How to create a global strategy in products with a high need for localization

This article is based on Episode #4 of 100 Product Strategies (Spotify, Apple Podcast).

As companies operate in more markets, there is a constant need for product leaders to create a global strategy that aligns the goals and opportunities that the (usually global) team will focus on.

But all markets are different, having differences in user needs, competitors, and regulations. Jesus Cagide is an experienced product leader working on Intuit and previously many years at Paypal. Even if you don’t have the massive scope that those companies have, you will certainly benefit from the wisdom shared in this interview.

You can listen to the episode, or jump to my takeaways!

My takeaways

1. When thinking of expanding our mission to a new region, think about 3 things

  • Bargain power of customers: cost of alternatives
  • Tech access of customers: what are the distribution channels
  • Regulations that could significantly impact how the users can use our product

2. When developing the local impact of your global strategy, you need to understand the strategic intent in each geography:

  • Are we trying to develop the market with existing products?
  • Are we trying to penetrate the market with new products and services?
  • Are we trying to expand or defend our market?

3. Thinking about JBTD forces diagram, we can think of pushing, pulling, anxiety and inertia. It’s important to consider how this varies from market to market! Each geography would have its own set of existing tools, needs, and anxieties that can play an important role in our local implementation of the global strategy.

4. Important insight when considering the lifecycle of your product: it can vary in each region. Even with the same global strategy, local execution can vary drastically depending on your stage: increasing activation, engagement, or consolidation.

5. Evaluating your strengths also can vary in different geographies: the power of your brand, core capabilities, and distribution channel strength.

6. At the end of the day, you would have a global product team, with one backlog combining the needs of different regions. As a product manager of that team, you need to be well connected to the people in each country which can give you very detailed (and local) perspectives of your users in that geography.

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This content is related to my book Product Direction. In it, I describe in length, with tools and examples, all the steps to create a successful product strategy and how to connect it with OKRs.



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Nacho Bassino

Nacho Bassino

Working on online products, currently as Director of Product at XING. Passionate about technology and amazing web/mobile products.