But before you leap onto the international stage, what factors do you need to take into consideration when you're marketing a company, product or service abroad?
- Export marketing plan. This captures what you plan to market, how, when, budgets and milestones. This should be a working reference that allows you to keep track of all your marketing plans, giving you structure and control.
- Research, research, research. Before diving into any market, do your research. It's vital you understand the country, the people, their habits, your sector, potential challenges and whether there is potential for ROI.
- Who is your competition?
- Understanding the culture.
- Speaking the language. Translation and localisation of marketing platforms and messages will be a major part of your marketing efforts.
- Marketing channels. Marketing channels abroad differ from country to country.
- Are you online? Websites are crucial to being found online as well as being your virtual business card.
- Calls to action. What do you want people to do when they come across your marketing? Should they visit a site? Call a number? Be clear about the next steps you want people to take.
- Are sales inline? There is no point marketing a product or service if your sales function can't deal with the demand.
- Try first. Before diving into anything internationally, experiment first. Try out your ideas small scale.
The essence of export marketing is in getting under the skin of the people you plan to sell to; really understanding them and then communicating your offering to them in a way that appeals and makes sense. These fundamentals will help you do exactly that.