26 Tips for International Expansion
CFO magazine is the leading publication for chief financial officers in the world. Launched in 1985, the magazine was acquired by The Economist Group in 1988 and today comprises The Economist Group's second-largest property. Ten years after its acquisition, CFO became a global player, when its first international edition—CFO Europe—launched in London. CFO Asia and CFO China followed shortly after. The man largely responsible for CFO’s expansion—Martin Giles, managing director, North America, The Economist Group—talked about what he called his company’s “10-year decision to strike out abroad,” the economic and cultural obstacles of expanding into a new country, and CFO’s potential in future markets. He offers “26 A-to-Z Lessons for International Expansion.”
A is for advertisers.
You need to have lead advertisers who can help you into a market and will bring other advertisers for you. Make sure you woo them [and that] you get them on board. Even if you can’t get them to sign on the bottom line, get them to write [testimonial-type] letters saying they think your publication is brilliant [for you to show potential advertisers].
B is for “BRIC.”
Brazil, Russia, India, China. … You should have ‘BRIC’ on your agenda if you are thinking of expanding internationally.
C is for circulation.
It is tough to grow circulation yourself. Lists are often [poor]. Sample very carefully before you go in [to a foreign market].
D is for distribution.
We were very lucky in China to find the Ministry of Commerce to distribute for us. If we hadn’t found them, we probably would have had to go with a domestic partner [limiting potential revenue].
E is for extending the brand.
If you’re launching or expanding yourself, it’s easier to build some ancillary activities around [the expansion] than if you’re licensing your title to a third party.