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Date: 27 October 2016 | Time: 17:18

GOING GLOBAL: TOP TIPS FOR INTERNATIONAL MARKETING

Globalisation has created countless market opportunities – but exploiting them isn’t always easy, especially for B2B businesses. Often, companies that have saturated marketing options in their home countries view international marketing as a daunting future challenge.

Whilst entering a new market is never easy, marketing within them doesn’t have to be nearly as risky as once thought. Horizonworks was delighted to present ‘Going Global – International Marketing, Strategy and Implementation’ at the North East Automatic Expo on September 22 2016. As a strategy-led marketing company, we see international marketing as a crucial opportunity for many companies and so we’ve collated some tips on how best to approach this.

Translation is not localisation
International marketing requires an understanding of cultural do’s and don’ts. An ad campaign that is well received in Europe may not necessarily be as successful in Asia for example. The key word being ‘localisation’, not necessarily translation. Thorough research around culture, local features, similarities and differences will be crucial to your marketing success.

Understand the market
Ask yourself have you done your research? Have you explored the potential opportunities available? Do you understand the barriers to entry?

To ensure that your marketing efforts are successful, it’s crucial to understand the market you are entering. The opportunity for your products and services may be different overseas, requiring an entirely different go-to-market strategy. Always talk to people in the market first to validate your assumptions about the nature of the market and its state of development.

Have a local presence
Whilst this is not necessary to build a successful B2B business in a foreign market, in many cases it does help. Regardless of the route you choose to take, being able to show that you’ve invested in a country can boost your credibility substantially, making your marketing efforts far easier.

Reassess your marketing mix
Never assume that the marketing channels you have focused on in the past should work in other markets. Other markets may be more susceptible to mobile marketing channels, or even offline channels such as print and events. Utilising a range of options within the marketing mix will be crucial towards your success.

Optimise your online marketing presence for a global community
Having your website translated into other languages is a huge advantage for marketing to an international audience, but understanding a culture is also important. Remember cultural do’s and don’ts. Seek to customise images and visual aspects in your materials and website to suit the market. Also, adapt your social media marketing to various languages.

Build relationships before embarking on a marketing campaign
Entering foreign markets can be a daunting task, especially if you have little connection to the market you wish to enter. Consider building relationships with potential clients and customers in foreign markets before you decide to officially launch in them. In most cases, visits early and often are a prerequisite to success.

Be realistic in your expectations
Marketing is one building block within a successful international B2B business. With this in mind, never place unrealistic expectations on your marketing team. Remember to be patient, your marketing efforts will not deliver the same results overseas that they do at home overnight. Therefore set objectives that will not leave you disappointed.

Going global can open up opportunities
Whilst international marketing can be challenging, but don’t be put off as it can open up a lot of new opportunities for your business. There’s always support out there to help you along the way

Read how we helped Tomlinson Hall move into new markets here.

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