With the Internet bringing customers from around the world to even the smallest business, thinking globally can have a number of benefits for your organization. While a global marketing strategy has the potential to significantly expand your business, international trade requires extensive thought and consideration to cement that success.
Pro: Larger Customer Base
Though the U.S. sports one of the largest economies in the world, other nations represent significant spending power. By marketing to customers around the world, you can bring in international business that equals or exceeds your domestic demand. Irving, TX-based Bespoke Group, LLC, for example, began targeting India with its marketing efforts in 2004. Today, the company exports its products to more than 35 countries around the world.
Global marketing can bring in customers from everywhere -- including countries with high rates of fraud. Use caution when filling orders from customers in high-fraud countries.
Con: Localized Marketing Nuances
While marketing to a global audience can seem as simple as posting on Facebook or sending a bulk email, your marketing message requires careful consideration to ensure you don’t miss any local or cultural nuances. Sending an email to certain countries during certain religious observations, for example, can come off as a professional faux pas, and a perfectly-timed messages for your domestic audience may hit overseas inboxes in the middle of the night. Even the language you choose for your global marketing messages is important to consider. For example, airline Braniff International’s English slogan, “Fly into Leather” reached Spanish audiences as “Fly Naked.”
Consulting with marketing professionals in the countries you intend to serve can help you discover local nuances and learn how to effectively reach your customers in that market.
Marketing to a global audience can help you spread your marketing costs across a larger base, reducing important metrics like average cost per acquisition. You can also test marketing campaigns in various markets, globalizing campaigns that work well and quietly discontinuing localized campaigns that do not produce the desired results. According to the management website Quick MBA, you can even extend the lifecycle of your products, shifting older models to less-developed countries that do not want or cannot afford the most current model.
Con: Headcount Requirements
To compensate for language and cultural differences, you may need to expand your marketing staff to include one or more professionals with an international marketing background. Many international customers expect quick service despite the time difference, so it may be necessary to offer customer service 24 hours per day. In addition, it may be beneficial to recruit bilingual or multilingual customer service agents who can communicate with customers who don't speak English.
Keith Evans has been writing professionally since 1994 and now works from his office outside of Orlando. He has written for various print and online publications and wrote the book, "Appearances: The Art of Class." Evans holds a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication from Rollins College and is pursuing a Master of Business Administration in strategic leadership from Andrew Jackson University.