A year and a half ago – fresh off nearly a year of full time experience – I posted a video blog about key things to consider when running international marketing campaigns.
Now, with an additional 18 months of international marketing experience, I’m back to discuss some of the deeper challenges you may be faced with should you decide to pursue customers in foreign markets.
It is important, and especially challenging, to keep in mind the macroeconomic trends before deciding to tackle new and foreign markets. Right now, in mid-2015 (just in case you’re reading this in the future) the US Dollar is quite strong compared to many foreign currencies, including the Euro. A strong US Dollar can be quite a hurdle for your International business to overcome as the International prices of your products will experience an increase.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Your brand might not necessarily be considered “luxury” here in the US, but when compared to the prices overseas you may find that you need to alter your positioning.
Depending upon where you’re expanding you may be looking to increase your customer base beyond those that speak English. It’s important to keep in mind that not everything translates “directly” and sometimes brand themes can get literally lost in translation. Should you decide to take the localization plunge, don’t half-ass it (pardon my French). Potential customers will get turned off if they feel that a brand isn’t being genuine. They’ll also especially get turned off if content isn’t translated fully or correctly.
KEY TAKEAWAY: If you go for it, do it with plenty of research, teams or resources that speak the language and know your target market, and enough time invested to do it the right way.
Making money takes time. Think about the first time you heard about a new brand and visited their site. Did you make a large purchase the first time you ever went to their page? Well, maybe you did, but it’s much more likely that you went to the site, compared some options, thought about it over a couple of days, asked the opinions of friends or family and then…MAYBE…you made a purchase. Your potential costumers are going to run through similar motions so you can’t expect the magic to happen overnight.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Take a deep breath, just because you aren’t instantly making money doesn’t mean it’s not working.
Plan our your media strategy keeping in mind the typical consumer touch points. Maybe start with some brand awareness plays via social or display channels. Let your audience pool build and then work in some retargeting. Finally, polish off your plan with some heavy direct response tactics, like Brand PPC.
LAST TAKEAWAY: If there is one key point I can leave you with it’s that the revenue won’t happen instantly, but if you have a thoughtful International strategy with realistic expectations, you may find yourself with loyal customers across the globe.
Thanks for reading!