Globalization has brought the world together. Days of being unable to reach your brand from one corner to another are now things of the past. With the brimming cultures everywhere in the world, you get to mingle the greatest concepts in your product and service to make it suitable for various markets. Once you have developed a superior worldwide space, there is no turning back, and your company becomes the superpower you may have envisioned. It is the power of international marketing.
Several international corporations have failed to build their global presence at first but subsequently rebounded with a bang. So failure should never be an excuse for not bringing your company into the international spotlight. The biggest example is Apple Inc. that was founded in 1970 in the United States, and in 2003 they launched their first international store in Tokyo, Japan. Since then, they’ve grown into a multi-national powerhouse with over 500 locations throughout the world.
It’s time for you to read about international marketing in a little more detail.
What is International Marketing?
International marketing, often referred to as global marketing, is the practice of carrying out your company’s marketing activities worldwide.
The American Marketing Association referred to international marketing as a method of ‘planning and executing the price, conception, and distribution of goods, ideas and services to produce exchanges that suit individual and corporate goals.’
Being global may be a dangerous move for most businesses due to their large domestic market share. Still, by stepping into international marketing, they can expand their business and expose it to better opportunities.
Why Should Businesses Go Global?
International marketing is a strategy for your business that reduces country-to-country differences while also providing incredible benefits that you could never have imagined.
The list of advantages goes like this:
- Increases your business customer base
You can automatically connect with a broader audience when you sell your products and services internationally. When your company achieves global success, your customer base expands, increasing revenue-generating. McDonald’s, for example, has over 38,000 outlets worldwide and serves around 70 million people every day after almost 80 years.
- Develops positive changes in your products and services
When your company expands internationally, you become exposed to various cultures and ideas. With more exposure, you’re more likely to make good modifications to your current product and services, enhancing your business’s marketing and income generation.KFC, for example, customized their menu to suit the tastes and preferences of different nationalities. Gallop, a slice of Nachos, was on the menu for the Australian audience, while dark meat with rice bowls in bento boxes was on the menu for Japanese clients.
- Global marketing means global visibility
Have you ever wondered what would have happened if all well-known businesses, such as Burger King and Coca-Cola, had decided to limit their operations to their local market? They would never have been able to reach the level they are today. Today, there is barely a country on the planet unaware of these strong multinationals. International marketing offers your business the global recognition and opportunity it deserves.
- Higher revenue generation rate
When your company is successful worldwide, as the ratio of your prospects rises, so does the demand for and supply of your product & service, resulting in a rise in revenue production for your company. Let us take an example of Amazon whose net worth was around $29.6 billion in Germany and $26.5 billion in the UK for the year 2020 making it the biggest ecommerce workplace not just in the United states but also in the global market.
- You stay ahead of your competitors
When your company grows into a global powerhouse, you will gain a strong customer base from all over the world, which will make your competition think highly of you. It might seem unbelievable but superheroes and villains filled Marvel Entertainment Group faced a massive decline in their business in the year 1990. But, thanks to their global telecast of movies, they were able to turn the situation around. With this saying they have now become the most powerful entertainment company in the world by controlling their own movies and connecting their storylines through a cinematic universe.
- Create stronger cross border relationships
Your company can build alliances like Starbucks & Spotify did and sharpen its advantage in the global market with a better and stronger cross-border relationship. In 2015, Spotify teamed with Starbucks to provide its employees with a premium Spotify subscription, allowing them to create a playlist and play it throughout the day in their restaurant.
- A safety shield against economic catastrophes
Nobody can predict the future, and an unfavorable economic occurrence can devastate your organization at any time. However, when your business is a part of the global market, you can quickly cover the losses caused by economic downturns at home and get back on track. Consider the case of Spotify. It may be difficult to understand why Spotify would suffer losses in the event of a pandemic, given that people will still listen to music even if they are confined to their homes. Spotify relies heavily on advertising to fund its operations, and advertisers decreased their budgets during the pandemic. Spotify started podcasts by various musicians worldwide to help turn the situation around. In just one month, there were roughly 150,000 podcasts.
How Can Your Organization Do International Marketing?
Your company can become a part of global marketing in the following ways:
Direct or indirect exports: When it comes to foreign expansion, the first thing your organization should think about is exporting. It is the process of transporting your goods and services abroad. The employment of trading companies to ship your goods and services to the foreign market is an example of indirect exporting services. Indirect exports, on the other hand, your company chooses to sell its goods overseas on its own, utilizing the following methods:
- Establish an overseas sales department or a domestic-based export department that works as a separate entity.
- With the help of agents or sales representatives who work on your company’s behalf.
