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How do I market my product in foreign markets?

For today’s startups, global platforms for web infrastructure, commerce, and marketing make international market development a real possibility.

Yet many are held back by lack of understanding, concern over the resources required, and a fear of the unknown.

Do your research

Not only must you know what local customers’ want and what competition you’ll face, but also be aware of considerations including culture, legal, financial, payment options, purchasing power, internet penetration, distribution channels, etc. – all of which will impinge on your marketing efforts.

Localise fully

Offering your product or service in a truly localised manner is key to driving uptake.

Buying a local domain and providing a translated website is only the starting point however.

Using professional or in-territory localisation resource is required who can tune your site, content and marketing for local cultural differences.

Invest in technology

Choosing the right web hosting and infrastructure provider is critical to maximising site speed and performance that are not only important to the customer experience, but increasingly relevant for SEO.

Payment mechanisms are also a crucial factor; allowing payments in relevant currencies and methods will improve both customer trust and conversion.

Establish a local presence

Having in-territory resource, or by using local partners, creates a face to the business that can represent you at events, meetings, with media or customers, thereby building greater affinity and trust.

It also provides significant benefits by being able to work effectively within the specific time zone; overcome language barriers; and gaining on-the-ground cultural, competitive and economic intelligence.

Start with what works elsewhere and test

A good starting point is to take the marketing tactics that you know work elsewhere and test them out in your new market.

Validate whether local ‘norms’ hold true; from experience I’ve witnessed where objections by local teams because “that’s not how things work here” not only prove to be unfounded, but by over-coming can create unprecedented market opportunities.

Use local media

In many markets, especially emerging, local media is very relevant for certain audiences.

There may be local variants of global media outlets, but invariably these will be franchises with only limited connection to the main, centralised body; it’s therefore important to deal and work with them directly.

Check out get2growth.com for more on this subject