In yesterday’s blog we discussed the first three of six tips for taking your brand global. You start by adapting to the local markets and being sensitive to the cultural and religious preferences. You also need to make sure your brand name translates well for any of the local languages and dialects to avoid embarrassing meaning mix-ups. The same research is necessary when creating the keywords associated with your website.
The first three tips are associated with the language of the campaign; the next three tips are based on the structure and look of an international marketing campaign.
4. Treat local markets as separate campaigns.
Brands that create social media pages specifically for particular regions see much more success than the brands that attempt to adapt their domestic social pages to the international market. You can create value for the customer by developing Facebook and Twitter pages adapted for the region; complete with the local language, dialects, and images. This will ensure the social pages are relevant to the customer, and make your brand seem more genuine.
Pay special attention to the social media platforms of choice in each of your new markets. The major worldwide social networks include Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook (with the exception of China). Also note the regional networks that have sprung up in certain regions. For example, LINE is a messaging service in Japan that is being used by many global companies, including Coca-Cola.
5. Research local advertising and purchase preferences.
Varying cultures have specific preferences for visual and contextual advertising. For example, a successful campaign in Asian markets that feature a lot of color and bold exclamations would require redesign for Western markets, where more subtle approaches to advertising are preferred.
Online conversion rates can also be affected by regional preferences. Germans prefer to buy their electronics online; where in contrast, a study showed that the majority of Japanese, Chinese, and Russians prefer to visit retail stores. It is also important to consider the local payment method of choice. There are countries that have a higher rate than average of credit card sales (USA), where other countries prefer debit cards (Canada). Other countries may prefer mobile payment with PayPal or similar services.
6. Adapt for mobile.
Mobile has been all the rage lately. People use their smart devices to do everything: shop online, read a book, visit social media pages, play games… the list is infinite. To avoid being left behind in the era of mobile, it is paramount to have a website that is mobile-friendly. The first step in hosting a mobile-friendly website is with a responsive design that can adapt to differing web browser sizes. It is also important to have large “tap targets” for all the fingers that will be trying to tap your links. Moving to the back end of your site, keeping your bandwidth requirements light will ensure your webpages load quickly for those of us who may be a little impatient (which is everyone trying to view a webpage). Finally, test your website on a variety of mobile platforms including (but not limited to) Android, iOS, and Windows.
There are several points to consider when planning a successful global marketing campaign. Pay particular attention to each of the unique regions you plan on marketing to. Keep track of local trends, and be sensitive to local customs and religious preferences. Do your homework and treat each market as a separate campaign complete with localized social media pages. And finally, adapt your webpages for mobile.
So what do you think? Are you ready to leap across the pond and take your brand international? Well, you better do your research first!