International Marketing: Career Guide (2024)

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Want a global career? Learn about the benefits and principles of international marketing, find out what these marketers do, and learn how to get into the field.

[Featured image] International marketing colleagues collaborate in their office.

If promoting products or services in new global markets sounds interesting, you may want to consider an international marketing career. This growing field offers various exciting job opportunities in different countries. You can be a market research analyst, a brand manager, a marketing director, and more. 

This guide explores how international marketing differs from domestic marketing and explains the benefits of expanding to global markets. You'll discover several key principles of international marketing, learn what international marketers do, and find out how you can pursue this exciting career. 

What is international marketing?

Marketing involves enticing people, groups, or organizations to buy a product or service. International marketing involves expanding to global markets. To better understand international marketing, learn how to distinguish it from domestic marketing. 

Domestic marketing vs. international marketing

When a company engages in domestic marketing, all of its marketing activities fall within the borders of one country. Employees working for the company all follow the same marketing policies and procedures. They also use the same currency and usually speak the same language when conducting business. 

When a company engages in international marketing, the scope of marketing activities expands from the home country to additional country or countries. International marketing involves different languages, currencies, and cultures, so each country's marketing policies and procedures will likely differ.

Before expanding to global markets, companies must be prepared to invest more time and money than they would if expanding in their home country. Companies also need to consider:

  • Access to technology

  • Buying habits of people in the community

  • Costs associated with expansion

  • Market trends

  • Foreign markets

  • International trade

  • Cultural differences

  • Consumer behavior

  • The level of influence governments have over businesses

What are the benefits of international marketing?

Advancements in producing and delivering products and services have made global expansion possible for more businesses. International marketing benefits companies by allowing them to expand their customer base, which may result in greater profit margins. Expanding to other countries also helps companies stay solvent if the economy in one country falters. More benefits of international marketing can include:


  • A chance to sell products or services that are no longer selling in a company's home market

  • An opportunity to boost the company brand or reinvent it

  • Less competition for a product or service

  • New sources of financing

In addition to helping companies, international marketing can also benefit new communities. Examples of community benefits may include:

  • Better cultural and social relationships between countries

  • Improved living standards for members of the community

  • Increased economic growth and tax revenue

  • More jobs available 

Principles of international marketing

Companies that succeed globally often follow several basic guidelines, regardless of location. The following are some principles of international marketing. 

  • Know your customer.

  • Be ready to alter your product or service to fit the customer's needs.

  • Be willing to change how you package a product to suit the market better.

  • Adapt your message if needed.

  • Make use of local resources, especially people.

  • Be consistent with pricing across global markets.

  • Make sure the impact of international marketing on the community is constructive.

  • Give back to new communities through charity or volunteering.

What does an international marketer do?

As an international marketer, you would be responsible for promoting and selling a company's products or services globally. Before global expansion, you'd need to learn as much as possible about a new community, its citizens, government, and how they conduct business. 

Typical working environment

You can work as an international marketer in various industries like retail, energy, pharmaceuticals, or technology. No matter your position, you'll likely work from an office. However, you may work from more than one since travel is often required. As part of your research, you may also need to explore new communities and interact with locals. 

Skills required 

To be successful in international marketing, you'll need specific skills, both workplace and technical. 

Workplace skills that can benefit you as an international marketer include:

  • Analytical thinking

  • Attention to detail

  • Creativity

  • Curiosity

  • Empathy for others

  • Good verbal and written communication

  • Leadership

  • Organizational skills

  • Problem-solving abilities

Good technical skills to have as an international marketer include:

Read more: What Are Job Skills and Why Do They Matter?

Common tasks

Certain work tasks in international marketing are common across many different positions. Some of the duties you might have include: 

  • Conducting thorough research involving foreign markets and cultures

  • Designing brochures or catalogs to market products or services

  • Creating and following marketing budgets

  • Advising on the development of products or services

  • Regular consultation with sales managers

  • Analyzing consumer trends and making sales forecasts

  • Creating marketing campaigns

  • Handling contracts and other essential documents

Read more: Market Analysis: What It Is and How to Conduct One

How to get into international marketing 

If you decide to pursue international marketing, several steps can make the process easier. You can earn a degree, gain marketing experience, build your network, and consider professional certification.

Earn a degree. 

The best way to prepare for a career in international marketing is to get a degree. Common areas of study include:

You can earn an associate degree, which takes about two years to complete, or a bachelor's degree, which takes about four years to complete. Depending on your desired career position, you can pursue a master's degree or a PhD. These degrees allow you to specialize in a particular area of international marketing like brand management or marketing strategy. 

Additional educational avenues for an international marketing career include enrolling in a study-abroad program or applying for an international marketing internship. 

Gain marketing experience. 

To gain experience for a career in international marketing, it's a good idea to start with an entry-level position in a local marketing firm or department. A position like marketing assistant or marketing coordinator can help you build the skills you need to attain your career goals.  

Read more: Your Guide to Landing an Entry-Level Marketing Job

Build your network.

Whether going to school or working, use every opportunity to build a professional network. New connections may help you advance your career in the future. To build a professional network, try these strategies:

  • Form good relationships with college professors, advisors, and coworkers.

  • Do your best to impress employers while working.

  • Create profiles on professional social media websites.

  • Join professional organizations and honor societies.

  • Attend job fairs and other career-related events.

Read more: How to Use LinkedIn: A Guide to Online Networking

Consider Professional Certificates. 

Professional Certificates show employers you're willing to go the extra mile to land a position. A certificate is designed to develop or strengthen career skills in a shorter time than a degree program. Certificates can have various completion times, from a few weeks to many months. Gaining a relevant certificate may improve your job prospects if you're considering a career in international marketing. You can find numerous Professional Certificates on Coursera to enhance your resume:

International marketing salaries

To decide whether to pursue a career in international marketing, it helps to know the salaries of different roles. Here are some examples of international marketing positions and their average annual salaries in the US. These figures represent base pay before any bonuses or profit-sharing.

  • International marketing coordinator: $52,284 [1]

  • International marketing analyst: $60,179 [2]

  • International marketing consultant: $64,053 [3]

  • International marketing director: $105,053 [4]

  • Global brand manager: $118,716 [5]

Next steps 

To learn even more about this exciting career, you may want to consider taking an international marketing course or a group of courses. The International Marketing & Cross Industry Growth Specialization on Coursera involves five classes taught by professors at Yonsei University in Korea. With this specialization, it covers key global marketing concepts and various market sectors, from health care and hospitality to sports and entertainment. You'll earn a certificate that you can share with future schools or employers. 

Article sources


Glassdoor. "International Marketing Coordinator Salaries,,35.htm." Accessed December 2, 2022.

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