It’s daunting to think, but the World Trade Organization reports the volume of international merchandise trade increased 33 times between 1951 and 2019. Brands once thought to be “American” are now all over the world.
The world seems to be shrinking as products and services that originate in one country are in demand in others. But globalization has its challenges. International marketing is a big picture that must consider language, culture, market demand, and customer behaviors.
Advances in technology are removing barriers between geographical and cultural communication, opening new opportunities for every sized business. You don’t have to be a big name brand to market your services or products internationally, but you do have to know who your target audience is and what they want.
Doing your digital online marketing due diligence means cultural surveys, market research, and understanding your potential, international customer. That can be any foreign citizen, but only if you have a well thought out strategy to reach them. What are their buying habits and priorities? What are they familiar with and what do they prefer?
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can market internationally without doing your research first. A culture or country’s beliefs, taboos, or prejudices can sharply steer your marketing efforts. This hold true for local digital online marketing as well. Know the demographics.
Thanks to social media, communication has made digital online marketing, whether local or internationally, much easier. Social media channels and the explosive growth of e-commerce have created thousands of new ways to reach out to the international community. After all, no matter who you are or where you live, people basically want and need the same products and services.
The variations in the economy, as well as natural disasters can create disruption for any company’s business, no matter how well things may be going. Even more reason to position your products and services internationally. Once you have established traction with your international market, the added revenue can help offset economy slumps at home.
Remember that international marketing is not just about increasing revenue and diversifying assets. Capturing a competitive advantage is a plus. You may be able to provide a product or service that a competitor cannot provide.
Consider both the advantages and disadvantages of entering international markets. First, do your research. Without it, your efforts could all be for not.