Developing an international market communications strategy requires great diligence to ensure the effectiveness of a campaign. Considering the many cultural and social, economic, and legal differences among countries, it has become increasingly necessary for companies to dedicate much time and effort in planning the distribution and messaging of a marketing campaign. By following a detailed process, companies can identify strengths and weaknesses of a campaign early on, enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of their international market communications strategy.
One of the first steps companies should take in crafting an international market communications strategy is researching their target audience. Because these campaigns will be global, it is important for companies to identify target consumers that are prevalent in each country. By researching and identifying a consumer base available across the globe, companies can save costs associated with adapting an advertisement to fit the needs of each country’s consumer base. Some adaptations may still be required, but pinpointing a global target audience will help the company create a unified message to distribute across the world.
One of the next steps in the process should involve determining each country’s promotional mix or the appropriate channels to reach the target audience. This step requires a more strategic mindset to combine aspects of standardization and adaptation. For cost effectiveness, companies should leverage similarities among countries to create standardized advertisements that can be distributed worldwide. Simultaneously, however, companies should also identify which communication channels are most popular and effective in each country to distribute these standardized ads. This will also contribute to cost effectiveness as it avoids wasting resources on communication channels, such as billboards and commercials, that may not reach the intended target audience in a particular country.
The next step in an international market communications strategy should involve developing the actual message. This step requires many aspects of adaptation because of the strong prevalence of linguistic barriers. Once a company identifies an effective branding message that is relevant globally, they need to create campaigns that properly communicate that message. This involves carefully distinguishing between translations and interpretations of a message depending on a country’s communication context.
The last step in developing an effective international market communications strategy requires assessing how the brand or message communicated is actually perceived by target consumers in each country’s market. This step requires further consumer research in each country to determine whether the translation of an advertisement was done properly to communicate the intended message. This part of the process should involve the use of focus groups prior to the launch of a campaign, so there is still opportunity for change before the international market communications strategy is finalized.
Overall, following these steps will allow companies to create effective and cost efficient international market communications strategies. They allow for the early identification of obstacles and solutions that will enhance the reach and effectiveness of a campaign, helping increase brand awareness and revenue.