As marketers we find ourselves grappling with the need to expand, grow, and scale everything we do to achieve our company’s overall goals. It can be difficult for a small or medium-sized corporation to initially build an international marketing plan. Typically, they don’t have the expertise or budget to launch the campaign. But it’s not impossible.

What can these businesses do to avoid a marketing catastrophe in international markets?

  • Define international success and why you need it.
  • Find strategic partnerships within your new global market.
  • Create campaigns with localization in mind.

1. Define international success and why you need it.

Before investing time and resources into a global marketing strategy, begin by asking. “Why did we decide to expand?”

Here are a few reasons companies decide to go global:

  • Improving customer retention with a competitive global edge
  • Creating campaigns with a global mindset allows for growth and scalability with global and localized campaigns
  • Gaining global market share with competitive services and diverse perspectives
  • Entering into new markets opens opportunities to increase revenue and profits
  • Opportunity to enter international markets with low competition and high reward

Source: HubSpot Global Marketing Playbook

2. Find strategic partnerships within your new global market.

It’s time to begin planning out your global marketing strategy. But before you do that, take a step back and evaluate what resources you already have. Dealing with international customers will require insight on the perspective, pain points, and challenges they may be dealing with that are unique to their market. One of the biggest mistake’s companies make is launching marketing campaigns into markets that they don’t fully understand. See if you have people internally with international business experience, exposure to different cultures, and/or connections within the markets you are trying to penetrate.

There are other options if you don’t. “By partnering with another group or hiring marketing experts with knowledge of foreign markets, smaller companies can build their cultural research and implement more successful campaigns. “(Source 2) Building up a local creative, marketing, and sales team will help you avoid simple mistakes. Mistakes that could affect the success of your campaign.

3. Create campaigns with localization in mind.

Using a singular campaign to market to the masses could work within one region. But the message could easily be mis-translated in another. This is due to different languages, societal norms and cultures. Choose your markets wisely, and group them with relevant factors to each other. Make sure you are not missing key languages and dialects. If you plan too broadly you could miss the mark completely, which will negatively affect your ROI. If you take the time to carefully design your campaigns to be targeted and focused, your brand could build serious traction overseas.

If you don’t have a lot of international marketing experience, you may be feeling underprepared and overwhelmed.  Don’t fret, this is common as there is no clear path when it comes to launching campaigns in international markets. Avoid catastrophe by defining what success looks like and finding strategic partners with knowledge of the foreign market.

If you need a more detailed overview download HubSpot’s Global Marketing Playbook and get started on future global success.

Download the HubSpot Global Marketing Plan