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Expand Your Marketing Strategy Abroad|How to Expand Your Marketing Strategy Abroad
Is marketing Strategy handy? You shouldn’t expand your business abroad.
That’s what Harvard research says – only 40% of companies reach a 3% ROA, which takes them five years to achieve. Other companies fail.
But why do businesses fail at going global?
One of the most common reasons is a lack of an adequately localized marketing strategy. Companies fail to recognize the true needs of their new target audience, thinking that their previous marketing strategies would do just fine overseas.
If you’re planning to go international with your business, you need a marketing strategy that would grab the attention of your target audience abroad.
How can you create one?
Let’s take a look.
1. Research Your Target Audience
Who is your ideal buyer? What are they looking for in your product?
You need to have the answers to these questions before you enter the foreign market. That’s why audience research is so important.
Commonly, to create a target buyer persona, you need the following information:
- Demographics: age, gender, language, location, marital status, education, job, income, etc.
- Psychographics: needs, hobbies, interests, challenges, obstacles, purchase behaviors.
For B2B businesses, this information might not be enough. To recognize the need of its buyers, a B2B company will also need information on the job position, industry, etc. If you own a B2B company, you can steal this information from your company’s LinkedIn account:
Demographics and psychographics are enough to build a basic audience persona. But you’re not looking for basics – the more details you have, the better your international marketing strategy will be.
To find out more details about your new buyers, survey them. A survey will reveal their content preferences, attitude towards ads, preferred channels of communicating with a brand, etc.
2. Learn the Language of the Target Market
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when building an international marketing strategy is studying the foreign market from afar. What you should do instead is go to the country and study its market from within.
One of the things you should do before going is to learn the language of this country, at least the basics of it. Why? Knowing the language will help you understand the culture and the reasoning behind people’s buying patterns there.
For instance, learning Italian can reveal to you that Italians like buying products in small shops and markets rather than big supermarket chains. Since you’ll be learning Italian culture with the language, you’ll also learn about the products Italians like to buy daily and weekly.
Knowing the language will also help you understand which intent to target with your content. You’ll be spending a lot of time researching the intent of your target buyers, browsing Quora and Reddit. Doing it in your native language won’t help you identify the right intent.
3. Study Your Competitors
Lastly, you can’t build a successful international marketing strategy if you don’t know your competitors well enough. It’s essential to check the local businesses’ marketing strategies. Also, learn about other companies that expanded to your target market from abroad.
What should you be looking for during competitor research?
- Top marketing channels. Where do your competitors advertise their products? Is it social media, search ads, a blog, or any other channel?
- Top keywords. Stealing keywords from competitors is a common practice if you want your content to outrank theirs. You can research your competitors’ keywords through Ahrefs’ Organic Keywords section in Site Explorer (you can also choose the keywords for a specific country):
- Top content. Explore your competitor’s content on different channels and determine content types their audience engages with most frequently.
Of course, stealing your competitor’s entire marketing strategy is not an option. But you can use competitor analysis to identify missed opportunities and content gaps you can fill to outrun your rivals on the target market.
Building a successful international marketing strategy is not an easy job to do. However, you can’t skip it and rely on the knowledge you already have. The reason is simple – your new target audience will have completely different needs.
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The best thing you can do is research. Start with your ideal buyers on the foreign market and identify their needs. Meanwhile, improve your knowledge of their language and culture – it will help you understand their purchase behaviors better. Finally, get to know your competitors and take lessons from their successes and mistakes.