

Additional areas of great importance include marketing and partnerships – two tools Maynard wields to great effect. When it comes to the latter, certain requirements need to be met. The customer needs to trust in your ability to deliver on expected standards after all, whether that comes from your own company or those affiliated with it. And arguably the more global you become, the more feelers you put out there for partners “on the ground”.

NetSuite itself has a similar vetting process to that of the Apple app store. Not everyone gets to join the club, and a certain number of partners are assigned to each category NetSuite can’t cater to. That being said, any partner’s platform or service needs to be integratable with the NetSuite offering, not to mention gel well with existing customer needs.

On the marketing side, it was intriguing to get Maynard’s view on offering an agile product that worked for businesses on both ends of the size spectrum.

“We acquire customers at various stages of growth,” Maynard explained. “Because of that we have to employ different messages. We often do this by letting the customers do the talking. They become relevant proof that the products works.

“In general, the best way to find the perfect marketing strategy is to understand the category of the market you’re in. Are you the leader in your space? Did you invent the category? Are you fighting against an incumbent with something ‘better, cheaper, faster’? The answers to these questions already shape the way you might hope to appear to customers.”

At the end of the day, some research and thorough soul-searching will help you spread your magic beyond domestic borders.

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About Author

Shané Schutte

Shané Schutte is the deputy editor of Real Business, with a particular specialism in employment and business law, human resources, information technology and sales/marketing.

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