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Four steps on how to get started in international marketing! Essential Frameworks Also Explained

In today's age of business globalization, marketing targeting foreign countries is attracting a lot of attention.

However, many people are unclear how to formulate a marketing strategy to target overseas, where language, culture, and all other things are different from those in Japan.

Therefore, in this article, we will explain "in 4 steps" and "with a set of essential frameworks" how to start marketing to overseas.

What is Overseas Marketing? What you need to know before getting started

Before explaining how to start overseas marketing, we will first cover the "overview of overseas marketing.

Understand the differences between Japan and other countries.

The first thing to do when engaging in overseas marketing is to "understand the differences between Japan and other countries.

Basically, you need to pay attention to the following points as differences between Japan and your target country.

  • Language

  • Culture

  • Currency

  • Buying behavior

  • SNS

  • Advertising Strategies

  • Business Practices

While language and culture may give you an idea of what to expect, you should also check "advertising strategies" and "business practices" in advance.

In order to understand the differences in these details and to develop marketing strategies, it is necessary to collaborate not only with Japanese, but also with local natives.

Since each country around the world is familiar with the importance of a global marketing strategy, incorporate human resources into the project in advance, for example, by having native marketers from the target country join the project.

Efficient Strategy Planning through the Use of a Framework

Another effective way to develop an overseas marketing strategy is to utilize a framework, which is a framework for efficiently solving business issues.

The following six frameworks will be introduced in this issue to help you begin your overseas marketing.

  • PEST Analysis

  • SWOT Analysis

  • STP Analysis

  • 4P Analysis

  • 4C Analysis

  • ASDA Model

From the next chapter, we will explain how to start overseas marketing in four steps using these six frameworks.

Step 1: Research and Analysis

Step 1 of how to start overseas marketing, or in other words, the first thing to do is "research and analysis.

  • The target country itself

  • Customers in the target country

  • The market in the target country

These items are researched and analyzed using the following framework.

  • PEST analysis

  • SWOT analysis

Now, let's check out how to utilize each framework.

PEST Analysis

Analysis Perspective



=Political Factors

Political stability, regulations, trade, etc.

Economic =Economic factors

Economic trends, exchange rates, purchasing power, etc.


=Social factors

Culture, consumer behavior trends, population, etc.


=Technological factors

Infrastructure development, internet environment, etc.

First, we conduct detailed research and analysis of the target country through PEST analysis.

Although there are calls for the weakening of the Japanese economy, it is still one of the top five economies in the world, so "what is normal in Japan" is not always applicable overseas.

Most countries are inferior to Japan in every respect, including political stability, economic trends, social background, and technological factors such as infrastructure and the Internet environment, so it is important to first fill in these gaps from a knowledge perspective.

SWOT Analysis

Analysis Perspective




Strengths and advantages of the company



Weaknesses and areas for improvement



Growth opportunities in target markets



Degree of competition and regulatory status

Once you have learned about your "counterparts (target countries)" through PEST analysis, you can then learn about "yourself (your company)" through SWOT analysis.

By checking your company's strengths, weaknesses, position in the target country, and potential future threats, you will have important information to determine how to proceed.

In particular, it is important to understand "strengths" at this stage.

In the future, overseas business, including overseas marketing, will require absolute "competitiveness," so thoroughly think through what value your company can provide to customers in your target countries and target markets.

Step 2: Segmentation and Targeting

Once you have learned about your counterparts (target countries and markets) and yourself (your company) in Step 1, you can move on to Step 2: Segmentation and Targeting.

An effective framework for this step is the STP Analysis.

STP Analysis

Analysis Perspective




Segmentation by geography, population, psychology, behavior, etc.



Determine the best segmentation for your company


=Determination of the company's position in the market

Determine the best segmentation for your company

In STP analysis, the target market is first segmented from various perspectives and divided into segments (groups).

Then, by determining the segments that match the company's products and brand concept (targeting) from among the segments obtained, the target market can be efficiently targeted.

For example, let us assume that the segmentation of a target market yields a segment of "elderly people with high purchasing power.

If your company wants to appeal to an older, higher-priced product, this segment is the best segment to target.

Finally, the company determines its position in this segment, or what is called a "brand concept" (positioning).

In this case, a brand concept of "high quality, high price" would be an appropriate positioning.

Step 3: Marketing Strategy Development

Once segmentation and targeting are completed, the next step is to develop a specific marketing strategy.

  • Company perspective: 4P analysis

  • Customer perspective: 4C analysis

The above two frameworks can be used effectively here.

4P Analysis

Analysis Perspective




Provide and develop the best products for your target market



Optimal product price for the target market


=Place = Distribution

Selection of efficient distribution channels



Optimal advertising strategy for the target market

The 4P analysis is a framework that has been used for a long time and continues to be immensely effective.

In overseas marketing, "localization of merchandise" and "utilization of cross-border EC and SNS" are particularly important.

On the other hand, 4P analysis is an analysis from the "corporate perspective," and the "customer perspective," the basic foundation of modern marketing, may be missing.

It is important to fill this hole with the "4C Analysis" described next.

4C Analysis

Analysis Perspective


Customer Value

=Customer Value

How to meet customer needs



Product price, maintenance costs, etc.



Ease of obtaining information and making purchases



Relationship of trust with customers

The 4C analysis is a framework that enables the formulation of marketing strategies from the customer's perspective.

The key point is that it can cover all four elements that customers seek: needs, cost, convenience, and communication.

Of these, "needs" and "convenience" are the two most important for overseas marketing.

Based on the information obtained in Steps 1 and 2, it is important to accurately grasp customer needs and provide local customers with the easiest place to obtain information and make purchases (including online).

The most common and low-cost method is to utilize major local cross-border e-commerce sites (e.g., Amazon) and social networking sites.

These two will give you the convenience and opportunity to communicate with your local customers.

Step 4: Execution and Feedback

After conducting a 4P analysis from the company's perspective and a 4C analysis from the customer's perspective to develop a marketing strategy, all that remains is execution and repeated feedback.

Let's take a closer look at the AIDA Model, a framework for promotional strategies.

AIDA Model

Analysis Perspective




Advertisements and campaigns that draw customers' attention



Providing information that arouses interest in the company and its products



Appealing to people's desire to actually purchase the company's products



Promotion that encourages purchasing behavior

The AIDA model is a framework that approaches the four factors directly involved in a person's motivation to purchase a particular product or service: attention, interest, desire, and action.

In overseas marketing, the following steps can be taken to develop strategies according to the AIDA model.

  1. Draw customers' attention through SNS and listing ads

  2. Elicit interest in the company's products through LPs accessed from advertisements

  3. Arouse desire with ad text and design that matches their needs

  4. Encourage purchasing behavior through exclusive campaigns

In reality, it may not be this easy, but the above image should be the flow of the process.

It is important to regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the marketing strategy implemented according to the AIDA model and make improvements as necessary to increase the accuracy of marketing.

In reality, it may not be this easy, but the above image should be the flow of the process.


Although overseas marketing is challenging, it is possible to develop an efficient and effective strategy by utilizing the framework introduced in the article.

Let's start with Step 1 and aim to expand our business opportunities by expanding our trade area to overseas.

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