#19: Why Your Relationships Matter When Entering a New Market with Andrew Turley

If you’ve ever wondered how to expand your market globally, Andrew Turley is your man. Over the course of his career, he’s worked with large-scale companies, startups, and just about everything in between helping them move from local to international markets.

His job at Microsoft gave him exposure to marketing on the global scale. Plus, he’s worked with just about every permutation of marketing you could imagine.

Going from Microsoft to his current job at Rhapsody was quite the contrast. As a startup, Rhapsody primarily rests on three main employees (of whom Andrew is one).

One of the invigorating aspects of his current job is the intense innovation and creativity inherent in startups. Marketing in these situations is more about a “can do” spirit than it is about complete and total knowledge.

And that’s what Andrew loves about his job. There’s an atmosphere of vitality and life in the marketing strategies he gets to be a part of.

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What is Rhapsody Health?

Rhapsody Health is an interoperability platform. As an independent company, they focus on integration between systems thereby promoting better outcomes. In particular, Rhapsody provides better outcomes and tech capabilities on the physician level.

They have a wide swath of big and small partners, but all their clients have benefitted from the integration that Rhapsody provides. For each of their clients, Rhapsody builds stronger, more effective systems for interoperability opportunities.

Andrew says that B2B opportunities are important because these partnerships are a vital part of the future in health IT. Startups especially need to consider those partnerships as a means expansion and growth.

How to market globally

When it comes to global marketing, partnership is a keyword for progress. It’s important to identify stakeholders in your field as well as influential media companies in the country you’re looking to expand in. They can help you get a feel for your market and what problems they face.

To really excel at marketing on a global scale, you need to learn to listen. Part of this means that you develop the ability to filter advice you receive. If you want to improve, you need to be able to hear 100 pieces of advice and pick out the single piece of advice that actually works.

While partnerships outside your company are vital for global growth, connections WITHIN your company are just as important. If in marketing you lose connection between other departments (such as sales), you start to fumble and guess about how to communicate your message.

Both internally and externally you need to be developing partnerships that feed your marketing strategies. As you do so, your messaging will be better able to reach global proportions.

Why should someone consider international marketing?

According to Andrew, everyone should aspire to international marketing. The question is more about timing and approach than anything else. You can definitely jump the gun and expand too quickly to other countries. On the other hand, you don’t need to have total market control in order to reach beyond your borders.

The key, Andrew says, is to really know your customers and let your customers know you. Treat your local customers like kings and queens. Then as clients verbalize their success stories (made possible with your help), you have a powerful marketing tool for international expansion.

How do you help stories resonate in a new market?

This is where your connections come in. As your partnerships expand to other countries, you gain valuable insight about how to communicate your customer success stories to the new marketing culture.

It’s impossible to put a value on the input you receive from your network. These local stakeholders can steer your company’s story from the very beginning and will help your messaging resonate with potential clients.

As you spread your story internationally, you’ll find that your it will gain more and more appeal. By being active in several countries, your solution shows more potential than just a single customer story. It shows that your solution can work in a wide array of cultural and economic scenarios.

Ingredients to effectively connect on the global scene

Let’s break this whole thing down into some simple steps for influencing markets in multiple countries.

Step 1: Build stories in your local market

Step 2: Build partnerships in the next market you want to break into

Step 3: Bend over backwards to land a new customer (no matter how small) in the next market

This last step is so important for long term success in the international scene. Really focus on success with this one customer. As you build their story, you’ll start to connect with the new market.

Operating this way is hard, however, because there’s significant cost in jumping into a new market. With all the extra costs, it may seem like you should try to get lots of customers at once. However, this one customer could be all you need to crack open a new market. So focus on their needs, and serve them well.

Andrew also noted that it’s vital that you establish customer advocacy early in the sales process. It needs to be part of the contract right up front. Long term progress for your company may depend on this very small (but very important detail). You can’t afford to lose advocacy with your first client in a new market.

What do most people get wrong with new markets?

A classic mistake is to simply drop the same marketing strategy you used in another market. If you haven’t checked in with local insight, you’re just shooting in the dark hoping to hit something. Needless to say, this isn’t the best use of your resources.

Sure, if you have limitless funds, you can use brute force to work yourself into the market, but most startups don’t fit this criteria. Startup marketing is more about finesse and strategy.

Figuring out your messaging doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. Often it’s as simple as a phone call to your local connections in the new market. Because locals understand the pain points in the market, you’ll quickly learn how to frame your message so the new market will hear you.

Top recommendation for cracking open a new market

Practically, you should be making connections with influential players in your market. Look for peers or networking opportunities. There are a million marketing events you can attend to meet new people.

You can also identify the people who are 6-12 months ahead of you in the market. Connect with them and learn how they got a foot in the new market.

If I were to summarize all that Andrew has been saying, global marketing is ALL about relationships - your relationship with customers, partnerships, and new clients in new markets. Value these relationships and you’ll quickly learn how to expand.

Must-read book

Andrew is a bit of a self-proclaimed space nerd so his book of choice is the Graphics Standards Manual issued by NASA. From a branding perspective, it’s one of the most complete branding stories in print chronicling how NASA rebranded themselves in 1975.


His other book recommendation is Excession. As science fiction, it tracks the development of technology and intelligence beyond imaginable scale.

Want to connect with Andrew? Find him here:

LinkedIn - Andrew Turley

www.rhapsody.health

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