Google’s David Sneddon on how to grow your business internationally

May 2018

David Sneddon, Managing Director - Central Europe & Head of International Growth at Google, shares his perspective on the tools and tactics that businesses can use right now to boost their international presence.

Every year, digital connectivity seems to make the world a little smaller, so it’s no surprise that many retailers aspire to having an international presence. But if you’re just beginning your journey towards becoming a global brand, where do you start and what do you need to know? As Director of Export at Google, David Sneddon has helped businesses of all kinds take their first steps into international markets, and in this interview he offers his top tips to companies looking to offer their products and services to a wider audience.  

Why does Google invest in helping businesses grow internationally?

We want to help every business succeed to their highest potential, and that often includes the need to expand across borders. This can be a tricky area to navigate, but it’s a space that we have a lot of experience with and we’re keen to pass on our tools, lessons learned, and preferred partner connections. Besides contributing to boosting global e-commerce and the satisfaction we get in helping customers, we also have a commercial interest: if a business thrives in new markets, we often thrive as well. It’s a win-win for both the business, and for Google.

What advice does Google give to advertisers who are interested in new markets?

My top advice is to do your homework. It’s not a decision to be made hastily; it requires thought and careful planning to get it right. The first thing to do is to select the best market(s) for your business to enter. We recently launched a new tool to help you do that: Market Finder. Market Finder analyses your business website and recommends markets based on dozens of metrics (including both Google data such as query demand, growth, market competition, as well as macroeconomic information).

Market Finder also helps businesses tackle operational challenges, such as website localisation, how to manage cross border payments, how to ship goods internationally, how to support customers in new markets and how to identify any partners and service providers you might need.

Finally, Market Finder houses educational material on how businesses can use Google advertising products to promote themselves in new markets. It’s all there!

  • Find the right market(s)
  • Set up your operations
  • Market your business 

Research and planning are crucial to international expansion, and Market Finder is there to help.

Does Google have any other useful tools or guides for growing businesses?

Besides Market Finder (which is our one stop shop for businesses looking to go global), check out our Official Guide to Expanding Internationally with AdWords. This four-step guide outlines best practices and free resources that can help advertisers find more customers in new countries. Another resource is Consumer Barometer, which helps advertisers learn about consumer preferences and trends. Finally, tap into the Go Global Community for the latest research on emerging market trends, conversations with international market specialists and updates on new ads innovations.

How much does it cost? Market Finder is a free tool! For customers who go on to use our suggested partners for website translation, logistics, payment processing etc. - there is naturally a cost for the services provided by these companies.

Can I get my agency to look into this for me?

Sure! We recommend it. We’re happy to work with agencies or your business directly.

Any final advice?

Think big, think global!

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