The Most Common Mistakes Companies Make with Global Marketing

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hbr.orgMarketers often find themselves at the forefront of a company’s global expansion. The marketing team is usually responsible for carrying out the market research that will determine where a company should expand, and it’s usually charged with creating a plan for attracting customers.

As a former business consultant to marketing executives at companies trying to expand globally, I’ve noticed some common marketing roadblocks that can stand in the way of international success:

1. Not specifying countries. Executives tend to think about overseas markets in vague regional terms (e.g., “We’re shifting our focus to Asia,” or “We’d like to double our growth in Europe”), but this oversimplification is problematic. Ask people what they mean by “Europe” and you’ll get widely varying answers—Western Europe, the European Union, the euro zone, and so on. Customers identify at the national level, and marketers need to remember that every country has its own local laws, cultural norms, forms of currency and payment, and unique business practices.

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