How to Market International Services (+examples)

If you want to market your services to international markets, you have come to the right place!

In this article, we will review 7 of the best ways to market your services across borders.

So, if you have ever asked, “How do you market international services?”, here is a clear plan of action with some helpful examples.

You market international services these 7 ways:

  1. Conduct Thorough Research
  2. Understand Foreign Market Customs and Regulations
  3. Develop an International Marketing Plan
  4. Customize Marketing Campaigns
  5. Use Scalable Marketing Channels
  6. Content Translation
  7. Localization

From an increase in sales revenue to a greater competitive advantage, the potential benefits of serving more customers internationally are undeniable.

Business ideas that you can do in Costa Rica: An interview with Leus Legal, a trusted law firm from Costa Rica and Your Strategic Marketing Partner and:

As we get started, and as part of our series of doing business in Costa Rica, please enjoy this audio teleconference featuring Your Strategic Marketing Partner interviewing Leus Legal, a law firm from Costa Rica explaining many important items about Doing Business in Costa Rica:

And for marketing a services business, you may be able to take advantage of many flexible options not available to some product sellers.

Let’s get started!

7 Ways to Market Your Services in International Markets

International markets present several enticing opportunities that businesses can leverage. 

From an increase in revenue to a deeper market advantage, taking your business global can be rewarding, fun and create many new opportunities.

In addition, a wider sales territory can help you minimize domestic risks while increasing brand awareness and reputation. 

But finding and expanding into an untapped global market comes with a unique set of challenges, including regulatory differences and culture. 

With the internet, your options are almost limitless for marketing international services. For scalability and market customization, the internet provides more options than ever before for anyone to market their services internationally. (1)

But marketing your services to an international audience requires you to understand these challenges and develop strategies to overcome them. So how do you ensure success with your international marketing strategy?

Follow these 7 steps and you will immediately put the odds of success in your favor!

1. Conduct Thorough Research

As service marketing expands across international borders, marketers need to understand far away cultures. Marketers must understand customer behavior in order to not just compete, but to better serve the customers they intend to attract. (2)

Markets vary widely from region to region. Before launching advertising campaigns, determine the best regions for your international services. Every business operation is data-driven and instead of making assumption-based decisions, use the available market data to determine which markets you should focus on. Markets might not be what you think. Therefore, take time and research thoroughly, identifying the saturated and the hungry ones.

For a very helpful article on how to get started in your international plan, visit this article:

What are the Elements of International Marketing? (Answered!)

2. Understand Foreign Market Customs and Regulations

Countries have different trade laws and regulations that you must abide by to operate. Explore the rules and customs governing your international target markets before creating your strategic marketing plan. Some of the questions you should ask when considering a particular market include:

  • Is the product legal in that market?
  • Which restrictions are you likely to face selling there?
  • What are the tax-related issues you should manage?
  • Which data compliance issues or processes do you need to follow?

For a very helpful article and some starting points for understanding customs and regulations, visit this article:

How Do I Expand My Business Internationally? (+examples)

3. Develop an International Marketing Plan

Beware that the strategy that works in your current market may not work in another region despite how robust it might appear. 

Create a marketing approach that preserves your business culture while guaranteeing the benefits of attracting customers in international markets. 

An international marketing strategy should be based on product demand, service requirements, and prices. You should ask questions such as; is there sufficient demand for your service in that geographical area? 

Can you transfer the current prices to the new market in order to earn a profit?

As you develop your marketing plan, here is a very helpful article that can help you provide structure:

What is the marketing mix and why is it important? | The 4 P’s of marketing

4. Customize Marketing Campaigns

Consumer behavior varies depending on the region. Some are more comfortable shopping from retail stores, while others prefer online stores like Amazon. Again, others are more likely to read text messages than emails. 

Understanding your target audience's specific needs and behavior is crucial in developing a successful marketing strategy. As you look to the wider global market, create smart customer segments that will allow you to address specific consumer needs and enhance brand awareness.

For more understanding into developing your sales and marketing channels in international markets, here is an excellent article on exactly how to do this:

What are International Marketing Channels? (5 best)

5. Use Scalable Marketing Channels

The clarity of your marketing strategy does not guarantee success in a prospective international market. 

For example, language barriers and communication regulations might hinder your message from reaching the target market if the region has social media restrictions.

In fact, unless you have a preponderance of proof that your service is already being purchased at the price point you are asking, then you really need to do some message-market testing first. 

But of course, this is something you should do anyway.

Now is a good time to review this very important article on developing message- market fit:

What is the first rule of marketing? (Solved!)

As you go global, the scalability of your communication channels will determine your success in foreign markets. 

For example, the first channel you need to develop is your website. And it absolutely needs to be built for mobile first. Second, what is your main traffic source that represents customers from this international market you are targeting?

A social platform? A search engine? Email? Local print ad? Other online platform

Some channels, such as SMS and WhatsApp, are more effective when it comes to international marketing. WhatsApp allows you to engage customers, provide customer support services, and market services seamlessly to any part of the globe. Creating a WhatsApp call to action button on your site is a cheap and effective way to reach potential consumers globally.

6. Content Translation

Clear marketing communication and message delivery is hard enough in a native language. 

The room for error when communicating in foreign languages magnifies.

Going global implies you translate content to reach specific groups. 

Many big companies, including Coca-Cola, have made serious blunders when translating their work. 

To avoid tainting your brand picture, hire experienced linguists, probably native speakers, to translate your content and ensure the target audience receives the intended message. 

AI services like Google translate might be cheap, but they can be grossly inaccurate. 

Therefore, do not solely rely on this tool to communicate your brand to different cultures.

7. Localization

As an international brand, you must balance localization and globalization. Creating premium-quality content relevant to the local community is the best way of developing a connection with your audience in a specific region. 

If creating new content seems too much, consider optimization through repurposing the existing content to develop a local appeal.

Simply repurposing your proven marketing messages in your new target market is your best starting point. 

Test.

While localization is crucial in helping you meaningfully connect with people from different regions, ensure your business's unique features, such as culture, remain intact. 

This will guarantee consistency across different territories, establishing you as a strong international brand and plenty of lead flow in order to sell your services.

Transforming your business into a global brand requires a robust marketing strategy and a well-thought-out plan of action. 

The marketing campaign's success begins with thorough research of the target regions and adopting a scalable approach that allows you to expand to different markets. 

Ensure your brand develops a connection with the locals by accurately translating your message and producing local content they can easily relate with.

References

  1. Executive Insights: Virtual Services Go International: International Services in the Marketspace: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1069031X9900700307
  2. Marketing research, market orientation and customer relationship management: a framework and implications for service providers: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/08876040610646545/full/html 
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