With so many global markets out there, it can be tempting to go into international marketing without knowing what you’re doing or which strategies are most effective. But you’re not alone!
This guide will teach you everything you need to know about international marketing and how to get ahead in the world of business.
You’ll learn about how to advertise your product in foreign countries, when to use each type of media and where, as well as how to market your company both domestically and internationally.
What do you mean by international marketing?
As a term, international marketing is used in 3 main contexts.
It can refer to: ‘foreign’ multinational companies that have entered an international market; marketers of products, services or ideas from one country who are targeting another country; or businesses which are domestic in location but target foreign markets for sales of their goods or services.
The term ‘international marketing’ is often used interchangeably with cross-border marketing and global marketing. It is relevant because with globalization came regionalization.
What are the three international marketing concepts?
International marketing concepts may seem rather straightforward but there are 3 main concepts every business needs to take note of.
They are position, segmentation, and targeting.
I will explain each in a bit more detail below so please read through carefully. However first you need to know what international marketing is all about.
International marketing is where a company carries out its business by expanding into different regions or countries around the world.
Position is one of the more simple aspects of international marketing. It refers to where you place your product in terms of price, quality, design, etc. If a company decides their product will be positioned at an economy level that would mean it is priced low, but has lower quality than products positioned as premium.
Segmentation. This concept is one of my favorite in international marketing. It is basically how you divide up your customers. If you are selling a product or service, it will require a different strategy than if you were selling another product or service in terms of how to reach out to people that would want what you have got.
Targeting. This aspect of international marketing focuses on how you specifically reach out to people. For example if a company wanted to target people in China, they would use different strategies than if they were targeting Americans.
The same applies when it comes to age, gender, race, etc. It is all about who your audience or customer base will be and then you tailor your approach based off that information.
Read also: 7 Secret Marketing Tips for Success
What is international marketing examples?
International marketing is a great way for small businesses to get their products into foreign markets.
Once your product or service has become popular in your home country, it can be relatively easy to market abroad.
Of course, you need an international marketing strategy that works in a particular country before you get started.
That’s where many business owners fail. Read on to learn more about how you can become an international success!
What are the 7 elements of international marketing?
International marketing is a complex practice, but it’s important that you understand its basics.
Here are seven key principles to keep in mind as you expand your market—ideally, globally—beyond your home turf.
Culture Is Everything :
Culture plays a big role in how consumers view products and services, so understanding cultural differences is an essential part of international marketing.
Know Your Audience :
The one size fits all approach doesn’t work when dealing with international markets; instead, tailor your message to fit each country or region where you hope to do business.
Watch Out for Language Barriers :
Even if you translate your materials into another language, not everyone will read them. In some countries, such as Japan and China, most people read from right to left.
Don’t Forget about Local Laws and Regulations :
Each country has different laws governing business practices; learn what they are before launching a new product or service there.
Make Sure You Have Key Resources Available :
As you plan your entry into foreign markets, make sure you have resources available to help make things run smoothly.
Be Ready to Make Changes Quickly :
If something isn’t working as planned, don’t stick with it just because you already spent money on it; be willing to change course quickly if necessary.
Think Globally, Act Locally :
It’s easy to get caught up in thinking about global strategies and forget that local factors can have a huge impact on your bottom line. Always think locally first.
When does international marketing make sense?
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a large corporation, knowing how to market your business internationally is essential.
The American economy alone is too small a playing field in today’s global economy, so learning how to reach customers beyond U.S. borders will bring you new business.
Here are sometimes when international marketing makes sense It’s not only about selling products:
If you sell products, it may seem like all of your efforts should go toward creating demand for those products.
But if you have a service-based business—like consultants or lawyers—you also need to create demand for what you do as well as what you sell.
For example, if someone needs legal help with their estate plan, they could search online for estate planning attorney near me and find that many attorneys offer free initial consultations.
What are common mistakes in global digital marketing?
Though global digital marketing is a complicated discipline, it doesn’t have to be rocket science.
Here are five common mistakes that businesses make when embarking on a global digital campaign.
- Targeting only English-speaking countries It might seem obvious, but targeting English-speaking countries isn’t enough if you want to reach out globally.
In fact, less than 20% of online users worldwide speak English as their first language; and in some Asian countries like Japan or China, only 3% of internet users speak English fluently.
That’s why it’s important to target countries with large populations who speak your target language.
- Not catering to cultural differences Culture plays an important role in how people behave online, so it’s crucial that you know what kind of content will resonate with your audience before launching a global digital campaign.
For example, photos are more popular on social media networks in Asia while videos tend to perform better in North America and Europe.
If you don’t cater to these cultural preferences, your global digital marketing efforts will fail miserably.
- Ignoring local laws The laws governing digital marketing vary widely from country to country, so ignoring them can land you in hot water very quickly.
To stay safe, always check up on local laws before beginning a global digital campaign—and remember that ignorance is never an excuse!
