Building Blocks of International Marketing
Marketing internationally is fundamentally different than marketing domestically, but many of the same marketing principles you use domestically will apply. International marketing must take into account culture, types of media, laws and regulations and a higher degree of competition, but the core of the marketing process is the same; you want to have your product or service stand out by differentiating from your competitors. Creativity can be inhibited by laws, but that should not deter you from trying. A hint is to build on the cultural aspects. You need determine which segments of the market you want to attract and market to.
A key assistance in the development of a marketing plan is to develop associations and partnerships with firms or individuals in the target market. They will know the marketing culture, rules and regulations, and can guide you in developing a marketing strategy that will fit within that target market.
Preparing Your Marketing Plan
Preparing plans, whether they are strategic plans, business plans, or marketing plans is a good thing to do. But you cannot be wedded to them, particularly when you are entering international markets, as the nature of business can change quickly and you need to be agile in your business practices to reduce risk or take advantage of opportunities as they arise. But, as noted above, planning should be done when seeking new international markets. Although there are many examples and case studies available of very good international marketing plans, there is no single international template available.
An international marketing plan is similar to a domestic plan, but must take into account those areas that you will face in a foreign country. These include, but are not limited to, transportation costs, market segments, culture, level of competition, your strategic objectives, positioning, and the entry strategy you will use. Following is a list of heading topics for the development of an international marketing plan. Much of the detail you develop in the plan will be determined by your market research and the gathering of market intelligence.
International Marketing Plan Components
- What business are you in
- Why export/import
- Information sources
- Market/Business Environment
- Target market
- Market Objectives
- 4 P’s Strategies
- Market Entry Strategy
- Implementation and Evaluation