International marketing

Key strategies for successful corporate internationalization

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Globalization has transformed the world of business, encouraging companies to expand their horizons beyond national borders. Internationalization is no longer an option, rather it represents a necessity for companies that aspire to achieve success on a global scale. In this article, we will explore the key strategies and phases that companies need to bear in mind to achieve successful internationalization.

Definition and benefits of corporate internationalization

Corporate internationalization entails the process by which a company establishes its presence in foreign markets and engages in international transactions on a regular basis. This process goes beyond merely exporting products or services, it entails the deeper integration of companies in each international market they expand into.

Internationalization offers numerous benefits including but not limited to access to new potential customers, diversification of a company’s sources of revenue and a reduction of reliance on the local market. Moreover, companies embarking on internationalization can leverage economies of scale, acquire knowledge and innovative technologies, and enhance their global competitiveness.

However, regardless of the internationalization strategy pursued by a company, they must always assess certain aspects and follow a standard process involving a series of steps to ensure that they remain on track.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to internationalizing your business

A company’s decision to internationalize is usually the result of a process consisting of multiple phases:

  1. Internal analysis (SWOT): the assessment of the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

  2. Creating a specialist department: this sometimes involves the creation of a team dedicated exclusively to the integrated management of international operations.
  3. Setting targets: having clear and realistic goals when it comes to international expansion.
  4. Undertaking a financial study: undertake a comprehensive analysis to estimate the economic feasibility of the internationalization process.
  5. Assessing risks: identifying and analyzing the possible risks that may be posed by the different foreign markets that the company wants to expand into. This enables proactive anticipation of risks and the development of effective strategies to mitigate or circumvent them.
  6. Selecting markets: this phase typically involves meticulous market research encompassing factors such as market size, growth potential, competition, consumer trends, political and economic stability, and regulatory landscape. Armed with this analysis, the company can make informed decisions regarding the prioritization of its internationalization endeavors.

Strategies for expanding into international markets

Expansion strategies can differ between companies and target markets. They are often driven by one of two primary goals: achieving global integration (establishing presence in multiple countries) or adapting to local markets.

Some of the most common strategies include:

  • Global strategy: global presence is prioritized over local adaptation. This approach maintains uniformity in products or services across markets with minimal variations. The main objective is to reduce costs through economies of scale, typically achieved by expanding into foreign markets through subsidiaries. This strategy is mainly used in industries with where competition in terms of price and B2B business models is high.
  • Multidomestic strategy: diverging from the global approach, this strategy places greater emphasis on adapting to local markets rather than pursuing global integration. It acknowledges the inherent diversity among markets, thus tailoring products, services, and processes to align with local needs, beliefs, and motivations. Consequently, it prioritizes operations through local businesses that possess a deep understanding of their respective markets. This strategy is commonly embraced by companies operating in industries where product differentiation holds greater significance than price competition.
  • Transnational strategy: seeks a balance between global integration and local adaptation. These companies contend with fierce price competition and the imperative to accommodate local preferences. Consequently, they must strike a balance between economies of scale and flexibility to cater to the sensitivities and demands of each market. This necessitates making concessions and adjustments in various facets of the business across different countries.
  • International strategy: also known as the export model, this approach is tailored for companies with minimal global integration and limited adaptation to local market sensitivities. It is frequently adopted by small and medium-sized enterprises seeking to expand their product sales beyond domestic borders.

Common challenges and solutions in the internationalization process

Internationalization poses multiple challenges; yet with the right strategy, they can be turned into huge successes. Some of the most common challenges include:

  • Cultural and language barriers: adapting to cultural and language differences is paramount for success. At iDISC, our professional translation services are tailored to overcome these barriers, utilizing highly customized and automated processes tailored to the unique needs of each company.
  • Regulations and legal compliance: understanding and complying with local laws and regulations is essential for the entire procedure to run smoothly.
  • Risk management: the constant assessment of political, economic and market risks is essential when it comes to adaptability and resilience.

Internationalization transcends mere destination-reaching; it embodies an ongoing learning journey. Companies that prepare well for this journey are poised to fortify their position in the ever-evolving and competitive global marketplace. This process involves confronting challenges, capitalizing on opportunities, and honing skills to navigate the diverse cultures, regulations, and demands of international markets. Pioneering business growth along this trajectory demands strategic foresight, adaptability, and steadfast commitment. Ultimately, internationalization serves as an enriching expedition, fostering the growth and evolution of companies on a global scale.


We hope you found this information useful. We would be happy to provide you with more information about corporate internationalization. Do not hesitate to contact us or visit our blog for more information.

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