Are You Communicating Successfully With Your Overseas Target Market?
International expansion of a company is an excellent way to expand turnover and secure new and larger customer bases. However, successfully marketing products and services to an international market can be a challenge and dictates the need for a thorough understanding of the international audience’s cultures, online activity and laws. International marketing demands that companies recognise the differences in cultures, language and consumers in foreign countries and seeks to find solutions to promote products and services that are relevant to the target nation. Through recognising that the marketing schemes used in the home country may not be relevant, understandable or successful in a new country, international marketing specialists adapt, refresh and create new plans to ensure that the information and promotion of a business is relevant, coherent and captivating.
The key to successful international marketing is research and understanding the culture, needs and preferences of your target market. Although focused reading and reviews of competitor marketing plans will lend a hand in this role, taking sufficient time to fully understand the target country will yield greater rewards. It is important to be aware of stereotypes and to avoid them, to analyse cultural differences between the various target peer groups of a target audience and where possible, with the help of international marketing translation, liaise with potential target customers to evaluate individual needs. Once you are informed and empathetic to cultural concerns, the chance of jeopardising international marketing plans significantly decreases.
International Online Presence
When expanding a company internationally, one of the forethoughts is likely to be the translation of web content into a target language. Again, it is not enough to take the content directed to one country, translate it into a different language and assume that the marketing will be as effective. Instead, businesses must take the effort to translate international marketing content whilst have a strong consideration for culture, humour, target audience diversity and localisation.
It is also imperative to note that SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) words for one country are not automatically the same for another. Be careful to analyse the keywords that are appropriate to the target country and audience and work alongside specialist international marketing translators to ensure that the keywords used in the translated content are appropriate and will be successful.
International Social Media Marketing
Social media has leapt forward in recent years as a marketing platform that oozes potential for those looking to cement their place on an international stage. For companies who already receive a lot of foreign interest or those who want to access a global audience, social media is an exceptional way to reach out to new targets. What’s more, there are a number of sites that actively work to support you, such as:
Facebook: Companies can choose to create one page to market themselves or create multiple pages, each suited to a specific target. If the business chooses to have one page, updates can be directed to targets through location, language and translation and demographics. This means that users receive updates from a business in their news feeds and will do so in their own language. On the downside, users who then make the move to visit the company’s site may find it confusing to find multiple language and multiple updates. Instead, a company may take the time to create a number of regional-specific pages and this means that target audiences will follow the relevant page and eliminate the multiple-translation confusions, though this is a more time consuming option for the business.
Twitter: Those who want to communicate successfully with international markets can create multiple Twitter accounts, allowing them to tweet in different languages. Again, this means that customers won’t have to wade through a number of foreign tweets to find those in their own language. Marketing strategies such as Dell’s Direct2Dell execute this fabulously, with tweets offered in Chinese, English, Japanese, Norwegian and Spanish.
Utilising Multiple Channels
In order to cement successful communication with your overseas target market, it is vital to assess the relevance of the media mix that you use for each country. Some targets audiences will rely on social media for updates, others will expect mailshots and some countries will still look to local or national newspapers for advertising and marketing material. Again, the research into the culture of your target audience and your knowledge of individual demographics will be key to understanding how to captivate the base initially and also maintain interest and support once the initial marketing campaign has ceased.
Whichever marketing channel you use for initial and continued business communication, be sure to only ever employ the skills of professional translation services in order to ensure that your content is professional, reliable, understandable and relevant. Your foreign connections may offer exceptional rates to take on this role but despite their expert grasp of their own language, avoid dialect issues, colloquialisms and misinterpretation by always using professional translator services.