Find Your Lighthouse Clients
You’ve decided to take the leap and bring your tech firm to the U.S. market, which means you are at the start of a journey full of potential and promise. How you begin, however, can determine the ease and success of your expansion. If you don’t have a trail guide, an unknown path is daunting, but a seasoned partner sets you up for new sights. Entering the U.S. market as an enterprise tech company requires nuanced guidance and multi-faceted representation; Kettering is the expert in international market entry. In this article, we map out the first four strategic steps you need to take — with a particular emphasis on lighthouse clients — partnered with our proven processes for your thriving expansion.
So what is a lighthouse client, and why are they advantageous to your business? Lighthouse clients are the early adopters who see the value you are offering before you have made a name for yourself. If you are thinking of an international expansion, something is going right in your current business, giving you the wind to expand. Naturally, you’ll start to speculate on the who’s and how’s of that expansion playing out, but identifying and communicating with lighthouse clients can turn guesses into informed strategies. How? There are a few key ways.
First, lighthouse clients will illuminate potential flaws, which is great news. With immediate feedback, you can pivot and reroute to success before rolling out on a larger scale. Kettering often invites these C-level conversations during survey work for new client discovery.
Early-adopting clients also provide a financial infusion while mapping out your full market expansion. Successfully served, these clients can work to illuminate your next tier of clients in your U.S. market entry plan, through their referral and satisfaction. This expedites your established presence in the marketplace, especially when coupled with Kettering’s outsourced COO program, ensuring you have a solid, purposeful, and authentic “home base” from which to manage your U.S. operations.
Lastly, reaching the threshold of three lighthouse clients is a good indication that you are in alignment with the market success you seek. Kettering will help you find your serviceable customer base. With our market entry strategy and advisory counsel, we will identify and discover that potential base for you to create an engagement plan. Together we run market entry testing with our vetted processes to illuminate and course-correct a market strategy for your success as needed.
Develop an Engagement Plan for U.S. Customer Base
After identifying your lighthouse clients, it’s time for strategic engagement planning. Your newly established U.S. business presence needs a seat at the table, and it needs to fit into the cultural landscape. There are a few points to consider.
For starters, even as more and more businesses are working through online meetings and cloud storage, the buy-in and trust that fuels the ease of business relations come from time spent building in-person rapport. That is where Kettering can help you easily and quickly differentiate your engagement with a U.S. client base. We engage with clients locally on your behalf, establishing your credibility and capability as a key partner.
Strategic, reciprocal partnerships are crucial to the success of international market entry. Kettering works with our clients in several chosen capacities to expedite success:
- Consulting and Advisory
- Embedded Operations
- Delegated Program Curation
Having a partner with robust capabilities helps you move securely through the initial and advanced stages of market entry. We help you deploy necessary assets in the market while allowing you to reserve assets in your home market. This establishes a measured and sustainable expansion plan versus a too-fast-too-soon roll-out which can collapse even the most thoughtful positioning.
Determine Asset Management
Working with Kettering International will include stakeholder mapping and engagement. Kettering sits at the intersection of a broad range of key stakeholders — commercial, government, community, or industrial — expediting the opportunities for “beneficial collisions”— extra market reach from a tiered approach. This happens organically when you are situated as a presence inside your desired market rather than reaching over from afar.
Kettering’s personalized engagement helps build trust, presence, and establishment for those key lighthouse clients. Little details, such as ease of client scheduling versus awkward time-zone juggling, build confidence that you are an invested and active participant in their market. From here, Kettering can help you determine what assets need to be brought from your home market and what can be managed through Kettering’s dedicated professionals and established offices that grant you the benefit of presence without the cost of deployment. The weighing of strategic resource allotment is crucial in balancing investment and ROI for your U.S. market entry. These moving pieces are easier to set up with the partnership of a vetted guide, which you have in Kettering International.
Localize Your Product or Service
Aside from a localized website and phone number, hopefully, you are now seeing a need for a comprehensive roll-out plan. Were you planning on a marketing campaign from afar, and have you considered product localization? This includes the warm language, brand landscaping, and positioning to make it an easy and identifiable “Yes” for the U.S. company while also leveraging the unique and authentic voice that is your business. It’s a both-and, not an either-or. Cultural adaptation and linguistic localization tenets are important even in your online and in-person presence. Through Kettering’s process for authentic market entry, we consistently see how lucrative a high-touch, in-person component is for successful entry. It makes your presence immediately felt in the demographics of your target market.
Call Kettering International
Click here to schedule a discovery call and learn how Kettering’s expertise can help ease and optimize your company’s entry into the U.S.market. If you are looking to scale your enterprise technology business, we’ll be sharing more insight into these aspects of growth in our upcoming article.