- Using Google Analytics alone As useful as Google Analytics is, using it alone won’t give you all of the information you need to succeed in global digital marketing.
For example, Google Analytics can tell you which countries your website visitors come from, but not which websites they came from prior to visiting yours (which would give you insight into where your potential customers hang out).
- Focusing too much on SEO Search engine optimization is a critical part of any successful digital marketing strategy, but focusing too much on SEO can cause your other channels to suffer.
Remember that SEO has become a long-term strategy rather than something you should focus exclusively on right away; otherwise, you risk alienating potential customers who aren’t interested in SEO tactics.
What are international marketing strategies?
You can’t possibly expect to use a cookie-cutter approach when marketing internationally. But that doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch either.
Think about where your target market is located, consider their culture, typical purchasing habits and then think about how you can best pitch your offering in order to increase sales.
There are numerous international marketing strategies that can help small business owners create an effective strategy for reaching out overseas, so let’s take a look at them now.
3 Types of International Market Entry Strategies :
Choosing one of these three international market entry strategies will allow you to reach new customers and tap into new revenue streams.
- Direct Market Entry – Allowing customers to purchase from your site or have products shipped directly from your business.
This is often accomplished by shipping items in bulk and then storing them in warehouses closer to where they will be sold.
- International Marketing - Third Paragraph: Indirect Market Entry – Getting a manufacturer or distributor in another country to do all of your selling, marketing and fulfillment work for you.
You’ll pay these intermediaries a commission on each sale, but it can cost less than other market entry strategies.
- International Market Entry Strategy – Getting a distributor or partner in another country to sell your products or services.
You’ll typically pay them a commission on each sale they make, but it can be much less expensive than other international market entry strategies.
Small Business International Marketing – Creating an international marketing strategy doesn’t have to be intimidating.
These 3 international marketing strategies can help small business owners reach more customers without having to spend a ton of time or money in their initial stages.
Creating an international marketing strategy doesn’t have to be intimidating, so don’t let it keep you from reaching out overseas.
Once your strategy is in place, you’ll see an increase in revenue and be able to start scaling your business much faster than ever before!
How to optimize content for foreign markets?
One mistake new entrepreneurs make is trying to approach foreign markets without fully considering how their business will be perceived.
Culture plays a big role in marketing and getting it wrong can be detrimental. If you're struggling with your international marketing strategy, here's how you can optimize your content for foreign markets. Keep reading!
It's important to understand that not every product will sell in another country.
You'll need a local partner who can help you navigate regional differences in culture, language and even tastes. It's also important to think about how your brand looks when translated into another language.
Once you've developed a brand identity, it's time to look at what content you'll need to produce in order to succeed. A good first step is conducting market research on your target audience.
For example, if your business sells clothing items and you are targeting French consumers, then it's important that all of your videos have subtitles in French as well.
It's also important that you conduct thorough keyword research.
Consumers in different countries will search for products using different keywords, so if you want to appear on local search results, your business needs a presence on local search engines. If you're struggling with international SEO, consider hiring an agency or consultant who can help you develop a localized marketing campaign.
Which countries do we want to target first?
The first step in international marketing is deciding where you want to sell your product, where there is a market. If you’re an American company it makes sense to start with other English-speaking countries like Canada or Great Britain.
It may also be beneficial to start within your own regional market (i.e., California) before branching out internationally.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to set up sales channels in those countries, including things like tax registration (in many markets). While it may not seem like a big deal, doing that kind of research will help your business before you even launch.
Once you’ve identified where you want to start your international marketing efforts, you’ll want to focus on three main points: customers, competition, and government regulations.
Customers - Where you want to start your international marketing efforts will determine where you focus on finding customers.
For instance, if you’re doing international marketing in Britain, much of your customer research will likely focus on people living in Britain, as well as expats who live abroad and wish to import products from your country.
Which tools should you use when doing international marketing?
When you’re trying to reach out across borders, having a good set of tools is critical. Here are our favorite ways to market your business globally.
Keep in mind that some may not be available in every country—you may need an international friend to help with some of these.
Getting started on social media:
This can be tricky when you’re working with different cultures, but it’s also important because there are many users who don’t speak English as their first language.
While many platforms like Facebook offer automatic translation tools (and often link up friends based on shared languages), others—like Instagram—don’t have such features yet.
Smartphone-based translation apps :
Another option is to download a mobile app that translates a language. While some will only translate words or short phrases, others—like Google Translate—can handle longer sections of text. They’re not perfect, but they can be helpful if you’re in a pinch.
Linking with influencers in your market :
You can also work with social media influencers in your local market. Depending on who you’re working with, you may have to have someone from your end translate messages or posts.
Additionally, keep in mind that some governments may require that you disclose if an influencer is being compensated. This will vary from country to country, so be sure you know what regulations are required where you’re operating.