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International Marketing: Creating an International Business

Much of international marketing has to do with helping businesses create an international presence. International marketing makes doing business globally much easier, because it incorporates fundamental principles of traditional business marketing rounded out with cultural considerations.

Creating an International Marketing Plan

A simple way to get involved in growing a global business is by creating international marketing plans. Every business has a business plan. This plan typically outlines a business strategy for a domestic market. Often this plan can be modified to suit the needs of a global market. Many companies expand their business plan to incorporate a more international focus. Some things you should consider when creating an international marketing focus include what your company provides with respect to global products and services and what the international market will require for you to sell those products and services.

Once you have products and services, you then have to figure out how to land international clients. Most companies have local or domestic clients. How does a company then acquire international clients? There are many different ways to acquire international clients. Most of the time the way you do that is similar to the way you would land domestic clients – you network, you provide them with a business model and plan, and you negotiate.

After considering your product and the market’s needs, present potential international clients with a domestic product using a sales approach that speaks to the international market. Typically whatever you do will have to involve a broad approach so the adaptations you make are suitable to the entire global market and not just one international client.

If you do manage to land just one client, try to create a relationship with a well-networked client, or a very established client or big company. That way, when they are satisfied with your products and services, they can refer you to their partners and you can establish relationships with other large and well-established international firms. When you build one positive relationship, often may others will follow.


International Marketing: Online Communication and Translation

Every business owner knows that, to survive in the modern market, you must not only transact with international markets, but you must also learn to communicate with them. An international marketing plan that incorporates clear and frequent communication strategies will help you do this.

Two of the biggest barriers to garnering the attention of international clients, are a lack of understanding of the client’s language and customs. In the past, many business owners have relied on translators to help them conduct international trade and negotiations. Thanks to modern technology, however, there are several approaches now available that can easily take care of translations.

For example, there are dozens of free, online translators. Try each of them on for size and see what works for you. Online translators are especially helpful when you’re trying to translate documents. Because even free translators offer phonetic spelling, you may even be able to use them as a basis for making small talk with clients.

If you find that free translation tools aren’t enough, you can contract with a translator to optimize your communication. You can go to freelance sites, post your project, and have someone bid on translation services for you. Sites like Elance have dozens of contractors eagerly waiting to offer you an excellent price to provide translation services.


Exploring International Marketing

Many companies that decide to go into international marketing do so to accelerate revenue growth, add to the bottom line, and grow the company. But the challenges are great, and the decision to make this move is not an easy one, especially for a smaller company. There are plenty of horror stories about companies that have rushed into international marketing without taking into account the challenges they were going to face. They didn’t consider, for example, that they were going to have to set up offices and develop partners in geographic areas where they might not feel competent or comfortable. By the time they found out that things were not going as they had planned, they had lost a considerable investment.

Before you take the leap into international marketing, you need to have a well-developed plan. You need to know why you are shifting to international marketing and whether your company is large enough to do it and survive the early setbacks that are bound to occur. It’s a wise ploy to study other companies that have gone into international marketing – both those that have succeeded and those that have not – and determine what made the difference. For example, have you calculated what percentage of your sales needs to come from international marketing and how much money it will take to make this shift? It’s also a good idea to sit down and make a schedule of all the things you will need to do to make this shift and determine approximately how much time it will take before you will see any revenue. For example, if you can’t get into international marketing with the staff you have, are you prepared to do some hiring? What about the market? Are you sure it is ready for your product?

You will want to explore the international markets and make some decisions about which ones are best for your particular product and company. You need to think about whether you want to limit the countries you will market to in the beginning stages and build on that, or whether it will be wiser to include several at the outset. Some companies use international distributors for their international marketing. You may want to calculate the difference in taking that route and in doing it yourself.

Of course, there is always the problem of selling across cultures and across languages. It would be wise to explore how other successful companies that do international marketing handle those matters. You may find that the best solution to dealing with a culture and a language different from your own is to hire people from that country to help you make decisions and avoid mistakes. Of course, they can also help with communicating in the language of their own country.

If the barriers to international marketing seem overwhelming, remember that many companies are negotiating these hurdles and are making a lot of money with their international businesses. The obstacles can be overcome – providing you have a plan.


International Marketing: Market Research is the First Step

You know you’ve got a good product. Everybody likes it, and it sells like hotcakes. You know marketing, and you know product development. However, there are plenty of companies like yours that have plunged right into international marketing – only to get their noses bloodied. The people in this country might like what you produce while no one else in the world gives a hoot. Who knows – maybe people in the international market will love it, just as Americans do.

When it comes to international marketing, market research is even more vital than it is in a domestic situation. You know how foolish it is to try to sell something when you haven’t taken the trouble to research the market. Standard and Poor’s and Euromonitor are both good resources for this research. You can find databases in these sources that will be extremely useful. They also contain private information about companies that will help you identify potential partners for your international marketing endeavor.

One thing you can be sure about: no one is going to know your brand, so you will need to start from scratch in creating brand awareness. The good news is that there are thousands of small importers in just about every country on the globe who are looking for products to sell. A good place to start would be to look for them. Keep in mind that you will need to understand their needs if you expect them to meet yours.

A good site for the information you are going to need for your research is Globus, made available by the U. S. government. The U.S. Commercial Service is also an excellent resource for the market research you need to do early on, so that you can decide whether or not to jump into international marketing. You may find that you need outside help, and there are many reliable international marketing firms that can help you in your search. A couple of sites where you can find such firms listed are GreenBook and International Market Research Information.

Your decision-making process should be planned out, similar to creating a business plan. Consider licensing software that is specific to this purpose. When you have a sound decision-making process, you can be sure you’ll arrive at the right conclusion for your company.


International Marketing Online

Your business is online and ready for customers to line up. How many of those customers are coming from countries other than your own? Online, you have the ability to meet with, work with and service customers on a global scale. While this is not something that all businesses can do, for many others it is one of the best ways to increase your market without adding a lot of cost. The increased cost really does stay minimal since the Internet marketing methods you are using for local or national service can also be applied to international marketing. In other words, you are likely able to reach that broader audience without a lot of investment.

Depending on your goals for an international audience, you will want to customize your overall plans. For example, hiring an Internet marketing company to handle your international marketing can be quite helpful. They can help you to see what you need to do to reach that audience and work with them.

For example, let’s say you are located in Europe and you want to reach a United States audience for your informational website. There are several things to think about including:

* Language barriers: even UK English is considerably different from American English and this can stop you from reaching the audience effectively. Of course, the wider difference comes from other languages. (If you are targeting an Asian audience, your marketing needs to take on an even more in depth experience since you also have to consider Asian writing methods.

* Shipping and handling questions: Let’s say that you want to ship an informational product to your international customer base. What will you do to make this happen? One option you have is to set up an online delivery system where all of the information is passed through the web rather than the postal service. Otherwise, costs will need translation.

Of course, international marketing goes far deeper than this. But, this already shows you the importance of hiring a professional service to provide you with the help you need. Here, you will want to focus in on meeting the demands of the international audience. You will want to invest your time in the depth of coverage required by an international audience you may not be familiar with.

At the end of the day, those who want to meet the needs of an overseas client base need to take the time to develop a marketing plan that will work for them. Even online businesses need to find a way to connect with their visitors who may not be located in the country, not to mention time zone. But, when you work with a qualified professional offering Internet marketing services, you can count on your readership, your profits and your traffic as a whole to increase.