While local marketing is effective, international marketing has its proper place in the scheme of things. For instance, it opens up additional doors for your business on the world stage and creates numerous opportunities by expanding market share and customer base. The final result is the creation of invaluable relationships with new businesses and consumers.
The opportunity to expand is a pendulum that swings both ways, however. On one hand, there is a prospect for a wider customer base, as mentioned above. On the other, there is an increased need to connect with them. Simply reaching out is not enough.
Here is where the concept of international marketing comes into play. The cursory definition is fairly simple: it is marketing the product or service to international consumers. However, there are more complicated undercurrents to that explanation. From international legal requirements to cultural knowledge, international marketing requires a deep understanding of the market you are about to enter.
For some, it is hard to see potential benefits, because expansion can be a daunting prospect. There are many, but two major benefits of international marketing are:
1. Your company can capture a larger share of its market. With expansion comes greater potential for profit. International marketing produces an entirely new population that leverages your information, products, or services.
2. By expanding internationally, your company builds greater brand prestige. International marketing brands your company as having a global reach. Customers tend to view companies as more successful if the company’s services span the globe. Entire new audiences learn about your products and services with no preconceived biases. It is also important to note that a fresh new audience can sometimes help companies make the leap to the next price point.
Several times, we’ve had clients come to us that previously used a marketing company with no international experience. While it doesn’t always turn into a disaster, the Internet is full of international marketing disasters, simply because the marketers didn’t understand the target country’s market.
If your company is looking to expand internationally, it makes sense to partner with an international marketer that can take your company to its next level of success. An expert international marketer can also help your company determine how its products or services translate culturally. Expert services can also help you define the international locations that will award your company its greatest chances for success.
But what can an international marketer really do for your business? What makes the “international” part so important?
An international marketer can work with a company from top to bottom. First, it can provide insight into the market by providing marketing research. The foundation of every business is an understanding of consumer habits, competitors, and other factors that can affect your bottom line. Sound research is the basis of any marketing strategy, whether local or international.
Another way that an international marketer can put your company at an advantage is by providing feedback on existing marketing methods.
However, the most significant contribution an international marketer can provide to a business is bridging your company with a specific audience. To connect with a new market, it does not work to simply translate A to B.
Instead, the campaign needs to have an impact on the new audience through its content, appearance, and message delivery. For example, does the new market favor browsing using a mobile device? Are there colors or numbers that are culturally significant or hold superstitious meaning?
An international marketer will have answers to these questions and be able to make the adjustments in the campaign to use these nuances to your advantage.
Culture is an often-overlooked concept in marketing. But, the culture of a potential market – their accepted norms, the manner of dressing, and ever religion – are what provides a connection between a product and a person.
Once you understand the culture, you are now speaking their language. By creating this affinity, people can relate to your business more. The result is a more effective and open means of communicating your message to them.
There are specific ways this goal can be achieved. Content-wise, you will have to make sure that your company is ready for entry into a new market.
There should be a demand for your product or service and your company should be ready to meet that demand. If this means having international locations or even having a local distributor, then these operational aspects should be in place.
The technical facets of the campaign should also be addressed. For websites, it is important to register the domain names. Safeguards should also be put in place for trademarks.
You might also consider having a specialist go over the website to ensure that it is optimized for the country. For instance, which key words are dominant in the region or is the content relevant to the audience? By having a two-fold response of both content and technical, you can be sure that your means of communication is done properly.
Expanding the business internationally can be a quite a maze to traverse. In many ways, it is like setting up a business all over again. Fortunately, international marketers like Level343 can come in and help provide guideposts to help with your navigation.