Global business: develop an international marketing strategy

April 30, 2018Diana Lengerson

International or global marketing refers to promoting the products or services that a company sells overseas. For small business owners in particular, it opens many doors because it allows them to build new relationships with suppliers, expand customer base, improve brand reputation and create future opportunities by connecting to a larger workforce, advanced technologies and different methods of running a business.

However, reaching an international public requires understanding regional laws, cultures and customs, not to mention about developing a solid marketing strategy. Furthermore, you need to answer a number of questions before making such a major decision.

Will your product or service attract the targeted culture? Does it bring something new or interesting to the table? Have you done some research on the infrastructure of the specific country? Can you master at least the basics in terms of its language and culture? Even more, if the target audience is not familiar with your offerings, then you will have to consider investing valuable resources to educate the consumer.

Travel to the targeted country to understand its culture and market

You have to admit it; going from doing business in a certain region to doing business across the globe can be both exciting and daunting. Obviously, preparing a plan is fundamental because you do have to set realistic goals both on the short and the long-term as well as identifying your business needs. How are you intending to distribute the product or service abroad, from Mumbai to India for instance? Do you want to set up joint ventures or open company-owned foreign subsidiaries? Moreover, do not forget to take into account economic, legal, social and cultural differences. Make sure that the package and label of your products are in compliance with the regulations of that specific country. In fact, the best way to really grasp the international market is to visit the targeted country in person. Prepare for a business trip by making accommodation arrangements, establishing an itinerary, inquiring about the possibility of getting Malaysia visa from Mumbai, having the right currency and packing the necessary items. The purpose of your travel is to be able to develop an effective international marketing strategy based on accurate information when returning home.

Important elements to include in your international marketing plan

Moving on to the actual marketing plan, it must include a few essential elements like situational analysis, localization, pricing, operations and tracking. More specifically, you have to start by identifying the opportunities brought by your decision of going globally or at least internationally. Determine if the conditions in your targeted country or countries are favorable for the growth of a foreign business. If you do want to reach audiences in multiple countries then decide if you want to use the same message or adapt it according to each country’s culture. The same principle applies to pricing: are you going to set the same price for all countries or change it after analyzing the economy? Speaking of economy, you have to be aware because there are always fluctuations and you have to stay up to date with any changes that may appear.

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