Sep 23, 2011

A Short Primer on Expanding Internationally

In the simplest of terms, international marketing is the process of implementing marketing principles and practices to more than one country. It involves recognizing the truth that people from different countries have varying needs. It works with the assumption that you cannot market products to country A the way you market to country B. Usually, a company just modifies the marketing practices it’s using in its home country to suit the needs of the foreign country. For instance, a TV advertisement in America could be deemed distasteful when shown in more conservative nations like China. With that said, if an ad promoting the same product is to be shown in China, the principles used in creating the ad in America will have to be modified to suit the needs of the Chinese viewer.

The Importance of International Marketing in the Modern World

If you own a business, most especially if it is based online, you cannot ignore the power of international marketing. The internet has made it possible for small businesses to market themselves to a global market. You can sell anything to anyone from anywhere in the world. To be able to do this however, you need to know the basics of international marketing. As mentioned previously, different people from different countries have varying needs from the same product. International marketing dissolves boundaries and barriers. You can expand your business globally without having to set foot in another country. In fact, you can do everything right in the comforts of your home.

Tips on How to Get the Most Out of International Marketing

1. Learn the culture of the country you are planning to market to.You don’t have to learn everything. Just stick to those that may cause cultural barriers to your business. A single misstep that either insults or disrespects the culture of a country can jeopardize everything. It’s best that you hire someone who is a native of the foreign country you’re targeting. Have him/her look over your marketing plan before you have it implemented.

2. Have your site translated into different languages.Majority of the world’s population can’t understand English. That’s a fact. So if you want to attract international customers, you need to make sure that they can understand the content of your business website. There are a lot of translation tools out there that you can install into your website. The more languages your site can be translated into, the better since your site will be exposed to more people.

3. Understand regional laws and regulations.Product laws, sales regulations, and advertising regulations vary from country to country. So in order to avoid problems in the future, you have to learn the specific rules governing a certain geographic region.Optimize the design of your website. Colors and symbols have varying meanings to different countries. Suitability is the keyword here. See to it that the colors, symbols, and designs you incorporate into a website play well into the preferences of the country you are targeting.

This information is a good place to start. Moving into international markets is not easy, but it can reap huge rewards to your business in done right. Press on!!!