The Covid-19 pandemic put a sudden end to most aspects of our lives. The world as we knew it changed forever as businesses and organizations had to close down and new ways of living and working emerged. Now is the time to reflect on our strategy and determine what worked well and what could be improved upon. One of the big successes of the last year was the revitalization of the tourism industry as countries around the world welcomed back their visitors. The growth of digital nomads and gig economy workers who can work remotely is also making a difference and enhancing the flexibility of the workforce. This blog post will discuss one area where businesses can improve upon – their international marketing strategy.
Why International Marketting?
The first and most obvious reason is that we live in a globalized world where businesses operate all over the world. Due to the pandemic, the world is becoming a smaller place as people are realizing the importance of connecting with consumers from other parts of the world and vice versa. This trend will continue as global businesses try to expand their reach and appeal to as many people as possible. In today’s world, a business or organization without an international presence is practically non-existent. If you want to succeed, you have to have an international marketing strategy.
What is an International Marketing Strategy?
An international marketing strategy is a plan of action to gain international acceptance for a brand or product. The goal is to increase market share and expand the brand’s reach globally. When thinking about an international marketing strategy, you have to consider the target audience, distribution channels, and pricing. You can also include culture, competition, and market share as factors to weigh in on.
How to Create an International Marketing Strategy?
An international marketing strategy can be as simple as coming up with a brand awareness campaign or as intricate as coming up with a full marketing plan. One thing is for sure – it takes time. So, if you are looking to create an international marketing strategy, start by creating a long-term plan and thinking about the steps you will take to achieve your goals. The next step is to analyze the strength of the brand in your industry and whether or not it is a suitable candidate for an international strategy. If you do decide that it is a suitable brand for global marketing, take the time to figure out which markets to target first. You can also look to other brands in your industry to see how they have handled international marketing and what you might do differently. In addition to this, you should also research the most appropriate distribution platforms and whether or not to prioritize online or offline marketing.
Anatomy of an International Marketing Strategy
An anatomy of an international marketing strategy begins with a vision statement. A vision statement is a sentence or two that summarizes what you hope to achieve with your marketing strategy. Having a vision statement sets the tone and direction for your entire marketing plan. Ensure that your vision statement is easy to understand by everyone who has to work on the plan, from the CEO to the interns. In keeping with the overall theme of this blog post, let’s say that our vision statement is
“We will become the go-to source for information on legal and regulatory issues relating to the cannabis industry.”
This statement gives us the vision to create an educational resource for those in the cannabis industry. It also gives us the framework to measure our progress. You can flesh out your vision further by coming up with specific goals which will become the benchmarks for your strategy. For example, our specific goal is to expand our reach within the legal cannabis industry by creating and curating a database containing valuable information on all things related to legal and regulatory compliance. The next step is to break down the vision into smaller, more manageable bits. To do this, you will want to create key performance indicators (KPIs). Key performance indicators are specific metrics that you will use to track your progress and determine whether or not you have reached your goal. For example, one of our KPIs is number of subscribers to our blog. We set this as our KPI because we are conscious of our target audience and want to ensure that our blog posts reach as many people as possible.
Step one of the strategy – Create a vision statement
Having a vision statement provides a clear message to everyone involved in the strategy – from the CEO to the interns. It also serves as a road map for the strategy. The vision statement should be simple, yet comprehensive enough to cover the essentials. If you are having trouble coming up with a vision statement, consider the services of a professional organizer or a business strategist. They can help you distill your thoughts and turn your vision into a well-thought-out plan.
You should also consider the type of language you will use when articulating your vision. The more specific and actionable the language, the more effective the plan will be. For example, rather than saying “We will be number one in our market,” your vision statement should read “We aim to become the go-to source of information on legal and regulatory issues relating to the cannabis industry.” This is much more specific and has greater weight behind it because it is backed by measurable goals and KPIs. Remember that your vision statement should only cover the essentials. You do not want to bog the reader down with minutiae. When coming up with your vision statement, you must keep the reader in mind – the person reading your statement should understand what you are aiming for without having to think too hard. This makes your vision much more effective. It is always better to keep things simple and straightforward. Your vision statement should be accompanied by a set of goals and KPIs. These benchmarks will then form the basis for the next step in your strategy.
Step two of the strategy – Create a set of goals and KPIs
The goals and KPIs you create will form the roadmap for your strategy. The goals you set should be specific and measurable; otherwise, you run the risk of not being able to track your progress. When establishing these goals and KPIs, you have to consider what you will measure and how you will measure it. This is called measurement strategy and it is critical to the success of your strategy. If you want to improve your score on certain measures, you have to set specific, measurable goals. To create a benchmark for your goals and KPIs, you will want to consider the strength of the brand. What is the business or industry like? Where does it fit in the marketplace? The branding of the business will also influence the kind of goals and KPIs you set.
Step three of the strategy – Determining the target audience
The target audience is the group of people you are marketing to – it forms the crux of your strategy. The target audience is different from the customer in that the customer is someone who already has a relationship with the brand or offering you are promoting and the target audience is someone you are trying to reach. You should determine the target audience before you start formulating your strategy because it will influence the kind of content you produce and the methods you use to get the word out. This is critical because you cannot always assume that your target audience will be equally interested in everything your business or organization does. The more you know about your target audience, the better you can tailor your strategy to fit their needs.
Consideration should also be given to the size of your audience. If you have a large audience, you can afford to take on more risk and expand your strategy more globally; however, if you have a small audience, you will have to be much more subtle in your approach. With a smaller audience, you are bound to get it wrong if you try to be too over-the-top with your strategy. So, to reiterate – consider your target audience and determine what type of language they will understand and find useful. Consideration should also be given to cultural differences as well. What are the cultural values and mores in the countries you are targeting?
If you are looking to create an international marketing strategy, break it down into steps and create a roadmap with specific and measurable goals. Consider how previous experience and the strength of the brand will inform your decision-making process and shape the kind of marketing you do. An anatomy of an international marketing strategy will help you focus on what worked well in past campaigns and what you want to change about your current approach. The last thing you want to do is start from scratch and hope for the best. Plan out each step and you will be able to track your progress and adjust as needed. So, before you begin, ask yourself “What am I aiming for?” and “How do I want to get there?”