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Crossing the Borders—6 Tips for International Business

Technology has made it possible for many businesses to start reaching across borders into other countries that might have previously been too difficult to access. Marketing to other countries requires a slightly different strategy than local marketing. It requires adaptation and research. These six tips will help businesses accomplish international business.

1. Understand the Differences of International Business

The most important part of marketing across borders is to understand the basic cultural, technological and economic differences. Marketing that works in one country might not be successful elsewhere. Additionally, the way consumers interpret messages can be very different. Businesses should understand how to frame problems and solutions in ways that are relevant to the citizens of another country.

2. Localize Campaigns

Marketing campaigns should be localized as much as possible, both online and offline. This requires market research and effective segmentation. Campaigns should address the local needs of residents. This often means breaking some standardization of messaging in favor of adaptive strategies.

3. Distribute Branded Promotional Items

Branded promotional products are one of the most effective ways for businesses to reach across borders. The best promo products will be functional, easily accessible and relevant.  The imprinting on these promotional products should express the brand in a way that people in other countries will understand clearly. The good news is promotional products convey messaging that needs no translation.

4. Optimize Online Marketing

Any online marketing, websites or landing pages should be optimized to target the other country. This often means minimizing load times when working with an emerging market that does not have a strong infrastructure. This can also mean optimizing mobile marketing efforts to match the operating systems and devices most commonly in use in other markets.

5. Know the Language

It is crucial to work with native speakers in other countries when developing marketing copy or posting to social media sites across the border. Poorly worded or translated messages could be offensive, incoherent or ineffective. Native speakers will ensure that communications relay the marketing messages and brand accurately.

6. Consider Affiliates and Partnerships

Reaching across borders is not always easy. A good solution is to consider working with other businesses that are already operating in the country as partners or affiliates. This can help to build the brand and make people aware of the business without having to figure out every aspect of the new market in advance.

The goal of businesses reaching across borders is to create a presence that consumers see as friendly, trustworthy and part of the local area. Consumers are less likely to trust businesses that seem foreign. Marketing efforts need to be tailored to the expectations of local consumers in the countries you are attempting to target.

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