Common international marketing mistakes and how to avoid them

When expanding your business to an international audience, it’s essential to be aware of the potential marketing missteps you could make. Not having this knowledge could have a significant impact on your business’s global success.

By being aware of the most common errors and how to avoid them, you can give your business the best chance for visibility, growth and success. 

So with that in mind, here are some of the most common international marketing mistakes and the things you can do to avoid them.

Insufficient market research 

One of the most typical international marketing mistakes is when people fail to do enough market research. It is key to understand the target market and their needs and wants. Without this knowledge, it won’t be easy to create a compelling and impactful marketing strategy that resonates with your audience.

Failing to localise content 

Failing to localise content is one of the most common and impactful international marketing mistakes. In essence, you are more at risk of producing content that is irrelevant to the target market’s specific culture.

An example of this can be using concepts, language, images and humour that may not be well received or culturally appropriate.

Content that is not considerate to the target market is wasteful, ineffective and can also be offensive. This lack of cultural propriety can do lasting damage to the business’s reputation.

Not using the proper international channels

When marketing internationally, it is crucial to use robust channels to reach your desired target market. This may include using local print and online media and social media platforms that are popular in that country.

If the wrong channels or platforms are used, marketing efforts may struggle to reach your intended audience. This often leads to a waste of both time and valuable resources. 

Not translating into relevant languages

This catastrophic international marketing mistake is often made when attempting to expand a business internationally without adapting. It’s therefore critical to have all marketing materials translated and correctly localised. 

Also, you should consider that different languages that may be spoken in the same country. For example, French and English language are both common dialects used in Canada, and in Afghanistan, you will find that many communicate in Pashto and Persian. Therefore, selecting just one language to translate into per target country is not always enough.

If marketing materials are not translated into the correct language, they won’t be understood by the target market. This will lead to confusion or even mistrust of your business’s expertise. 

Not considering the international legal landscape

There are different laws and regulations in each country, so it is essential to be aware of these before launching a marketing campaign. Ignoring these could result in your campaign being shut down; you could also face fines, damage to brand reputation and legal penalties.

Failing to measure international results 

Measuring the results of your international marketing campaign is essential for understanding what is working and what needs to be improved. Without this data, it will be difficult to make necessary adjustments to improve your strategy.

Lack of flexibility

The international market is constantly changing, and your marketing strategy should be flexible enough to change and evolve with it. Being successful and sustainable means being willing to try new things and adapt to the ever-changing landscape.

Inadequate budgeting

When budgeting for an international marketing campaign, you should consider all costs and any potential costs that could arise. This includes everything from market research to advertising and even shipping costs if you are selling physical products. It’s also crucial to factor in the exchange rates when advertising in different countries.

Failure to consider all costs can lead to a marketing campaign that is over budget and underperforming, damaging the business’s growth, profit and reputation.

Not having a plan B

Plans have a habit of not going according to plan. For this reason, it is wise to have a contingency plan in place in case things go wrong. For example, this could include having alternate channels of distribution or backup suppliers. By being prepared for the worst, you can ensure that your international marketing campaign is successful.

Without a contingency plan, businesses may be caught off guard by unexpected challenges and struggle to recover from the setbacks. That’s why it’s important to work with translation and localisation specialists who can ensure that your international marketing campaign hits the mark. 


Contact us for immediate advice and expert guidance if you need any assistance.

A man working on his international marketing campaign in an office.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

You may also be interested in...

DA Languages attends the National Police Interpreter of the Year Awards

Five ways to accommodate international conference attendees

DA Languages awarded Silver for support to Defence

Head Office

Statham House, Talbot Rd
Stretford, Manchester M32 0FP



Follow us

Get in touch

Call us on 0161 928 2533 or drop us a message using our form.