Achieving independence, financial success, and ultimately, your startup gaining traction and securing an optimal level of success are the core objectives for all entrepreneurs. Expanding your startup across borders is an ideal growth strategy you need to take your venture to the next level.
In a day and age dominated by the internet and ever-evolving technological perks, operating in international markets is much more streamlining than before. Moreover, thanks to digital commerce and worldwide shipping, most companies are global from the start. Still, tapping into a foreign market isn’t a walk in the park.
Many intricacies, including financial risks, legwork involved, coordinating activities across multiple languages, and social and cultural market differences, add complexity and additional challenges to your marketing strategy. As such, it’s paramount to create a deliberate marketing strategy before executing an international marketing campaign.
This post pinpoints the critical issues to consider when planning your startup’s global marketing strategy.
International Marketing Guide For Your Startup
Contrary to popular misconception, an international marketing strategy doesn’t entail selling products across borders. Instead, it covers the critical elements involved in marketing (product, price, place, promotion) and other marketing processes. It’s somehow a reference to domestic marketing strategy only that you have to design it for markets and individuals whose lifestyle might be relatively unknown to you.
Ultimately, your startup’s international marketing strategy should aim to expand your revenue and business recognition, gain a competitive advantage, and offer valuable customer solutions. Here is a guide for the best practices for marketing your startup internationally.
Conduct Market Research
Your utmost priority before considering international marketing should be brainstorming the regions relevant to your business model. In-depth research about any territory’s economy, demographics, culture, regulations, and cost will go a long way in ensuring you don’t make costly mistakes. Most entrepreneurs’ prevalent mistakes include marketing in certain regions because they are more populous. Also, note that some territories will be less receptive to your message and products.
The essence of market research can’t be magnified concerning leaping across borders. However, it helps you gain insights on the competitors your startup will be up against in the target market. In sum, it enables you to determine the regions with the most significant business opportunities that align with your startup’s operations.
Product and Message Localization
Localization is crucial in enhancing reception and bringing more customers on board. Note that markets don’t share intrinsic qualities and pain points. What works in a particular territory, especially your originating country, may not work in another. Therefore, it’s vital to localize your international strategy and embrace prevailing marketing practices.
For instance, your startup’s products might have to undergo changes before selling them over the borders. Also, a tailored-to-fit messaging that resonates with the target audience will go a long way in ensuring your startup acquires market share abroad.
In addition, you have to come up with messages that apply to the specific country. Some companies, including prominent and established firms such as KFC and Coca-Cola, have fallen victim to language differences. As a result, your startup’s tagline in its originating country might translate to something different in your target market. Therefore, it’s essential to customize messages to resonate with the intended market.
Develop Local Partnerships
Listening to the appropriate local teams will ensure you stabilize your position in the new market faster while avoiding unanticipated impediments. In addition, local partners and teams have a better understanding of the new market and will give your startup an essential boost when making strategic decisions.
Also, if your startup offers services or provides customer support, it would be best for your team members to connect with customers in their local language. As such, hiring employees in the intended market region helps eliminate cultural and language barriers. Still, educate the new employees on our organizational cultures and values since they represent your venture.
Establishing The Right Pricing
Finding the right price is imperative to success in any market. It’s the most critical factor in a customer’s buying decision process. Of course, the pricing structure differs from country to country due to import tariffs, shipping requirements, etc. But, most importantly, you have to set your prices considering what the market can bear in the prospective country. Also, you ought to factor in your competitor’s pricing and how the target market will perceive your product’s values.
Nonetheless, if your products are affordable and economically friendly in your originating country, it is highly likely to be the same in the new market.
Figuring out the most effective marketing techniques for your brand in the international market is somehow similar to doing it domestically. Again, you have to research the most frequented mediums that excel in your target market. Is it influencer marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, or traditional advertisements? The core objective is to settle for suitable media with significant exposure to your target market. Similarly, determine the most prevalent social media platform in your intended territory.
Research helps you determine which communication channel to focus more effort on. For example, different territories tend to have unique preferences for media and messaging.
Refine Your Strategy and Improve
It’s improbable that your startup’s international marketing will be effective immediately. It takes time and effort, and several mishaps are likely to occur. Moreover, companies like Airbnb and Netflix didn’t grow their success overnight. The best practices are tracking marketing analytics, incorporating marketing tools, learning from mistakes, and enhancing your marketing messages.
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to international marketing. Nevertheless, this international marketing guide for your startup is a perfect reference point for setting your venture up for success.