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6 Ways to Approach International Marketing


Entering an international market is both exciting and daunting. There is a whole new world of possibilities ahead of you, but at the same time, there will be much growth and adaption required in order for your business to succeed. Any entrepreneur knows that marketing is a major component of any commercial success, so it is imperative that you do not just start business abroad without a plan in place for marketing and building clientele. While this process might be a breeze in a domestic market, there are countless factors that can complicate marketing a product or service internationally.

You can overcome such complications and find success in an international market by marketing strategically and avoiding common pitfalls. Bring a product to a new market—especially one in a foreign country—is a risky move. When that risk pays off, though, you will be glad that you took the time to produce your marketing and introduce your company to an international clientele with a strategy in mind.


Boost Web Presence

The world wide web is usually the first place you should look when you are getting ready to roll out a marketing campaign. You are likely already familiar with web advertising for domestic markets, so transitioning into web marketing for an international clientele should be a natural step to take. When you are looking into internet marketing for customers abroad, look at that country’s most popular websites and see how advertisements are typically formatted. If there are more video ads than text ads or vice versa, you should consider following the lead of companies advertising similar products or services.

Localize Rather Than Translate

You might initially approach international markets with the intent to translate your existing brand into the language of your new market. As anybody who studies language knows, though, translation is never an exact science, and this is especially true when it comes to endeavors such as marketing and brand development. If you are attempting to bring your exact product or service to a new audience, focus on localizing it rather than translating it. What is the difference? By focusing on localization, you are shifting from simply importing your brand to adapting your brand. The difference is important to your clientele.

Understand Your Market

You cannot localize your product without first understanding the market that you are workign to reach. Needless to say, international markets are completely different than domestic markets, in more ways than one. There are cultural differences that will likely determine how certain products are viewed and received, so you should always take the time to research the market you are entering and understand its cultural customs. You simply cannot market to a demographic that you do not understand. Follow the lead of entrepreneurs such as Sjamsul Nursalim who have followed this principle to build a globally successful business.

Adjust Your Expectations

In addition to adapting your product and marketing to fit a new international market, you should also adjust your expectations to account for a completely different economy and brand landscape. While you might expect to move 10,000 units nationwide in a month domestically, the same expectation might never be realistic internationally. You should always be aware of what is realistic and adjust your expectations accordingly so that you do not end up viewing success as failure. International markets are often not as active as domestic ones, but this does not mean that it cannot be hugely lucrative.

Build Brand Association

Advertising your brand abroad with support from a minor TV star from the United States is not likely to be a huge hit. Your market might not know who he or she is, and if they do, they are unlikely to be impacted in the way a domestic market would be. If you are looking to market your products and services abroad, build brand associations that will be meaningful and effective to your local market. Scope out celebrities who are known to your local demographic, and rely on their marketing power as businesspeople such as Sjamsul Nursalimhave done.

Assess Your Competition

One of the most important considerations to remember is awareness of your competition. While you are probably familiar with the landscape you navigate domestically, an international market is a completely new arena with entirely different competitors. You need to understand what you are up against, and as such, you should be familiar with the other brands that are on the market in the area you plan to do business. Assess your competition and make note of their marketing techniques, too. You may be able to better understand what works and what doesn’t by doing this.

Market to an international audience can be intimidating, but it can be incredibly rewarding, too. Your brand will likely benefit from increased exposure, greater revenue and more opportunities when you begin making moves abroad. Be sure to create a plan for your marketing in advance, though, so you can take full advantage of the potential that exists in international markets.