When considering an overseas expansion for your business, there is a lot you’ll need to learn and prepare for. From the language and local laws to health and safety regulations, moving abroad is no easy feat.
Whether you’re planning on taking your company to Japan, Europe or America, here are a few suggestions on how you can adapt your marketing strategy to successfully take your business worldwide.
Before you take the plunge and start to think about creating a marketing plan for your subsidiary, you’ll need to follow a few processes. You should carry out extensive research into the new location, the local market and potential customers. This will prepare you for the transition overseas as you’ll know the common practices of the local area and be able to adapt your marketing strategy accordingly.
And you’ll need to find out about the general business etiquette of the country too. The level of formality can change, and so can the dynamic of meetings and the way you’ll be expected to present yourself.
For example, in Japan, you should take pride in your business cards and treat others’ cards with the utmost respect. Finding out about the local customs can really help when it comes to setting up your business.
Another obvious challenge is that your marketing message may change in translation. So it’s important that your business ethos and unique selling points are apparent in any language. They need to still carry the same message and power, but you need to know what’s the ‘in’ thing to do, what’s outdated and which types of marketing practices have the country not seen yet.
Moreover, customer habits in different countries will vary. By doing your research into the local behaviors of your target audience, you’ll be better able to tailor your marketing strategy.
After all this work, you may find that you need to change your marketing strategy altogether. You’ll need to compare your unique selling points with the findings of your research to confirm you’re targeting the right markets. You may want to carry out some test runs to see how a campaign would be produced and how well it would be received.
For example, depending on the country you’re planning on operating in, different forms of media will be favored. In some countries, marketing and advertising may be prevalent on social media and online platforms such as blogger pages and websites.
Others may rely on more traditional methods such as newspapers, billboards and magazines to connect with their target market. But as with any marketing campaign, it can be a good idea to use a broad spectrum of mediums to make sure you’re hitting most demographics.
Adjusting your marketing style to meet the local expectations can be the difference to your business failing or being successful. So, don’t overlook the importance of learning how to market your business abroad.