International marketing is a complex concept in today’s diverse and dynamic climate. With globalization and continuous technological advancements, it is easier to reach audiences around the world than ever before. The global business environment presents a lot of opportunity for businesses looking to expand their reach, but it is not as simple as many believe it will be. We have seen large multinational companies make some serious mistakes in their international marketing strategies, requiring a lot of time and resources to recover their brand’s image. Here are my top tips for crafting a successful international marketing campaign.
- Gain an understanding of the market – There are far too many marketers anxiously jumping at the opportunity to create a “one-size-fits-all” campaign for international markets without a true understanding of each country and its people. While there are plenty of resources available to gain insight into different cultures and customs, nothing beats visiting the individual markets to show locals that you are invested in their community. If possible, take some time to visit the country and build relationships before developing your international marketing plan rather than relying solely on mere translations and generalizations.
- Don’t just translate, transcreate – Relying on Google Translate when developing an international marketing campaign is a huge mistake. Although the translation service has evolved over the years, it is not capable of producing an accurate, professional translation that will sound natural to native speakers. Translations that don’t take into consideration colloquialisms, current events, and dialects can turn out to be offensive. Work with a professional translation agency from the beginning of your campaign to create content specifically for that international audience that is both relevant and will resonate with them.
- Be patient – Crafting an international marketing campaign that will win over international audiences is no easy feat, but plenty of companies manage to do so every year. In many international markets, customers need time to warm up to a foreign brand and understand its value beyond just the products or services that it offers. Take your time to do the necessary market research, build relationships, and continuously learn about how your audience’s needs and wants are evolving.