While the total advertising market in the UK grew by 7.5% at the end of 2015, it remains clear that mobile and digital marketing techniques are the key drives of this increase.
During the same period, for example, the amount spent on mobile marketing increased by 61%, while print mediums such as national newspapers lost an estimated £155 million in revenue. With this in mind, it is clear that digital and mobile marketing channels are becoming increasingly influential among brands, who in turn are developing the expertise to leverage these successfully.
The rise of international marketing, and how to do it right
The proliferation of digital and mobile marketing techniques has offered businesses access to a global audience, of course, making the idea of international outreach more appealing than ever.
This is brings its own set of unique costs and challenges, however, while it is important to note that the failure to execute your strategy successfully could have a detrimental impact on your brand (and its profitability).
So, here are three key considerations that will help you to plan, manage and refine the most effective international marketing strategies: –
Don’t forget the basics
Let’s start with the obvious, as while you target audience may have changed and expanded the basic principles of marketing remain the same. This means that the process should start with the establishment of core objectives, particularly in relation to the volume and turnover of your projected sales. This establishes guidelines for your project, and enables you to an invest an informed amount that can deliver a viable ROI.
There are other basic principles to consider too, such as the importance of analysis your chosen markets and the viability of your proposition. This should include detailed market research and in-depth gap analysis, as you look to determine if there is a demand for your proposition and whether or not you can sell at a price that delivers a profit.
These are basic but important considerations, and they apply regardless of whether you are selling to customers at home or abroad.
Understand the cultural influences and customs of your target audience
When looking to understand, and ultimately sell to, an international audience, it is also important that you perform something that is referred to as situational analysis. This provides a detailed insight into the culture of the country that you intend to operate in, while it also analyses crucial political, economic and social conditions that will effect how you market your products.
This will include the development detailed consumer profiles that relevant to your target audience, as well as any economic factors (such as income brackets and labour market growth) that will influence the pricing of your products or services.
While these processes can be managed remotely, it is far better to visit the individual countries and markets that you intend to become active in. Although this will incur significant travel and research costs, you can at least partner with corporate specialists such as Reed and Mackay to minimise these, while it may also be worth liaising with local authorities to guide the information gathering process.
Make localisation and pricing key parts of your strategy
There are other advantages of scoping out potential markets in person, especially in terms of developing your primary messaging. After all, you may need to create localised messages for different regions, whether this is due to variable cultural attitudes or technical issues relating to language and dialect.
Either way, there may be a need to localise your brand’s primary, secondary and tertiary messaging, and this should be done before your products are launched overseas.
Localisation may also affect your pricing, as you will need to ensure that customers in specific regions can afford to buy your products. It is therefore important to develop a flexible pricing range, and one that also factors in the cost of shipping, packaging and import tariffs.
This will enable you to create price points that the market can bear, without compromising on your ability to make a profit. On a final note, be sure to analyse your competitors pricing too, as the failure to do this could see your proposition undermined by rival offers and more affordable alternatives.