The world is a highly diverse place and this should be kept in mind when venturing into international marketing. The varying differences across the world can strongly affect how and what people purchase as well as how people react to all types of marketing. In some instances, these differences can be common knowledge (such as how marketing swimsuits in Alaska would not be as successful as marketing parkas). Unfortunately, it isn’t all that simple. Here are four things to pay close attention to in your next international marketing campaign.
1. Different Levels of Technology
The level of technology in each continent, country, and even city can be different. This is a key element to consider when deciding what outlet of marketing to use. For example, a social media ad would not be as effective in a country where social media is frowned upon or is not as popular as in the US. Also, keeping up with the growth of technology in places that your company would like to market in can be very beneficial. If a country just developed a more elite internet system, a company could take advantage and be one of the first to virtually advertise there and get a jump on a new advertising market.
2. Importance of Religion
This is an extremely vital factor of marketing internationally. Religion is one of the most central aspects in life for many countries and people. It is important to respect that when advertising in certain places. Research the various religions in the new place you would like to market to. Religions make a large impact on what type of products and services are demanded. For example, many religions in the Middle East as well as India do not eat meats, specifically pork. So, the market for those products would not be successful in those places. This seems like a simple example, but it can be much more nuanced.
3. Cultural Dimensions and How They Change
Culture is one of the most interesting things across the continents. It’s an amazing thing just how different even a few miles can make in the feeling of culture. Culture also largely impacts trending products and how they perform. This goes back to the example about Alaska in the introduction. A cold country will have a culture that involves living with a cold climate, being prepared for harsh storms, and little demand for warm weather products. All of these factors have been categorized by Geert Hofstede’s standard of cultural dimensions.
4. Laws of Different Governments
Some governments have extremely strict restrictions on media and internet content. One of these governments is in fact one of the biggest markets in the world: China. If a company wanted to enter the market and advertise in China, the company would have to pay close attention to every detail of the ad and make sure it aligns with their strict regulations. For example, when Google expanded into China, a lot of their content wasn’t allowed. They tried a personalized approach called Google.cn that limited the search results removing content such as resistance movements. This is a crucial thing to research before jumping into a foreign market.
International business can be a profitable business venture for many companies, but it is also extremely risky. It’s important to thoroughly and diligently research the market you are entering in marketing and advertising. The world is constantly changing at a rapid pace and it is hard to stay on top of. There are many more details that go into entering a new market, but these four factors are vital to succeed.