What Are the Best Tips for International Online Advertising?

M. Kayo

The best tips for international online advertising are to listen to the needs of consumers in specific regions, to honor specific cultural customs unique to each country, and to look for countries that have import-friendly regulations. Of the 6.9 billion people on the earth, over two billion have access to the Internet, an unprecedented number of people who can be reached by international online advertising. It may become the most influential media force since the invention of radio. Add the ability to access and purchase products and services online through smart phones and other mobile electronic devices, and the future of international online advertising is quite bright.

The use of social media can be a highly targeted and low-cost method of advertising that works similarly to word-of-mouth.
The use of social media can be a highly targeted and low-cost method of advertising that works similarly to word-of-mouth.

When considering the best methods for successful international online advertising, look for a country that has existing policies and regulations friendly to imports. More regulations against imports likely means it is harder to enter the market in that country. Setting up and maintaining relationships with the right vendors and suppliers is also a key to success in international online advertising. Do some research and meet with these people and businesses face-to-face. The amount of "face time" needed will vary from country to country, so be sure to check with local experts for the specific details.

Different countries will have different cultural and social customs and unwritten rules about such things. Get to know local people in the areas in which business will be conducted and learn what is acceptable and what is not. For example, in some countries a handshake is appropriate and in others a kiss on the cheek is more fitting. Find out who pays the restaurant bill for a business lunch, what words may mean or imply, and even the meanings of different colors in a specific culture.

Listening to consumers is vital to success. For example, Proctor & Gamble went to great lengths to observe, listen, and understand the shaving needs and desires of men in India before introducing or advertising a single shaving product. The way to success with online international advertising is understanding the initial needs, wants, and desires of consumers in a particular culture, making the necessary changes or innovations to products or services offered online, and offering those products or services in a way that fulfills the needs of consumers. The most successful international online advertising ventures will be those that respect the distinct personalities and diverse preferences of a country or culture, listen to consumers beyond what is actually said, and deliver products and services that meet their needs.

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