Licensing: Licensing is the procedure through which a licensor company allows other companies to utilize its brand, trademark, and patent to facilitate sales. It is majorly for the manufacturing companies. In this case, the recipient company has more control over the licence than the licensor company. Warner Bros, Disney, and others are among the most well-known international licensors.
Franchising: Franchising is similar to licensing, except that the domestic firm that grants a licence to another company has greater power than the recipient company under stricter regulations. Restaurants, motels, and rental services are examples of service businesses that franchise. Some of the biggest multinational franchising brands are Domino’s and McDonald’s.
Joint venture: A joint venture is formed when two or more enterprises from different nations join forces for mutual advantage. It is one of the most effective strategies for businesses to expand internationally. Here each of the businesses contributes significantly to the financial resources, owns the business, and shares the risk associated with the business in this process. The joint venture between Japanese electronic company Sony and Ericsson, a Swedish telecommunications firm, is the world’s largest international joint venture.
Foreign direct investment: FDI is when a domestic company establishes their fixed asset in a foreign company to manufacture its goods there. In this instance, the foreign company owns the entire subsidiary and has complete decision-making. Services, logistics, retail, and various other industries are also examples of FDI.
What Challenges Can Your Organization Face On The Road of International Marketing?
International marketing has numerous benefits; however, you may encounter the following challenges while using this marketing strategy:
Difference in Cultures
The world as a whole is a mash-up of several cultures. Every city in every country has a unique culture and set of clients’ needs. It is the major difficulty your company will confront over part of its international marketing strategy. Especially the language barrier can put your organization into huge trouble.
For example, KFC’s tagline “finger-linkin good” was translated into Mandarin as “we will eat your fingers off,” which was not a very appropriate tagline for a successful business. As a result, this phrase may attract attention, but not for the right reasons.
Every Country Has Its Own Laws
Every country has its own set of rules and regulations that your organization must adhere to when marketing in that country. The limitations could be related to taxes or other import or export duties that could hinder your business. In addition, particular foreign restrictions force businesses to leave certain countries.
In the beginning, investing in an international market is always a big risk because you never know if your business will succeed there or not. As a result, many businesses feel hesitant to take this step.
Degree of Competition is High
The international market has a far higher level of competitiveness than the domestic market. In this situation, you’re attempting to outperform all international companies and top the local brands of other countries. As a result, you must devise more effective plans and strategies.
What Are The Greatest Strategies for Conquering all of These Obstacles and Taking your Brand Global?
Even in the twenty-first century, we can’t predict when cultural differences and all the other stumbling blocks on the way to international marketing will end. So we’ve come up with a few ideas that will make it easier for your business to go global.
Here we go:
Dig Deeper Into Your Target Market
Cooking meals for your family members is easier because you know what they like, but when a guest arrives about whom you know nothing, you must inquire about their likes and dislikes before cooking any dish. Similarly, because you understand your local population, you may easily build a solid customer base in your local market. However, if you want to spread your brand to overseas markets, you’ll need to conduct extensive research in that sector to ensure a good outcome.
It would help if you are looking for the following things:
- Determine your customer behavior and then customize your marketing plan to meet their needs.
- Examine what services or messages might offend them and avoid including them in your campaign.
- Investigate your possible competitors on all levels and try to profit in areas that are falling behind.
- You may check the countries that are already exhibiting interest in your business using Google Analytics and social media, and then start your international marketing adventure from there.
Determine The Objectives of Your Business
Every marketing effort has a certain objective. It is the end outcome for which you have worked so hard. Before moving forward with your foreign marketing plan, you must have clarity on the following points:
- Examine the current state of your company’s online and offline infrastructure.
- Whether you want to form a local partnership or establish a subsidiary in that region.
- Make certain that your product development and delivery strategies are in place.
- Determine the importance of local suppliers to your company.
Formulate a Plan
Once you’ve settled on your marketing campaign’s goals, it’s time to put together a well-thought-out plan for taking your company to the next level. Of course, every step will come up with certain difficulties. However, a good plan will offer you the required solutions for each stage so that you can achieve your ultimate goal. The following factors must be included in your plan:
What factors should you consider when marketing to a place with a different culture than yours?
- Avoid anything that offends your target market’s culture.
- When developing your marketing strategy, be mindful of your audience’s social and political conventions.
- If you want to get their attention, your brand’s name, messaging, and emblem must make sense to them.
When is the best time to expand your business to an overseas market?
- When your company generates positive financial results, that revenue can be put to better use.
- When domestic marketing is declining, it is less risky to extend your firm internationally.
- Expand your business in areas where your products and services are highly demanded. You’ll need a thorough market survey for this step.
