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International Marketing: Strategies to Succeed in Global Markets

Learn how to develop an international marketing strategy that speaks authentically to global markets.

Dominic Dithurbide's avatar
Dominic Dithurbide

June 08, 2022

8 MIN READ

What is International Marketing?

International marketing is producing, distributing, promoting, and selling products into foreign markets by establishing a direct relationship with local markets. It’s common for international marketing strategies to open in-country subsidiaries, branches, and offices to execute localized marketing efforts.

International expansion can succeed in most industries and is used frequently in e-commerce, travel, manufacturing, and technology. There are several reasons for international expansion, but business growth tops the list. According to a statistic, global retail sales are projected to reach 31.7 trillion dollars by 2025. Steady growth is expected, with brand recognition and increased revenue for companies willing to try international expansion.

How to Create an International Marketing Strategy

An international marketing strategy supports business expansion into new markets around the world. Creating an international marketing strategy takes a solid foundation of research, knowledge, and a clear vision. 

Start with Research

Understanding how your target customers shop or consume content online can help you improve the usability of your website and provide a better customer experience. Online market research can help you identify each point of a customer’s buying journey. Market research is essential for understanding the target demographics, market conditions, and competition. 

You can assess the potential of markets through keyword research, which can help you explore whether there’s a demand for what your business offers. Use Google trends to see general trends that apply to your target market. Google trends can even filter results down to the location to assess demand in specific areas. Keyword research tools like KWfinder can give you more detailed search volume estimates of your keywords and phrases by country. Another way to gauge demand is through surveys. Tools like SurveyMonkey allow you to survey your target audience in specific locations to help determine where the most demand is. Finally, use Trade.gov to research foreign markets, explore international resources, and learn how to obtain financing for projects.

Define Target Audience

Before you can begin implementing any strategy in the international markets of choice, you must first understand to whom you are marketing. You can not assume that your current buyer persona will translate directly into foreign markets. To successfully market your product or service, tailor your international marketing efforts to specifically reach the population segment that will most likely buy your product or service. 

Solidify Your Global Expansion Structure

After researching and pinpointing which markets your product or service will create profitability and who your target audience is, the next step is to determine how you’ll present your product and service to the market. What’s the most effective way to market and deliver your product/services to these target audiences? Different methods of international expansion include exporting, licensing, joint ventures, and franchising, among others. 

For example, companies can minimize the risk of entering an international market by creating joint ventures with other companies that plan to sell in the same marketplace. In addition, since joint ventures often function like large, independent companies rather than a combination of two smaller companies, they have the potential to earn more revenue than individual companies. 

Companies need to understand what strategy is more likely to succeed by inferring the degree of local responsiveness and global integration necessary for new and sustained growth. Multi-domestic and transnational strategies are well suited for international marketing.

Key Considerations of International Marketing

International marketing considers more than just language – it involves culture, international law,  market saturation, and customer behaviors.

Culture and Language Barrier in Standardization vs. Customization Process

Adapting to a target market’s culture, native language, etc., is essential when marketing a new product. Cultural adaptation, for example, involves refining website content through culture, language, and flow to provide users with the most valuable and relevant experience. According to a Common Sense Advisory review study, nearly 73% of customers prefer to purchase a product or service from a site that provides information in their own language, and 56% of consumers said the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price.  

You will need to find a balance between standardizing translated content, like always translating a product name the same way, and customizing content, like, localizing different content pieces and campaigns uniquely for different markets.

Regardless, website translation and localization can help you go beyond converting copy from one language to another. Localization ensures that the translation process takes account of local cultural sensitivities, contains cultural references that will speak to the target audience, has the right tone, and doesn’t use idioms or phrases that won’t translate well. Localization considers language dialects used in a target region or country and adapts all website content elements for local or regional consumption. The localization method modifies the language and website elements to appeal to the linguistic and cultural preferences of the target customers.

Government Restrictions and Regulations

International expansion is full of complexities, especially when it comes to compliance. For example, different countries have various legal requirements that must be met to operate within their borders. When entering a new market, you must abide by a country’s regulations, payroll obligations, taxes, and labor laws. These regulations are generally different from your home country and must be thoroughly researched before entering any foreign market. You’ll also have to contemplate employment laws, visa applications, and insurance to cover your business and employees. 

Coordination and Execution

When expanding globally, local subsidiaries and office employees might need to do more than just their job. Whatever you do, don’t make your local Sales reps pretend they’re linguists and translate content. Ask what you can take on in-house and what should be outsourced? Outsourcing website translation can be a fast and cost-efficient path to increasing your reach without burdening your existing team. Using a tenured and experienced third-party technology partner will instantly make the infrastructure more effective to take your brand into new markets with little to no effort.

Outsourcing the translation and localization of your website to an experienced partner can streamline the effort and expense of translating, deploying, and operating multilingual websites.  

Benefits of International Marketing

Market Expansion

Expanding internationally opens your business to new markets and sales opportunities while learning about global audiences, preferences, and business expansion. In addition, international marketing can significantly open up a large customer base and sales opportunities. Today, customers can buy from across the world via the internet, making market expansion through international marketing a valuable skill for businesses to understand and employ.

Solidifies Competitive Advantage

Companies also pursue international expansion to gain a competitive edge over their opponents. Businesses that expand in markets where their competitors don’t operate allow them to build strong brand awareness with consumers before their competitors. You’ll begin accumulating data, insights, and sales from global markets before your competition enters the market.  International business can also increase a company’s perceived image, as global operations can help build name brand recognition to support future business scenarios, such as contract negotiations, new marketing campaigns, or even additional expansion.

Builds Brand Reputation and Awareness

With a localized international marketing strategy, international expansion can build your brand’s image with local communities and support your reputation. The more people that see your marketing materials (especially in their own language), the more they will find your website, request information, and make purchases. In addition, customers recognize a brand selling in multiple markets to be of higher quality and better service than brands that only sell locally.

Let MotionPoint Support Your International Marketing Goals

Understanding the demands and expectations of the challenges and benefits of expansion in foreign markets is essential to developing a dynamic international marketing strategy. The key to maximizing marketing efforts is ensuring that your content and materials are personalized, localized, and seamlessly delivered to targeted audiences wherever they reside. 

MotionPoint is a translation and localization company with experience in localization and website translation that have experts that can offer consultation to your particular business sector. You can trust the expertise of an agency like MotionPoint to provide multilingual localization, perfectly on point for worry-free expansion wherever your business takes you.

Last updated on June 08, 2022
Dominic Dithurbide's avatar

About Dominic Dithurbide

Dominic Dithurbide is a creative, goal-driven marketing leader that’s dedicated his career to the translation industry. Dominic brings proficiency in global marketing, demand generation, and go-to-market strategies to MotionPoint’s marketing team.

Dominic Dithurbide's avatar
Dominic Dithurbide

Marketing Specialist

8 MIN READ

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