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Designing an International Marketing Plan

Posted January 13, 2016 in Articles

While most companies start off by selling a product or service in a local market, there generally comes a point in time when the organization will look to expand its customer base. In today’s global economy, more and more small and mid-sized businesses are discovering the benefit of international expansion - there may be many people around the world who have a need for the products and services your company offers.

If your company is thinking about expanding into a foreign market, a solid international marketing plan can help position your organization for success. The international marketing plan is an important tool that can help your company gain a better understanding of the market(s) where your products/services are going to be sold so that you can develop targeted strategies to achieve your business goals.

Key Components of an International Marketing Plan

An effective international marketing plan involves a number of key components. While many of these components may be found in a local or regional marketing plan, it is critical to recognize that your international marketing plan must carefully consider the unique factors and market conditions associated with each of the countries you are looking to sell your products or services in.

Goals and Objectives

When you are thinking about selling your products or services in a foreign market defining your goals and objectives is an essential first part of the process. Your objectives should be specific, measurable and achievable. For instance, one of your company’s objectives might be to gain a certain percentage share of the market by a set point in time. By developing a clear statement of your company’s objectives you will be better able to determine the amount and types of resources you will need to accomplish your goals.


It is very important to fully research the countries you are looking to conduct business in. Proper research will provide you with a clear vision of the challenges and opportunities presented in each country you have targeted for expansion. While there are many different factors that can be analyzed and explored, your marketing plan should examine the country’s culture, population/demographics, political system, economic conditions, media outlets and distribution of technology.

Analysis of Competitors

The analysis of competitors is an essential element of an international marketing plan. You need to have a clear understanding of who your competitors are so you can develop strategies that differentiate your products and services from your competition. It is important to recognize that in today’s world consumers typically have access to many other similar products and services. When you are marketing a product or service in a foreign market, you need to make sure your company is offering a high quality, affordable product or service that can stand out from the competition.

Ongoing Review

Many companies make the mistake of thinking that once an international marketing plan has been developed the work is over. An international marketing plan should be a living and breathing document. You should be reviewing the plan on a regular basis to determine whether your strategies are on track or need to be adjusted. An ongoing review process can also help your company identify new opportunities and respond to challenges that are likely to arise in the future.

While selling a product or service in a foreign market poses many different challenges, an effective international marketing plan can go a long way in helping a company achieve success. The global network of consultants at Mithras Investments, LLC can work with your organization to design an international marketing plan tailored to your company’s specific goals and objectives. Contact us today.

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