Going International

Tips for penetrating the “impenetrable” international market

Imagine a world without…
Foreign imported luxury cars or Doritos
Sounds good?

Maybe not, but thanks to the brave souls who conquered and penetrated the rough seas of an impenetrable international market.

If you must survive and be successful in penetrating what seems like an impenetrable international market, here are some tips.

You’ve identified your new market, however without experience in business or knowledge of the environment you might want to treat it like a start up and do some research.

Investigate your competition, opportunities and risks in the market.

Research is also key to identifying the unique characteristics and ideal point of entry of the market. Much like a guy does not use the same tricks on the new girl, or a girl who chooses her dress according to occasion; you need to figure out the culture, linguistics and nuances, consumer preferences, behavior so that you can customize the approach of product and market strategies.
Always remember the fictional story of the Chevy Nova, purportedly created by General Motors who couldn’t understand why it sold poorly in the Spanish-speaking markets. A helpful someone pointed out that the no va (loosely translated as “doesn’t go”) was probably interpreted by the nationals as the car that wouldn’t go.


Build an online presence-
It will help A LOT if your consumers can find you online- Google sees countless searches about products and companies every day. It may also be useful to get search engine optimized (SEO) with the keywords that will resonate with and compel your target audience.

You could target the whole country but it does make better sense to target and segment,

Divide and conquer if you will. Then you can determine which segments are more suitable for your product or to whom your product will appeal more.

When it’s time to land, launch and execute, nothing beats personal interaction and engagement with your market. With your budget and marketing strategies outlined, and localized sales material- unleash your creative marketing!

After you’ve done all that, you and your staff may be hanging by the last thread;

Do some social listening.

Find out what persons are saying about you both online and in the market, if they are saying anything about you.

If they aren’t then, revisit your marketing strategy. Put an ear in to ensure that what is said is what you want to be said, this can help you change perception before it escalates.

But most of all be patient, international penetration will not happen overnight.