Navigating global efforts involves overcoming challenges you may not face in domestic markets. These five timeless steps will help you map your journey to international success.
1. Identify Objectives
Goal-setting is a critical part of developing a successful road map. A study by Elsevier, an information analytics business, found that “goal-setting improves worker performance by 12 to 15% compared to the situation where no goals were defined.” This is the destination in your road map that defines where you are looking to go.
Make each objective specific and measurable. For example, rather than say “We want to increase sales” try “We want to increase sales in Latin America by 20% by the end of the year.” Give yourself a reasonable time frame. While you should leave some flexibility to account for any challenges or unforeseen delays, having an end date to shoot for will help in distributing assignments and working toward your goal incrementally.
Now that you know the end goal, map out how you will get there. Chron.com outlines several reasons it’s so important to establish and assign responsibilities for group efforts, among them efficiency, productivity and team morale.
Create a series of tasks that will guide you and your team step by step. What are the smaller goals within the larger? For example, if the content team is responsible for drafting materials, when should they have the first drafts ready for review? Who will proof these items, and by when? If the content team then passes along materials to marketing, the marketing team will need their own list of tasks to develop a content distribution strategy for the materials.
When catering to a global audience or looking to break into a new international market, there are some additional considerations you should take. Think of the message you wish to convey, then account for whatever cultural and linguistic differences could impact the delivery of that message. If your material requires translation, line up a translator from the beginning and outline who will be responsible for coordinating these efforts. Consider any complications that may arise from the use of slang or colloquialisms, as well as the use of branded phrases, and how you will communicate with your translator for purposes of fact checking, tone and style.
Now that each person knows what to do, it’s time to get to it. Whether or not you are a software company, there is an element of the Scrum methodology called “sprints” that can prove especially useful in this stage. The International Scrum Institute defines sprints as periods of time ranging from two to four weeks. The team has a specific objective to achieve in that time frame. This objective is one of the smaller goals outlined in our first step, a milestone that takes us closer to the end-goal destination.
Taking another page out of the Scrum handbook, “retrospectives,” or reviews of how your plan is unfolding so far, allow you to identify issues that arose and adjust accordingly. This can keep you from perpetuating mistakes and improve your approach for a smoother overall process.
Building on the previous step, don’t just identify issues. Use lessons learned to better your process and performance. Remember, maps offer multiple ways to reach your destination. Don’t be afraid to try an alternative route if you encounter a roadblock. In an increasingly global world, many companies face the challenge of establishing comprehensive, standard practices across the team. You can correct differences in approach, communicate universal guidelines and track team education remotely using an e-learning platform.
Document all your successes and your failures, as both provide valuable opportunities to improve. By documenting information in a single go-to source, such as a cloud-backed knowledge base, you can improve organization and allow teammates to learn from one another.
Where is your marketing content heading? You may need a passport, but your content doesn’t. Learn how Mimeo PrintX routes your content files to be produced and distributed in-region.
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