Outside the box Marketing — Really using the international reach of the Internet

Outside of the Box Marketing – Really Using the International Reach of the Internet.

Most people assume that using the international reach of the Internet means selling to people in other countries. What few people realize though, is selling internationally is just the start. The International reach of the Internet can be used in much more interesting and potentially profitable ways.

The international marketplace allows small companies to arbitrage their services. Arbitrage is “the purchase of securities on one market for immediate resale on another market in order to profit from a price discrepancy.” Or more simply put, buy low in one market or country, transport to another country or market, and sell high. Time tested rules of business.

How does this work on the Internet? Research your product or service and find out if it is cheaper in another jurisdiction and put together a package to serve a niche market somewhere else and get them to come to you for the service.

For example, a Float plane Pilot’s License obtained in Canada is valid in England and Germany, but costs less than half, even after airfare is factored in. Enterprising flight school’s here in British Columbia offer a package to British and German pilots which includes the float plane training course, accommodation in a local bed and breakfast and a few sightseeing outings. The result? Pilots can fly to British Columbia, have a holiday for 3 weeks, get their float plane pilot’s ticket, fly back, and save $3,000 or more!

Another example is dentures. Canadian Denturists charge $1500 – $3000 for dentures. In the US, dentures can cost anywhere from $5000 – $10,000. Add in a 10% difference in currency, where a CDN$3,000 denture converts to about US$2700, and a huge market opens up for Denturists in Canada to offer US citizens a “Denture Holiday in Canada” Package. The package includes dentures, accommodation in a Bed and Breakfast, whale watching, and other tourist excursions. This little bit of creativity has a huge potential for profit, as well as providing clients with a great service at half the price.

How can this work for you? Here are a few tips to really using the international reach of the Internet.

    1. What does your service cost everywhere else?
    Use the Internet to research the price of your service in other countries. Is it possible for clients to travel to you, obtain your services, and go back and still save money? If so, build a small website and host it in the target country, and target your keywords with the location.

    2. Use currencies.
    Does your country have a currency advantage? The Canadian and US currencies offer Canadian companies an advantage of about 10%.

    3. Talk to your customers and listen to your customers.
    Likely one of your customers has already figured this out and put together their own ‘package.’ If one of your customers is doing something unusual, pay attention. While it is easy to dismiss a customer as ‘just a funny customer,’ whom they might be, but much more likely they have figured out something and are doing what they are doing for a reason. For example, you talk to a customer that has traveled quite far to use your services. Engage them in conversation and find out why they are traveling so far.

Using a little creativity and thinking outside the box can opens up new opportunities and generally, there is very little competition.

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