I've spent the past week delivering four keynote speeches in four countries to hundreds of people each. My friends at Best Marketing invited me to their Password 2009 events, and I felt like a rock star as the road show included:
Monday in Zagreb, Croatia
Tuesday in Riga, Latvia
Wednesday in Vilnius, Lithuania
Thursday in Tartu, Estonia
These countries are amazingly plugged in to the Web. For example, Estonia, with a population of just 1.3 million has 806,000 Internet users. My high-speed connections in this part of the world were much faster than in most parts of the USA.
The incredibly successful marketers I met in each of these small countries impressed me greatly with their outward thinking. When you live in a country such as Latvia, your home market is tiny, requiring you to market your products and services internationally. It also requires that you think deeply about your buyers in the global marketplace.
Consider LessLoss Audio Devices, a company based in Kaunas, Lithuania. LessLoss creates amazing (and fabulously expensive) high-end audiophile products and has become famous for their power cords, filters, cables and other equipment among the most rabid audiophiles worldwide.
LessLoss sells all over the world, and their site is absolutely global. The e-commerce and SEO platform is managed using Globaltus, also a Lithuanian company.
"It is amazing how people from such a small country can reach customers worldwide and prove itself to be well-respected," says Tomas Paplauskas, CEO of Globaltus. "The power of the Internet gives the opportunity to reach huge markets. Just imagine how many of these amazing power cords you could sell in Lithuania. There are no more local business, all businesses are global."
This got me to thinking...
My sense is that the bigger a country is, the less likely that the companies in that country will market outside of their borders.
Do you agree?
Additionally, in my experience, the larger a company is, the more likely that marketers spend their valuable time managing up to the bosses and presenting PowerPoints to internal audiences.
When I worked as a VP-leval marketing positions for several very large companies, I spent a lot of time focused inward. But in the small organizations I worked for, I was focused on the marketplace.
Do you agree?
I think there is an important lesson here. We can all learn from the successful companies in these small countries. And we can all copy their success.
1. Do you market to your ego? Or to the external marketplace?
2. Focus on your buyers, not your bosses.
3. The marketplace is the outside world, not your comfortable office
What do you think?