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How do I Choose the Best International Marketing Strategy?

Carol Francois
Carol Francois

The best international marketing strategy typically is one that encourages brand recognition, generates brand interest, and results in increased sales. Firms that are looking to expand sales into international markets usually need to develop and implement an international marketing strategy. There are a wide range of different marketing theories and plans, and it can be important to become familiar with these options before deciding on a strategy.

A first task when looking to develop an international marketing strategy usually is to look at the local marketing strategy. Take the time to build a story board or poster with a high level review of all the print, television, and radio commercials used to promote products or the company in general. Make a short list of the primary selling points of the products, target clients, and success in the local market.

Man holding a globe
Man holding a globe

It usually is important to evaluate your current marketing strategy and determine if it will be successful in the international market. Take the first step and set up a focus group in your target country. Translate the text from your current campaign and evaluate the responses from the focus group. For some markets and products, the client base has many cultural reference points in common, and they transition in fairly easy. However, this is not the case for all products, so it is important to check.

Taking the time to travel in the target country and absorbing the media and how other firms advertise their products can be important, as well. Separate the companies into local and international firms. Take your cues from the local suppliers, who usually are more in-touch with the culture and nuances of advertising in a specific country. Then take a look at what the international firms are doing to evaluate their success or mistakes. Talk with potential consumers and get their feedback on the various strategies.

Interview and then hire a marketing firm that specializes in developing and implementing an international marketing strategy. The easiest way to select the best firm is to issue a request for proposal (RFP) to selected firms. In the RFP, provide a detailed list of the services that your firm will require. It can be very important to provide as much detail as possible, as it will be instrumental in making the best possible selection. Ask for a possible strategy, timeline, and estimated costs.

The best way to evaluate the success of an international marketing strategy typically is to work with focus groups and review sales metrics in the different markets. It can be important to note that staff that is located in each market should be provided with an opportunity to give feedback on the marketing strategy. Working and living in the location usually is the best way to understand the subculture and nuances of language that can make or break a marketing campaign.

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