In a highly globalized business world, where imports and exports are part of the usual activity of many companies, a good international marketing plan is essential if we want our products to be successful beyond our borders.
It is important to note that the marketing plan developed for the country where we have the highest number of sales; often the company’s home country, is not viable for any other country. Often the lack of training in international trade causes mistakes, which in turn, have serious consequences on sales.
Although marketing is usually global, a company needs a market study for each of the countries in which we are going to introduce our product.
Each territory has its own commercial particularities, which forces us to change not only the marketing and sales strategy but, very often, to adapt the product according to the market to which it is intended. We need to take this into account when defining the pre-import characteristics.
Visibility and positioning of the brand in the new country
Even if the branding is well established for one or more countries, we must begin with a new strategy that allows us to develop that brand every time our product crosses a new border.
As well as the brand’s strength, we have to work on the product or products that we are going to introduce. Enhancing its benefits, alongside the strengths of the brand, will be key to getting consumers to keep us in the forefront of their mind.
In the 21st century, any product must be supported by sales experience. Factors such as customs or feelings are constantly shifting. Therefore, the change from one country to another can be remarkable. Taking into account the particularities of each country is absolutely vital even for brands using ecommerce as their only distribution channel.
The price of the same product varies from one country to another; that is no secret. In fact, there are products that many people usually buy in other countries because, even when adding the shipping costs, the savings are considerable. An example of this in Spain until recently is video games. Most gaming fans had a habit of buying the latest developments in the UK, where the price was much lower.
Adapting the price of our product to a new country’s market is one of the most important factors of the sales strategy. Therefore, it is important to get this right.
When we open a new market, transportation and logistics can be a common handicap. We must not forget that this factor has a significant impact on customer satisfaction, especially in the sales experience.
Directly related to marketing, although some people may think that isn’t, after-sales is an important factor to consider. When introducing our product into a new country, we must be able to provide a quality after-sales service. If not, our reputation may suffer and adversely affect our brand, which may be particularly affected in a country where its presence is still growing.
As we have seen, for each new market where we intend to introduce our products, the essential aspects of the sales process must be appropriately adapted. Detecting opportunities and threats, as well as having a well-defined action plan, will be key to our brand’s journey beyond our borders.
Like any strategy, all actions related to international marketing must be consistent and complementary with each other. Laying the groundwork for the right path is the best guarantee of success for those companies that decide to export or open new markets.