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Forget International Fame: Think Global Marketing

Many experts say that branding is a local process, first and foremost. The process goes this way: You establish your business, then work diligently to identify your target niche, study their habits and understand their priorities, and finally set a brand that fits well with your target audience.

But in this day and age, the whole world is a good operational playground, so why ignore it and focus only on the domestic market?

We think you can – and should – go global, devising a marketing strategy and an operational blueprint that adapt well to international conditions.

To help you in your enterprise, read our top 10 global marketing tips for establishing your brand on a global level.

Forget International Fame: Think Global Marketing

#1. Seek National Partners

Seek local partners in countries where you want to establish yourself. Don’t hesitate to make a generous offer to the domestic partners, even if it means you giving them some equity.

That way, you bypass all the traditional process – which can be costly – of doing market research, filling paperwork and establishing yourself.

Save time and money, and go with a local partner that has already established itself in the competitive landscape.

#2. Seek Global Business Allies

Seeking global business allies is another way of boosting your chances of global branding. Ask multinationals in your sector or a related sector if you can sign an exclusivity partnership with them. Remember, you don’t pose a real operational threat to them, so they might be more than likely to consider your proposal.

Alternatively, you can seek a partnership with a multinational that is based in your foreign country of interest, in which you render services for the company in your home country, and the multinational reciprocates on its home turf.

#3. Have a Global Vision

An effective, global branding blueprint is based on a global vision – plain and simple. If you don’t think global  and don’t envision your company and brand as global, chances are you will not succeed in your global expansion.

So adopt from the get-go an international perspective in everything you do, from the products and services you sell, to how you run your company.

#4. Hire a Multicultural Team

Your personnel should reflect the global approach you want to take, operationally speaking. You cannot build a truly performing global brand without multicultural diversity. Impossible!

At the end of the day, certain things, some promotional techniques, some product choices are better decided by someone who lived or lives in your foreign country of interest, or someone who clearly understands local social dynamics because of biological heritage or academic research.

#5. Produce for a Global Market

Make sure your products and services are meant for a global audience, or fit well within the legal and cultural requirements of the foreign countries you are interested in.

For example, if you are exporting meat, you should know that pork consumption is unauthorized in Muslim countries, among others.

Whatever you want to sell, ensure that it passes socio-cultural muster – something that should not be difficult to do if you have a local partner or hire someone well attuned with the intricacies of the local culture.

#6. Ramp Up Your Public Relations

Want to go global? Time to ramp up your public relations then!

An effective PR outline must identify whom you want to reach, where they live and shop, what their priorities are, and what competing products and services they currently buy. If your budget allows, we suggest you enlist the help of a local PR agency.

Otherwise, resort to cheap yet effective promotion techniques, such as word of mouth, email marketing and social media.

#7. Embrace Social Media

Social media marketing is your ally in your quest for global brand recognition. Use the various networks to your advantage, making sure you build your pages effectively and grow your fan base over time.

Experts say businesses with a global approach are better off using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, as well as whichever channel is prominent in your foreign country of interest, in terms of social media and online promotion.

#8. Beef Up International Networking

Parallel to your social media strategy, expand your international network. Here we are talking about real connections, not virtual fans or followers who may or may not become actual customers.

Register on international e-commerce sites, like eBay and Alibaba, and connect with local business partners. Similarly, cultivate the company of business people through local chambers of commerce.

#9. Translate Your Website Content in Multiple Languages

While mulling over your global expansion tactics, consider translating your website from English into the language of your foreign country of interest. That way, you can begin to attract local prospects to your website, way before you even set operational foot in the country.

Having your web content also in the local jargon sends a clear message to your target audience and competitors alike: You are serious about their market, and will do all it takes to communicate  with them effectively and provide products and services that satisfy their needs.

#10. Produce Promotional Material in Several Languages

In the Internet’s era, a brilliant way to make your business brand global is to produce viral content.

Well, virality does not happen that easily, so let’s suggest you produce catchy or funny material you can then post on your website or YouTube. It is even better if you produce the content in a local language, with English subtext.

Synopsis

For a business, going global has many advantages, from increased recognition to higher revenues.

However, a successful branding expansion takes time and resources, and you need to make sure you understand the local market before considering global branding.

Also, don’t underestimate the importance of domestic partners or other business allies.

Images: “International business and global market concept with a close-up of a customer file directory with document and some international flags on tags./Shutterstock.com

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Dr. Emad Rahim is an award-winning entrepreneur, educator, author and community leader. He has been invited to be a TEDx Speaker and keynoted at several different university events. He was recognized by the United Nations Foundation as a 2013 Empact100 Honoree for his social entrepreneurship work, received a Congressional Award for his community service and was the recipient of the Forty Under 40 Business Leadership Award sponsored by Syracuse University. His personal story was turned into a short documentary, ‘AGAINST THE ODDS,’ and featured in the Huffington Post and Forbes. He co-authored ‘RESILIENCE: FROM THE KILLING FIELDS TO THE BOARDROOM’ and ‘LEADING THROUGH DIVERSITY: TRANSFORMING MANAGERS INTO EFFECTIVE LEADERS’ and ‘THE 4-TIONS: YOUR GUIDE TO DEVELOPING SUCCESSFUL JOB SEARCH STRATEGIES,’ and is a frequent contributor to Forbes, CEO Magazine, TweakYourBiz and YFS Entrepreneurship Magazine. He currently serves as the Endowed Chair of the Project Management Center of Excellence and Associate Professor in the College of Science and Technology at Bellevue University. He is also a JWMI Fellow at the Jack Welch Management Institute in the Executive MBA program and Visiting Scholar at Rutgers University. http://www.amazon.com/Dr.-Emad-Rahim/e/B006HJSWOO

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Comments
  • With the world shrinking because of technology it makes a lot of sense to think globally for business these days. Thanks for sharing these great tips. As always I look forward to your next post for us Emad.




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