Advertising your business overseas

Creating the right brand image is crucial to international business success. Here are some tips to help you...

Just as in the UK, there are loads of ways to market your product overseas – television ads, print ads, fliers, leaflets and cold calling are just some of the avenues you can explore to raise awareness of your product.

However, before you determine your marketing strategy, you need to research your target territory thoroughly.

Do your research

Try and get a feel for the way they use media; television will be reserved for the wealthiest and most powerful sections of society in some countries, while it will be the preserve of poor and uneducated people in others. In some countries, such as Belgium, aggressive or obvious advertising is frowned upon, so you may have to make your approach more subtle if you want to succeed in these markets.

Some forms of advertising will be particularly effective in some countries, but less so in others. For example, in Germany there are over 3,600 trade magazines, so you should be able to find one which is perfectly tailored to your target audience, while France places less emphasis on the trade press.

You also need to find out what is and isn't acceptable in some countries (an advert featuring a woman in a bikini wouldn't go down well in Saudi Arabia, for example) and how your target country regulates the marketing industry. Some countries place very strict rules on how companies advertise their products; for example, if you are advertising in Sweden, all claims and statements must be verified, while any advertising in China must comply with the country's political values.

With so many considerations to bear in mind, it's important that you talk to industry professionals with local knowledge. Try and speak to a marketing specialist in your target country to get their thoughts, and tailor your approach accordingly.


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