“What’s the top priority for international online marketing?”
Fellow Executive Master Class faculty member, Hema Dey, and I were asked that question at a class on online marketing. We were delivering a primer on global online marketing to a group of Riverside, CA business owners. That class covered many topics such as SEO strategy, blog posting, social media integration, etc. etc.
It was understandable that the owners wanted prioritization. The answer to the question became clear over the course of the morning as a result of our interaction with the business owners.
In the US market, companies need to zero in on the exact market they are looking for. For example, if you are a lawyer specializing in injury cases, you find that you are more successful advocating for clients with head injuries rather than slips and falls. In your strategy (SEO, blogs or social media), you should focus on head injuries. Hema calls this “laser focus.”
I offered an analogy on how to expand this to global markets. Domestic online marketing follows certain rules (legal and business culture). It’s like a game of chess – everyone knows the moves and strategy. When the effort crosses-borders, another level of laws and business culture kicks in. That’s 3D chess. That requires a lot of strategy and effort (time and money). Each layer drives up the effort, at times in an exponential way.
So, what should be the top priority for international online marketing? The answer is the same as for the domestic market – laser focus.
What does laser focus mean?
- Identifying your customer in as much detail as possible:
- B2B – location, size of company, their products, their buying habits, etc.
- B2C – location, income, their buying habits, etc.
- Understanding how to get in front of those customers: social media, advertising, PPC, marketing, websites,
- Measuring the effectiveness of your marketing: SEO, inquiries and, ultimately, sales.
There is nothing unique about this approach. What is unique is that the analysis and measurement must be done through the eyes of the customer in the other country with its unique legal system and business culture. Each online marketing initiative has an opportunity cost. The way to keep costs under control is laser focus.