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It can be daunting just thinking

about global marketing, let alone

doing it.

Where do you start? How do you know you’ll get the ROI you need to make it worth the effort? What do you need to consider when entering the global marketplace?

We’re here to help answer those questions so you can start your global efforts. Each part is important for the bottom-line, but don’t worry - it’s not as complex as it seems.

There are three overarching areas to consider: • Discussions about going global

• Researching what it takes to be global • Planning ahead for marketing expansion






Marketing to a global audience isn’t a decision you make offhand. There are multiple indicators for going global. These indicators are found through research and engagement with your sales and marketing teams:

• International form submissions • Direct sales interactions

• Google and other analytics • International market research

• International interest given at tradeshows and conventions

• Existing international direct and indirect competition Once you’ve found multiple indicators that you have potential revenue streams in the global market, you need to figure out answers to a few high-level questions.


Get your stakeholders together for multiple meetings and be sure to cover these questions. There will be more questions you think of than listed here but these are a starting point for your conversations.

What international markets

should our product or service be

expanded into?

This isn’t a question with any old answer. This question should be answered with relevant statistics and research on the countries within which your company has a potential niche. The research already done should at least start this conversation with a list of potential markets and why, at a high-level, these markets are a good fit.

The markets you should first consider are the ones with the greatest potential ROI. This will likely mean that these markets have a combination of the following:

• Low entry to market

• High need for the service or product • Low or no competition

Should we centralize or localize

our marketing department?

This is a decision you’ll have to come back to over and over again as your global marketing efforts grow. Many of the giant corporations do a combination of both but smaller companies will have to choose between them. Many smaller companies will find that centralizing is the most affordable option. But that doesn’t mean it’s true for you. There is no one right option.


Yet, if you do go towards centralizing your marketing, the limits of that approach can be minimized through the strategic use of agencies and contractors. Outsourcing parts of your marketing effort can effectively give you the advantages of a combined central and local marketing department that large corporations enjoy.

Where should we start with our

global marketing efforts?

There are a number of areas you’ll have to consider when going global. Some of them are your:

• Website

• Online downloadable assets

• Sales team communication capabilities • Support communication capabilities • Marketing campaigns

The most important piece to get started is your ability to communicate with the international markets you want to branch into. Make sure to globalize your website, downloadable assets, and branding, and work on expanding your sales team - all the while keeping customer experience in mind. You want the globalization to be useable to your new audience. If the new setup isn’t customer friendly, then you’ll have issues entering the global market.

Once you start globally marketing, you should investigate your support infrastructure to identify if it can be easily globalized. When you have won a few deals you can give special focus on supporting them, expanding various areas you find lacking during the process.


Finally, once the basic structure is in place, you can consider expanding the global effort to the less important, one-off marketing efforts. You need to have a foundation to build off of before you can dive into your global marketing efforts.

That doesn’t mean the foundation needs to be huge. Just make sure the structure is in place so when a prospect hears about you, they have something and someone to connect with.

How does our business plan

change with us going global?

Your business plan is important. The business plan should be a guide for your marketing and sales efforts. You cannot simply expand your marketing without a plan. Keep it relevant and up-to-date so that you have a guide and rules to fall back on anytime you need it.

Make sure the business plan has at least the following: 1. First year global expansion goals and guidelines

• What is the budget for the first year’s efforts, broken down by business quarter?

• Which countries should the expansion focus on? • What is the expected time to market per country


• What are the internal goals per quarter for building the support for this global expansion? • What is the estimated ROI needed to consider the

first year a success?

2. Three year global expansion goals

3. Long-term business goals updated to incorporate the global efforts


Once the high level details are hashed out, it’s time to pull together the team that will make it happen. There are some basic things that need to be decided on before any production work can be completed. Many of these decisions need to be decided with both the marketing and the sales side of the global effort.

During these discussions remember to consider how to: • Centralize marketing campaign requests

• Set up a global lead generation and lead assignment • Update your lead scoring to take the global market

into consideration



What it Takes

to go Global


You cannot dive right into marketing to a new country and audience without researching it first. This research will guide your decisions and action plan. Proper research will take time and that will affect your time to market but that doesn’t mean you should consider cutting corners. There are multiple, major sections that need to be researched properly. In the end, proper research will help improve your bottom-line. So make sure to do your research. Start off your research in the following areas.

Laws + Your Target Countries

Research the laws of each country into which you are going to expand. Make sure to talk with your legal team to find out what all you need to put into place.


