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Free Tools & Resources To Help With International Marketing

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by Startacus Admin

Free tools and resources to help international marketing
Expanding your business’s reach into a foreign market might well be one of the most challenging things you ever do as an entrepreneur, and of course marketing will be a major area of opportunity and concern.

In general terms the rules of play in foreign markets will be largely similar to those of your own, but in some respects they may be drastically different.  Being able to appreciate and navigate these nuances is key to delivering a good marketing strategy, and luckily there are a number of tools and resources that can help you adapt.  
 

Here are some of the most useful that we have found.

 

Market Research

The better you know your target market, the better you will be able to market to them.  Things can change rapidly, and there are tools that can help you keep an eye on these changes.

Google Consumer Barometer- is a valuable tool that allows you to find statistics for a great many countries, mainly around the subjects of internet/device usage and shopping habits. This is an invaluable tool for helping you to understand the market’s habits and motivations.  If you are looking to market your business in the USA specifically, the Google Marketer’s Almanac highlights and explains trends and events that create opportunities to engage with new customers.

International Business Case Builder- allows you to select practically any country and create a report of key information such as internet users, popular social media channels, consumer behaviour, and economic data.  You can then compare locations and identify the most viable growth opportunities for your business.

World Factbook
- is a tool put together by the CIA which has an incredible amount of detail about

the history, people, government, economy, communications, and transnational issues of 267 countries and world entities across the Globe. It will be able to give you a solid general overview of the conditions in any country which you hope to expand your business into.

World Map of Social Networks- This provides easy to digest information on what social media platforms are most popular in your target countries, for example, you might be surprised to learn that China’s top social media sites are Tencent QQ, WeChat, and Sina Weibo.

 Free tools and resources to help international marketing
 

Time Zones and Scheduling

For both marketing and other business purposes, managing differences in time zones will always pose certain challenges, particularly where a large difference exists.  Here ‘time management’ takes on a whole new significance and there are a number of scheduling apps and services that can provide invaluable assistance.

Hootsuite- This social media management platform is useful for both domestic and international marketing. It lets you pre-schedule posts to your various social media accounts including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and  international timezone settings take the mental arithmetic out of the equation.  The platform also aggregates user interactions with your social media accounts, giving you the opportunity to review and respond from one place and at a time which suits you.

Boomerang: This is a Gmail app that lets you schedule emails to be sent to contacts at a particular time, increasing the opportunity of engaging them during their own work hours.  This can be particularly useful when building partnerships, engaging with customers, and reaching out to potentially valuable contacts that can help with your international expansion.

World Meeting Time: Particularly useful for business development purposes where multiple  time zones are at play, this tool allows you to schedule calls, video chats, and meetings based on your contact’s time zones.  The app automatically inputs the local time for each participant and emails confirmations, greatly reducing the opportunity for crossed wires and mishaps.

 Free tools and resources to help international marketing

International Trade Resources

These valuable resources can help you to identify marketing opportunities, access support services, and ensure that you have a good understanding of individual countries’ regulations, tariffs, and customs arrangements.

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI)- This is the UK Government department specifically tasked with encouraging and supporting UK businesses to grow into global markets.  Their services are broad for both UK businesses hoping to expand internationally, but also international businesses looking to enter the UK marketplace.  

Whichever country your business is exploring it is likely that a similar support service exists which could provide valuable assistance; a quick online search will point you in the right direction.

Trade Map- This resource generates tables, graphs, and maps with reams of trade  information relating to over 200 countries and encompassing over 5000 different products.  Of particular value to entrepreneurs will be the details of export performance, growth rates demand, and competition, which can help you assess the likely success in different markets.

Federation of International Trade Associations- The Global Trade Portal available on their platform will prove a very useful ‘go to’ resource for expanding your business internationally.  Particularly the directory of 8,000 international trade websites and tools features an incredible variety of information, and the site itself provides international leads, information on trade events, and analysis of business conditions across the world.  You can become a member of the federation which gives additional support regarding international logistics management, finance and more.

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Published on: 3rd November 2016

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