Numbers tell a story. Any business making moves, especially for international market expansion, wants to see their numbers in an upward trend of success. However, data is only as helpful as the ability to decode it within the proper context. For example, sales that do not translate into long-term clients hit the initial sales line without the necessary mark of longevity, missing the opportunities for strategy and implementation improvements that sustain market presence.
In Kettering International’s many years of working with Australian tech firms on their international expansion strategies, we have become familiar with the popular framing of success as “data-driven” and exclusively ROI-focused – and with the shortcomings of such an approach. Time and again, Kettering has seen instead that the true marker of success is a mindset that thinks through the long game.
This article is the third in a series exploring Kettering’s sophisticated, research-backed prospectus on the viability of international market expansion for Australian technology companies in 2023. Here we’ll explore the framework that Kettering has found to be most successful for international market expansion: moving from a strictly ROI-focused approach to an evidence-based one.
Realities of Australian Tech Market Expansion
As we mentioned in an earlier article, Australian tech firms are being highlighted to deliver in key niche markets in the U.S. It is an exciting time to be positioned as a key player in a coveted market with so much potential. The unavoidable truth is that gaining a piece of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) pie in the U.S. comes by spending as much time in the market as possible.
It is not enough to drop and deploy a sales lead to close U.S. market deals. Australian-based tech firms that project a hopeful outlook without establishing a long-term and localised strategy routinely see expansion efforts fall flat. Companies need to be “prudent with your resources, while still leveraging the market for your decision making,” recommends John Crozier-Durham, Founder of Kettering International.
Kettering encourages clients to lean towards evidence-based results and away from strictly ROI-based metrics of success. Assessing ongoing localisation and expansion efforts with evidence-based criteria helps companies avoid analysis paralysis — the trap of overthinking every possible communication and networking opportunity until it’s too late and potential chances for growth have passed. Time is money in international market expansion, especially in the United States. The best bet is a combination of sound resource allocation and a depth of care in networking and on-the ground support.
Evidence-Based Strategy and People-Centered Success with Kettering International
While experience and evidence-based results aren’t always strictly quantifiable, they are the best way to give your tech company a key asset that many competitors won’t cultivate: maturity that comes with time. A profitable business knows the value of connection and possibilities.
Here’s a recent, tangible example. Kettering worked with a long-term client who had a strong interest in the energy sector in the U.S. Through our mindfully maintained network of connections (sustained by trust and reputation), we were able to connect the company with key engagements, giving our client access to the Bezos Energy Fund (an Amazon-backed foundation for energy transition) and Bloomberg.
There’s no price tag on a connection with global outreach and endless funds, but there is a very high yield of potential. This alignment evolved through Kettering and the client working together on several prior engagements to arrive at this golden mark. The value of these direct-line-in connections wouldn’t even register on ROI or statistical analysis, but that doesn’t detract from their impact. This is what we mean when we caution tech firms about relying solely on quantifiable data as the litmus test of success, and why we encourage them to lean into evidence-based and people-centered practices.
The Kettering Difference
With this perspective shift, Kettering’s market knowledge background and contact network are powerful. Companies that acclimate to the idea of this evidence-based performance framework allow the snowball effect of success to begin. For example, we helped one Australian-based client land their target of three lighthouse clients in the U.S. We worked with another company in enterprise tech — with a great product, and defined qualifiers — to help them land high quality opportunities based on these actionable, yet intangible metrics. Neither of these successes would register on the ROI radar, yet both of these Kettering clients are tractioning success. They shifted from the allure of data as the end all be all, to the quality of evidence-based strategies that develop people-centered success, which actualises a lucrative market outreach.
Embracing an evidence-based approach means there is no cookie-cutter way. As John Crozier-Durham explains, “Success depends on how it is defined and co-designed by us and the client. It depends on their target markets, customer segments, buyer personas, and how mature they are as a business as well as the competitive landscape they are in.” Kettering takes the long-game view with our clients, and then walks the road of market success with you through expansion to refinement of implementation.
Ready to look at your business through the eyes of long-term success and the value of connecting with a network to help you thrive? Contact Kettering International
for more information. The next article’s focus helps Australian-based tech companies hone key decision points vital to a successful U.S. market expansion.