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Why Smart Defense Contractors Are Investing in International Marketing

With declining domestic defense budgets and increased competition, the smart money is on defense contractors who are diversifying internationally into emerging markets.

photo credit: MojoBaer via photopin cc

 For defense contractors, this is a time of enormous upheaval and change.

  • Defense budgets are declining in the countries that have had the largest defense budgets.
  • Traditionally non-defense companies are earning an increasingly larger slice of defense budgets.
  • The nature of military procurement is evolving away from the program management model.

As a result, to survive, defense contractors have been diversifying...

  1. To other parts of the government.
  2. To commercial markets.
  3. Overseas.

Deloitte's 2013 Global Aerospace and Defense Industry Outlook states:

In response to declining sales to the U.S. government, A&D companies in the U.S. will likely strengthen their marketing and competitive positioning in emerging markets...

CNBC affirms this international push in "Three Defense Industry Predictions for 2013"...

Cash Will Be King - To Be Spent on Marketing Abroad - As spending in the U.S. winds down...  companies will focus on building up more international business to make up for slower bookings in the U.S.

In Wharton's Perspective on the Aerospace and Defense Industry, six challenges facing defense contractors are outlined, along with six profitable growth strategies, including this recommendation...

Industry-Specific Globalization — Develop a high degree of geopolitical expertise and sophisticated skill sets to effectively play in the global arena. The challenge of developing global markets for A&D companies is closely aligned to country-specific governmental, policy, and cultural considerations.

From a marketing perspective, one of the most cost-effective things a defense contractors can do when diversifying internationally, is make sure their website is capable of developing business internationally.

In recent years, websites have changed from electronic brochures to publishing platforms to reach a wide audience and generate leads.

To get a measure of your site's business development strengths and weaknesses, enter the URL in HubSpot's free Marketing Grader, and in less than a minute it will generate a comprehensive assessment. Included in the report are explanatory videos and other tips on website best practices.

Then, to make sure your site is ready for international marketing, check out HubSpot's "50 SEO & Website Tips for the International Marketer" to make sure you have a "cuturally-optimized website" that will cross borders, open doors and generate business opportunities.

Question: How are your diversification efforts going? Please join the conversation with a comment below. And if you found this helpful, please share it via the social media sharing buttons below.

The Principal and Founder of Artillery, Douglas Burdett is a former artillery officer and Madison Avenue ad man. He also hosts The Marketing Book Podcast, where he interviews authors every week about the latest in modern marketing and sales.

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