We currently are living in a global economy, where thanks to the Internet, companies are able to compete in markets that they wouldn’t have had access to just one or two decades ago.
Whether your business is enjoying success in one country or is finding limited opportunities for growth, expanding overseas by leveraging international marketing could be the key to building on your enterprise and increasing your customer base.
For B2B businesses especially, numerous market opportunities have been created by globalization. However, it isn’t always easy to exploit them, and for companies that are overwhelmed already by how many marketing options are available to them within their home countries, it can appear to be quite a daunting challenge to take on international marketing efforts.
There is some good news however. Although it isn’t ever easy to enter new markets, marketing within them doesn’t need to be as risky as it may first appear to be. The following are six ways that your chances of succeeding with international marketing can be increased.
1. Remember that localization goes beyond translation.
Whenever you are getting content developed for your blog or collateral for an advertising campaign, it is very important for you to understand that localization is required in order to be successful with your marketing. This localization doesn’t merely mean translation. It is critical to your success to know the local nuances and culture.
2. Have a thorough understanding of the market.
How and what you market internationally might be different than how and what you market within your home country. Briefly put, the opportunities for your services and products might be different overseas, and require a go-to marketing strategy that is completely different. Of course, your marketing approach would be significantly impacted.
To ensure your marketing efforts are effective, it is vital to have a thorough understanding of your market. Don’t make any assumptions about pain points and needs: speak with individuals within the market so that your assumptions can be validated about the market’s state of development and nature.
3. Develop a local presence.
Although having a local presence isn’t always necessary in order to develop a successful B2B business within a foreign market, it is actually necessary in many cases. Whether you and a local partner develop a relationship or you set a local subsidiary up, being able to demonstrate that you have an investment in a country can really help to substantially boost your credibility and make it much easier to effectively market to prospective customers.
4. Reassess your marketing mix.
Don’t make assumptions that the channels that you are focusing on currently are the same channels you should be focusing on within other markets. For instance, in some areas of the world, it might make sense to invest in mobile marketing channels than you do in your home country. In other places, offline channels, like events and prints, might need to play a greater role within your marketing mix, especially when you are just getting started.
5. Prior to launching your marketing campaigns, build bridges.
It can be very difficult to enter foreign markets. In a majority of countries, it is who you know and not what you know. This can be doubly true in certain parts of the world. Keeping this mind, consider developing relationships in new markets with potential partners and customers prior to officially launching there and start to formally market. Many times a prerequisite to being successful is early and frequent visits. Look at the blog titles on European company Lyca mobile’s site – there is a strong focus on the US and expats living there simply to interest the specific market.
6. Set realistic expectations
When it comes to develop a successful B2B international business, marketing is only one component to it. It is critical that whatever international expansion strategy you end up using doesn’t put your marketing teams under unrealistic expectations.
You need to carefully consider your ROI expectations. When a new market is entered, this investment usually requires patience. Therefore, your company shouldn’t expect that marketing efforts you make to provide you with the same results right off the bat overseas that you get in your home country. If you do, you will set yourself up to be disappointed.