Launching your software in a new country can be daunting. You know the start of 2001: A Space Odyssey, where benevolent aliens give the man-apes a big black rectangle containing the sum total of extra-terrestrial wisdom, and the man-apes spend about five full minutes just being confused and angry and poking it randomly? If you’ve not prepared your launch effectively, you could end up with your tech being treated in pretty much the same way.
If you want your target audience to accept your new product, you’ll need a great technology PR agency to put some work into how you present it to them: you can’t just land in a new market and hope for the best.
Start with the business case
Expand from a solid business case. For example, in a country where the comms room still reigns supreme, many software-as-a-service solutions offer a real chance to reduce capex and opex at the same time: no servers, no paying a guy to maintain the servers, no hanging around waiting for an update to conclude during business hours. In foreign markets without a surfeit of providers offering this sort of thing, your company could well be a gift from the heavens.
Bullhorn, for example, was able to launch successfully in Australia by identifying a high level of trust for cloud-based solutions such as its own when compared to other countries. The open-mindedness of our Antipodean counterparts ensured a smooth adoption process within the recruitment industry.
You’ll also need to make sure the logistics check out. If your target nation doesn’t have the right infrastructure, your big launch will become exponentially harder. A SaaS company requires reliable internet, so launching tech in a country that has slower internet speeds, an erratic power grid, or both – will require thinking about things such as backup generators and file size restrictions to ensure you can maintain a perfect level of service despite these limitations.
Finally, you’ll have to devise a comprehensive comms strategy. You could just roll up and immediately expect a warm reception, but it’s unlikely to happen. Instead, get your PR agency to conduct a thorough comms audit to figure out the flaws in your current plan, identify key media and influencers – and discern means of getting favourable exposure among your target audience.
Launching your software in a foreign market is never a simple process – but get the above right and it’ll certainly make life easier. If you want to get off to a great start, however, you’ll need to talk to the experts.