With the average company now spending around $75,000 a year on digital marketing, it’s vital to make sure that every penny counts. When putting together global marketing strategies, there are lots of mistakes to be made. If you’re well prepared, you can ensure that you get the most out of global marketing without wasting a dollar.
Here are five ways that businesses can flub up their global marketing.
1. Making Literal Translations
One of the biggest mistakes that anyone can make in the world of marketing is to not listen to the people they’re trying to sell to. If you dig in your heels and try to turn literal translations of your own native phrases and idioms into another language, they might not work. In some cases, they can come off as rude or offensive.
When you want to turn your marketing efforts into something a global audience can enjoy, you need to hire someone local to the new region or someone with a deep background in the culture. Not only do they have to have an understanding of how to speak a language, but they also need to know how to speak things in a local dialect. The details that you can’t get from a language class are important to remember when you’re translating your marketing.
Marketing is a challenging factor of doing business even in your own country. If you don’t take the effort to make your translations resonate with a local audience, you’ll end up having to work harder to communicate. You’ll seem suspect and out of touch if you don’t work to make your translations work for your global marketing strategy.
2. Assuming Your Style Works For Everyone
Beyond language, there are other details that don’t always translate with global marketing strategies. Not only do you need your language to work for a global market, but you also need your visual style to translate.
Every region has their own details and flair that make their style unique to their place. If you look at flyers for a dance concert in New England, it will look different than one that’s happening in Beijing. The same will go for soft drink brands, industrial products, and fashion lines.
Every style is going to be different depending on where you go on the planet. Your style might be well worn and be well known in your region but it’s meaningless to someone from another country.
Hire designers who know what works and what’s trendy in the market you’re looking to break into. Never assume and always question your instincts when you’re in a new place.
3. Talking Before You Listen
Fundamentally, it’s never good to speak before you listen to a new audience. Listening is the most important tool in the arsenal of a global marketing professional.
The best global marketing professionals don’t walk into a new market and start telling people what works in their region. They look around, they ask questions, and then if they think they have an idea, they create a prototype of something.
Rolling out a million dollar marketing campaign in a market that you’re completely new to is a suicide mission. Instead, you should look at what’s happening in that region.
The popularity of something that you’ve never seen in your region could end up surprising you. When you listen to what’s popular and what’s going on in the region near you, you’ll learn new, more beneficial ways to approach global marketing.
4. Implicit Biases
There are a lot of implicit biases that happen without us realizing it. When our implicit biases speak for us in marketing, the results can have serious consequences.
We might assume that a certain market won’t appreciate a certain flavor. Our marketing teams risk making choices that will offend or upset people who don’t want what we’re offering them.
While it’s not exactly racism, assumptions about a culture lead to bad marketing. It’s vital to get someone local who can tell us what is valuable and what needs to be reassessed in a marketing strategy. A local will know intuitively when something isn’t going to work.
If we assume that a market in the American south would like a buttery down-home flavor, we may also assume that an East Asian market would want a fish flavor. This could be a great folly if we don’t think about what’s actually popular with the market we’re selling to.
5. Staying Analog in a Digital Market
One of the biggest mistakes you could make in global marketing is to choose the wrong medium altogether. The inverse is also possible and the proper strategy will depend on significant research.
In some markets, the saturation of SMS marketing is still waiting to be tapped. If it’s not taken advantage of, lots of money could be left sitting on the table. Rather than leaving a market wide open, it’s vital to see what can be done with it.
If you spend your marketing budget advertising in newspapers that no one reads, you could miss out on lots of opportunities. Digital marketing is cheaper than analog marketing. With the right demographic information, you could see returns that bring customers to you tenfold compared to what you’ll get in analog marketing.
Don’t limit yourself to one or the other. Find the right balance by asking a local marketing company for help.
Consider Your Global Marketing Strategies
Global marketing strategies need to take into account not only what you want to accomplish but what your market potentially wants. Before you tell a market what they want, start with an ear to the ground and an open approach. You could learn a lot from the process.
When it’s time to translate your website, consider these six ideas and contact us to get your global marketing project rolling.
Nick joined the team in 2017 to spearhead Argo’s expanding marketing initiatives. He graduated from North Central College in Naperville, IL with a BA in political science and a minor in global studies. Previously, he worked as a digital strategist for innovative marketing agencies in Chicago and as a political consultant for domestic and international clients in Washington, DC.