Fore! Golfing Your Way to Global Success

Category: International Business

Golf is deceptively simple: hit a small ball with a big stick very far into a small hole.

But when you study the multitude of variables, from the grain of the green and the direction of the wind to the size of the club, you understand why even the most collected business professional can lose his or her cool on the course.

In fact, getting to the green can often seem as complex as developing an international marketing strategy.

Yet some of our best and brightest ideas occur to us on the golf course, and the sport continues to serve as a fertile outlet for business networking, mingling and ideating. Here are three international business tips we came up with during our last round, somewhere between hole 1 and 18 (and quite possibly in the sand trap).

Back up your drive with attention to detail

Seasoned golfers know the benefits of perfecting both their long and short game, working on the strength and power of the drive but also the precision of the putt. In the race to global markets, it’s easy to focus on the fairway and neglect the putt — the short-game details that generate long-term benefits in international markets. Attention to these details is essential for successful international branding. A few examples of these quality-oriented steps include: the development of a style guide and glossary, marketing transcreation and a multilingual website.

Use existing conditions to your advantage

Physics are crucial in golf — everything from the speed of the wind to the slope of the fairway affects a shot. Expert golfers work course conditions to their advantage, harnessing the wind to carry their shots farther and using the grain of the green to position their ball for the final putt. Similarly, your growing business can leverage local market conditions to gain extra lift and momentum in new markets. Keeping up with pop culture, trends, evolving user preferences and local social media channels will provide avenues for strengthening your foothold.    

Pick the right partners

Given that a round of 18 can take the better part of a day, it’s a good idea to tee off with players (and personalities) that you enjoy. Similarly, as you select a translation partner to support your international expansion, choose wisely. You’ll want an agency that understands your brand values and company culture and can customize their translation services to your particuar business ambitions. Can they keep pace with your development cycle? Do their priorities align with yours? The right translation agency will make your journey to the international green a smooth one.

Would you like more tips from the golf course? Read our recent in-depth article on lessons from golf for global expansion.