Intuit’s Global B2B Market Strategy Brings QuickBooks to the World
Intuit, along with its QuickBooks brand, is known for turning customer insights and technology advances into smart market strategy. Using the power of cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS), Intuit has been able to rapidly expand into global markets. In the last 18 months, Intuit has introduced QuickBooks Online to Australia, India and the U.K.
This international growth is important for a firm that already enjoys 80% market share with small businesses in the US. The recent release of QuickBooks Online has fueled global growth for Intuit. Jim McGinnis, Vice President of the Accountants and Advisors Group at Intuit, explains why QuickBooks Desktop was not the ideal product to introduce globally:
“With desktop offerings, we were never able to effectively compete globally. Shipping software internationally involves compliance with individual governing bodies. Providing software updates would also be more challenging, and the result would be a complicated code base with many branches.”
QuickBooks saw the market potential in developing a cloud-based offering that addressed the above challenges. McGinnis continues:
“For Intuit and QuickBooks, our largest growth opportunity is on the global side. QuickBooks Online allows us to take advantage of this opportunity and create a great customer experience for everyone. The SaaS offering means we use the same code for every country. We can release new features and capabilities every single month to every single customer.”
Like all brands extending internationally, Intuit has needed to immerse itself in local cultures. For instance, offering mobile invoicing and expense tracking has been critical to Intuit’s success in India. Traffic congestion often makes it impossible for a small business customer to travel back to the office and use a desktop computer. If the customer is online with their mobile device, they can do this important business on the road and save a significant amount of time.
However, one aspect of small business remains the same, regardless of culture: the trust placed in accountants for professional services and expertise. Intuit has taken its successful ProAdvisor program world-wide, and is certifying thousands of new, global ProAdvisors each month.
In the US, this program has been developing productive referral relationships with accountants for over 18 years. The program trains and certifies professionals in using and managing QuickBooks, along with providing Intuit products at significant discounts for resale.
As professionals already engaged in relationships with small businesses, ProAdvisors are invaluable for helping spread the word about QuickBooks in new markets. McGinnis adds:
“ProAdvisors are like an army of evangelists helping to move their clients to QuickBooks Online, and to bring in new clients from ‘the wild.’ Globally, we have over 100,000 ProAdvisors, and the numbers are growing.”
McGinnis gives some insight into Intuit’s success by reporting that QuickBooks Online’s growth rates are rapidly increasing. Enjoying the success of global expansion, Intuit has plans to extend to markets in France and Brazil this year. This story is a case study in leveraging technology advances while also intelligently adapting proven strategies for new markets.