Don’ts of Global Marketing
It’s exciting to take a business into the international stage, targeting global customers and new opportunities. However, in your hurry to reach them before your competitor does, it’s all too easy to overlook some of the finer points of internationalization. Don’ts of Global Marketing.
Unfortunately, it’s these same details that can make or break an overseas campaign. Even some of the largest brands have discovered this to their cost. Looking at what they did wrong and what others have done right can be useful when it comes to reviewing your own global marketing strategy.
The Internet has lowered the cost of entering new global markets. However, unlocking global demand requires a new global mindset, toolkits and dexterity for industrial marketers. Here are some common marketing mistakes to avoid:
Not creating country-specific websites.
Great global marketers strategically focus on specific countries to maximize their multi-language investments and logistical costs. They recognize that the world is tribal. As a result, they don’t create one website in French for France and all French speaking countries in Africa, or one Arabic website for all Arabic speaking countries. They create custom experiences that are mindful of local dialects and customs.
Brand names that don’t translate
The public loves to laugh at brand names that mean something unflattering or off-color when translated. Japanese sports drink Pocari Sweat is just one of many casualties of this. Similarly, the scenic connotations of Microsoft’s Vista made quite a different impact in Latvia. Here the word equates to “hen” and is also used to refer to a dowdy woman.
The difficulty with this is it’s often not obvious to non-native speakers of that language and by the time the mistake has been caught, there’s already an expensive marketing campaign underway.
Using the same business model – one size fits all
It would be an oversight to believe that what works for your home market will transcend across other landscapes. Although business basics will always remain, cultures vary and impact the decisions users make. For this reason, it is more nuanced than just changing the names of products and switching over to the correct currency. The entire ecosystem in which businesses operate needs to be assessed. Look at their traditions and how the overall economy affects the way people behave and their expectations. Have you read up about their legal system? This could influence how much information your users are willing to give on-line. Do you know how the country history could impact your local users’ attitude towards media consumption?
Under investing in paid digital and SEO
Successful industrial companies engage in pay-per-click and search engine optimization in the most popular local search engines. For instance, in India, they run paid and organic campaigns in Google India, but in China, they run them in Baidu (Google-equivalent) and Renren (Facebook equivalent) directing prospects to the landing pages or website pages in the local languages of the target audience.
Marketers need to ensure that they can actually market to people in the countries they’re looking to enter, which means considering details like how to display local currency, being able to email customers in their time zone, and supporting the languages customers speak.
As business continues to become more global, companies can gain competitive advantage by focusing their marketing efforts on targeting the right international markets and adapting their products and strategies to appeal to local customers. They’d be wise to avoid these pitfalls.