Be sure to cover the following: • Liability laws

• Subscription management

• Sales conduct such as what is considered a bribe • Required product warnings

• Restricted or banned substances in products

• Required communication capabilities and support for your customer

You can have legal repercussions if you do not follow the law of each country you are entering. For instance, Canada changed their email subscription laws in 2014 and now require a double opt-in process. If you don’t follow it you will be fined anywhere from $1-10 million per violation.

So don’t skip this.

(That being said, we aren’t lawyers, consider contacting one that is an expert and discussing these issues.)

Countries Culture and Norms

Every country has its own customs, language, and idiosyncrasies. It’s a given that you should translate your marketing to the local language but that isn’t the start and end in what you need to do. You or someone you are working with needs to know everything about that country that could pertain to your interactions with the people in it. This isn’t just the language barrier, but how the language is used. Even English speaking countries have differences that you need to be aware of.

You need to transcreate your marketing material and branding, not just translate it.


Take this Nike campaign as a good example on how to globally market. Nike made the campaign universally understood with their “Risk Everything” slogan. The marketing team made sure that slogan worked for every country they were marketing to.

For Turkey, Nike changed the hashtag version of the slogan to “#everythingisrevealed” because research determined the original slogan would not work the way the marketing department wanted it to when translated.

Because they did the research into the cultures they were marketing to, Nike had no issues with communicating their offerings. With no communication blunders, their ROI didn’t take a hit.

Above: A screenshot from Nike’s Risk Everything Campaign. Created by Portland, Oregon agency Wieden + Kennedy for the FIFA 2014 World Cup.


Marketing Automation Platform

While the cost of a marketing automation platform (MAP) may seem too expensive to be worth it, the ability to have everything in one place and actively connecting your marketing and sales efforts together can have huge benefits to your bottom-line.

A MAP can help with:

• Easy production of automated campaigns in multiple languages

• Structuring global lead scoring • Lead management (sales funnel) • Marketing & Sales Alignment

• Building an international nurturing ecosystem

Each MAP is different. There are different structures, advantages, and limitations of each.


Some things you need to know about the MAP you are considering using or already have in place are:

1. Special Characters

Does this system support double-byte characters I need to use to communicate with Middle Eastern and Asian countries in their language?

Double-byte characters include Kanji. If one of the countries you are expanding to or plan to expand to in the future uses double-byte characters, you need to be certain the technology you are using will support the use of those characters. Not all MAPs do.

2. Structure

What structure does the MAP support for organization, turning on and off campaigns, and archiving them? The more limited you are with these, the higher the chance the MAP will have performance issues down the line as your global marketing expands.

3. Subscription Management

What are the MAPs subscription management capabilities?

Some MAPs have a default structure that is setup to follow the USA CAN-Spam laws. USA laws are not international laws. A MAP that exclusively defaults to support USA law will not work for Canada law, for instance. If your MAP is defaulted to work with USA law, find out if there are ways to customize it to work for international laws before looking to change platforms.


Plan Ahead

for Global



Pushing into the global market is going to be expensive and time consuming, especially if you don’t plan ahead. You can do a few things to help keep your costs down.

Focus on the important


Keep your marketing efforts focused on what is important to communicate to your new audience. The only thing the lead needs to know is what you’re offering, what it does for them, and why they should buy it.

Focus on what will give you the greatest ROI. Start with the educational details and then move to the great, short term offers you want to bring to their attention.


Use Templates for Online


Building out branded templates will go a long way to help focus your marketing efforts. Templates give you guides on what content and how much content to make. They also go a long way in keeping your branding efforts tightly uniformed. Make sure to create templates that are both mobile-ready and optimized for multiple languages. Arab is read right to left. German is full of extremely long words. Be sure to keep a balance in short term and long term use for templates. For instance, do you need a landing page template focused on webinars right now?

• For the USA: probably

• For the rest of the countries: probably not

• Will you ever need that template for the rest of the world? Maybe.

You’ll have to decide how far ahead to look.

Create Universal Campaigns

The Nike Risk Everything campaign brought up earlier is an universal campaign. Focus your marketing efforts on creating your own universal campaigns with the help of your local teams, agencies, and/or contractors that can help transcreate the messages you want to bring across. Utilizing universal campaigns will help lower costs, as you aren’t having to create unique marketing campaigns per country, and keep the branding clear.


Keeping the branding universal will allow your campaigns to build international brand recognition. And the more brand recognition, the greater the chance for a lead to become a customer, the greater the return.

Kick-Starting your Global


In the end, remember that you need to have:

• Identified a potential market with a possible ROI worth the effort

• Researched that market

• Planned ahead with setting up a foundation that will support your growing marketing efforts

Iron-Point has marketed to over 36 countries in 24 languages. We have the expertise to help you take your marketing global. We’re here to help. Contact us for any support you need.


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