Include international marketing in your playbook to expand your client base.
Play with the Big Dogs
The Internet destroyed international borders as satellite technology created a global marketplace for anyone willing to leap into the arena. If you’ve been a good dog, playing in your own yard long enough, then it’s time for you to consider expanding your reach.
At any given time, of the nearly 7.5 billion souls living on earth, about half (or 3.5 billion) are connected online. You’ll find about 2.5 billion on a social media platform and more than half on mobile devices. And believe it or not, the number of mobile phone connections surpassed the number of people on earth in late 2015. Some even report, very conceivably, that more people own a cell phone than own a toothbrush.
Staggering International Marketing Opportunities
And the numbers are expected to only keep rising. So with so many readers and consumers logging in and logging on to find their bliss, the next question isn’t: “Do I want to play in the global yard?” — it’s: “How can I get me some of that?”
International marketing involves more than just letting out your leash — you’ve got to do a little homework before you launch your global identity. You can let the experts at Barking Dog Social Media figure out your best next move, or you can take a few of these suggestions:
- Find the best networks to run in. Facebook already is an international marketing phenomenon, but that doesn’t touch everyone. For example, Orkut holds the majority of South American’s time online (it’s owned by Google and also is a big hit in various parts of India). Mixi, on the other hand, is the biggest social media network in Japan.
- Engage your followers in every country. The need to connect and interact is a human quality that transfers to all races and nationalities. If you want to get others onboard to play with you and buy into your next sales pitch, first engage them with questionnaires, games, contests and creativity.
- Learn about the local use. Not every culture uses social media and mobile apps the same way. Americans might enjoy watching every move their friends make throughout the day, but in Asia, users prefer making the most of their online time downloading and sharing movies and music. In India, they love gaming, while Brazilians are big into blogging.
- Know your cultural references. Send an excellently translated message about “falling prices” to an earthquake zone and you may tarnish your brand in that area forever. In addition to keeping tabs on local news when you engage in international marketing, make sure your message is relevant, sensitive and important to your audience. This may best be accomplished with in-country translators or at least local contractors who can look over your content before you go live.
Open the Gates
Once you’ve decided that most everyone in the United States surely digs your product or service, your next step is to figure out whether the rest of the world wants in on it too. If you believe that:
- Your product or service will be welcomed abroad
- You feel reasonably comfortable in the countries where you want to expand
- You have a clear understanding of the infrastructure and payment options in the other countries
- You will blow the lid off the global market
Then, by all means, begin your international marketing plan with the same strategic steps you begin any new strategy: with research, evaluation, negotiation, investment and relationship building.
Remember…if you are not the lead dog, the scenery never changes!