- Localization is another wonderful technique to expand your firm into the worldwide market. Localization refers to adapting your marketing materials to your target markets, such as texts and labeling.
- It is good to expand your company overseas when it is built on a solid foundation that includes a reliant mode of operation, a loyal client base, marketing, finance, and distribution networks.
How can your brand determine a unique position in different global markets?
After you’ve figured out who your competitors are, it’s time to carve out a separate position in the market that will help you stand out in the following ways:
- Always provide your consumers with the highest quality products and services.
- Provide a fair charge for your services.
- Make your things as simple to buy and utilize as possible.
- Optimize your customer service following market demand.
- Your product distribution channel must be distinct and practical.
- Your product must address your client’s issues.
Customize Your Marketing Idea as Per the Target Market
Every country has its unique culture and government rules, so your plan might work in one country but not in another. As a result, you must continue to tailor your marketing plan according to the market. Hiring a local expert who can optimize your campaign for the location is always a good idea. The following are some of the things you should concentrate on:
- To avoid getting into major legal difficulties, be flexible and adjust your marketing campaign according to the marketing rules of different nations.
- Check the packaging laws in other places. Make sure to write the nutritional values on your packaging in multiple languages so that consumers are more likely to engage with it.
- It’s not a bad idea to adapt your trademark to the market; it’s a means to connect with your target audience. For example, Lay’s is known in Australia as Smith’s and in the United Kingdom as Walkers.
Examples of the Most Successful Brands Who Have Made Their Mark in the International Market
International marketing is not everyone’s cup of tea. Therefore, to become the king of all local marketplaces in all countries, one must expand their services in such a way that they appeal to everyone’s tastes.
It is time for you to take inspiration from the biggest international brands of all time.
Let’s check it out
With the tremendous growth in their revenue generation from $37.5 billion to $65 billion between 2008 to 2010, Apple came up as the most influential international brand globally. There is hardly any place in this world where people haven’t heard about this brand. And their popularity derives not just from their one-of-a-kind designs and high-end products but also from their excellent customer service and local stores. All of their stores have the same appearance, but they modify their protocols as per the tastes of the local market, which allows them to interact with a wide range of customers.
With revenue of 44.54 billion dollars in 2021, Nike demonstrated that it will always win the race. One of the biggest strategies that have helped Nike maintain its global presence is international sponsorship. For example, Nike’s partnership with Manchester United was a smart move to capture the attention of global buyers.
How can we talk about the most successful international brands without mentioning Coca-Cola? It is the undisputed king of effective worldwide marketing techniques. It has always been successful in maintaining demand in every market by giving local marketers the ability to customize the drink’s taste according to local consumers and endorsing their products with local celebrities.
Since 2007, AirBnB’s customer base has grown to over 220 countries. The website, which is easily accessible worldwide, and the excellent content they create using the power of local storytelling to instill a feeling of community between the traveller and the host, are the main reasons for this online marketplace for holiday rentals’ spectacular business growth.
With $386 billion in revenue in 2020, Amazon is the world’s third-largest firm in terms of revenue. Amazon has become the world’s largest multinational corporation because of its innovative technologies and world-class customer service that offers customers a smooth online shopping experience. Not only that, but their clever use of affiliate marketing, SEO, and other marketing methods has allowed them to reach out to people in every corner of the world.
By 2026, Redbull’s revenues are expected to exceed 90 billion dollars. Redbull is an Austrian energy drink firm that has established a global presence through a clever marketing strategy that makes everyone feel like it’s a local product. The company’s most effective marketing technique is to host extreme sports events across the globe, such as the RedBull Grand Prix in Indianapolis and the RedBull Air Race in the United Kingdom. In addition, they use 100% recyclable aluminum cans and very little plastic, making it an environmentally friendly product that everyone enjoys.
Dunkin Donuts has 3200 foreign outlets in 40 countries other than the United States. Its success rate is mostly due to its strategy of customizing its menu to match its target market. It has bridged all cultural divides by serving seaweed donuts to Chinese customers, mango chocolate donuts to Lebanese customers, and many others. It has strengthened its global presence in this way.
Spotify’s revenue was up €7.85 billion in 2020, with an annual profit increase of 16 percent. As the world’s most popular streaming platform, it has provided clients with music from all over the world. It provides you with possibilities for listening to music that suits your taste and mood. In addition, it has enabled international artists to reach a global audience with their songs.
All in all
International marketing may appear intimidating, particularly to small and medium-sized enterprises, but it is an effective approach to increase your company’s visibility and customer base. With a systematic and precise method, you may learn how things work globally and how to surpass your competitors. As a result, your business is left with happy and prosperous days as your brand gains the global presence it deserves.