Many businesses that are expanding into new—and unfamiliar—global markets use local distributors to get their products into the hands of customers. If you’re expanding into new markets, there are lots of advantages to working with local distributors, including:
Speed to market: Instead of expending time and effort to create a direct sales infrastructure from scratch in the new geography, companies can take immediate advantage of distributors’ established retail or wholesale networks.
Local expertise: The company can delegate responsibility for dealing with international trade laws, shipping through customs and handling specific national or regional requirements to knowledgeable distributors.
Business focus: Using distributors frees the company to focus on business strategy for the new market instead of being distracted by tasks outside its core mission.
Make the Most of the Channel
Once you’ve decided to use a channel approach in the new markets, you must attract and sign up the best distributors for your needs.
But let’s face it, the largest and/or most successful distributors that specialize in your industry sector may already have all the partners they need—including your competitors. After all:
- Why should they be interested in adding your products and services to their portfolio?
- What can you offer the distributor that helps your company stand out from rivals—and adds value to the relationship?
A translated corporate website is a powerful tool for engaging, supporting and enabling local distributors. It can even give you important leverage in partnership negotiations by increasing the value you bring to the channel.
Benefits Throughout the Relationship
Why invest in creating and maintaining localized websites for your global markets? The benefits play in your favor, even before you reach out to distributors and extend your partnership:
A translated website doesn’t just make it easy for distributors to find your organization online and learn about your products, technologies and services. It also helps you stand out from competitors that may only offer a site in their flagship-market language, like English.
When deciding whether to partner with you, a savvy distributor will recognize the immediate and long-term value of having a localized site to familiarize customers with your brand and offerings as well as create demand (aka pull) and facilitate marketing and selling (aka push).
A translated site also signifies your commitment to the market, giving distributors greater confidence in a long-term relationship.
A comprehensive localized website contains a wealth of information—from corporate messaging to product/service descriptions and technical specifications—which can serve several educational functions.
First, this content helps prospective distributors assess your potential as a business partner and compare you to competitors.
And once a relationship has been established, it’s a handy, centralized resource for educating and training the distributor’s staff so they can quickly begin selling your products to retailers and wholesalers.
Another important outcome of operating a localized website is a dramatically improved consistency in communication. When your distributors can easily reuse translated content from your site to use in communications with customers, it lowers the risk of inaccuracies.
In contrast, if the distributor must translate your content before using it, there’s a real danger that they’ll alter your messaging, branding and technical information in the process.
Even subtle deviations from your corporate standards can create confusion in the new market and affect your image at a critical time.
While experienced distributors understand how to promote your products to customers, any help you can provide encourages additional outreach that can jump-start sales in new markets.
Ready access to translated content saves the distributor time and effort when creating promotional campaigns and other outbound communications.
Like any business, a distributor looks for ways to cut operational costs and increase margins on products sold. Assets from a robust localized website (including instructional videos, FAQs, data sheets and best practices) can help to streamline functions such as training and marketing. This makes the distributor more efficient.
For instance, leading web localization solutions like MotionPoint’s enable access to translated website content so it can be easily reused in other media, including social media or print collateral. Our API enables your approved distributors to import content from the translation database directly into their CMS or PIM system for repurposing.
Any company planning to leverage the channel model in a new global market should prioritize the launch of a comprehensive localized website.
This strategy can pay major dividends by driving distributor interest, loyalty, proactivity and efficiency—and empower distributors to help you accelerate growth in the new market.