Sebastien is the VP Sales North America of Wedia, a provider of an Enterprise Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution.
When it comes to marketing your product or service on a global scale, there is no one-size-fits-all. One key difference between a brand that successfully navigates the global market and a brand that fails is tested by how well it adapts its marketing campaigns to fit local audiences.
For instance, in 2022, only 1.5 billion people spoke English natively or as a second language. Running a global campaign in which all of your marketing messages are restricted to English means losing out on the opportunity to connect with over 6.5 billion potential customers.
In order to successfully navigate international markets, brands must ensure that they have a solid globally localized—or “glocal”—marketing strategy. Here we look at five ways brands can create a truly glocal marketing strategy.
1. Identify local cultural norms and constraints.
Targeting different cultures is all about understanding how and why there are differences. Research like that from Richard D. Lewis, communications specialist and social theorist, demonstrates how cultures can be classified into three behavioral categories: multi-active (favoring emotion), reactive (more passive) and linear-active (less emotional).
The first step to creating a glocal marketing strategy is addressing the unique culture within your market and identifying potential challenges. Understanding such key questions as “What is the market size in that country?” or “Does a significant portion of that country fall within the demographics of our target audience?” is going to be vital to tailoring your marketing strategy to a glocal audience.
Finally, the key question of what languages are spoken in that country is crucial. In addition, localization is not only about language but the understanding of cultural differences. For example, color scheme perceptions or numbering meanings will differ in China vs. western cultures, and humor that works in French may fall flat in German.
2. Create a localized marketing strategy.
Setting up a successful business in a foreign market means creating a message that will connect with your audience.
How, then, do you localize your marketing strategies?
1. Create local buyer personas.
Envision a fictional representation of your ideal client or target audience. You will be able to create targeted content that speaks to buyers’ challenges when you know who you are marketing to.
2. Do market research.
Which social media channels are most popular in that market? Which communication channels do they use most? These are vital questions to investigate.
3. Research the best local SEO practices.
Depending on the country you are targeting, you will have to change your SEO approach. For example, in China, the most popular search engine is Baidu. Researching the best SEO practices as such means internationally optimizing your content.
4. Find out the local laws and regulations.
This will ensure that you don’t run into any legal troubles that will slow down your growth.
5. Take note of cultural customs.
In a foreign market, one surefire way to destroy your brand reputation and stifle growth is to disregard the cultural customs and norms. It’s important that your marketing messages are respectful of the market’s culture, beliefs and values.
3. Start localizing your marketing campaigns.
After you’ve done your research and have a good understanding of your target market, you will then start localizing the content of your marketing campaigns. Making sure that your website and marketing content are adapted to fit the local language and culture will significantly increase your success rate.
For example, a survey run by Google showed that 64% of respondents were more likely to take action after seeing an ad that they considered to be diverse or inclusive. Another study showed that 72% of customers prefer to purchase from a website in their native language. Fifty-six percent of them say the ability to do so is even more significant than the price.
4. Manage your global team efficiently.
No matter how solid your glocal marketing strategies are, your marketing teams need to be able to collaborate efficiently for the strategies to be successful. To do this, you need to be sure you’re investing in the right tools.
For instance, a digital asset management solution with distributed marketing capabilities can help ensure that the same marketing content is made available and can be used on all offline and online channels worldwide. As a disclosure, my company Wedia is one provider of such solutions. When seeking such solutions, companies should look for those that ensure local teams can adapt content in line with their markets. Such tools not only make collaboration easier but can be crucial to maintaining consistency and messaging.
5. Measure the ROI of your efforts.
To ensure that your glocal marketing strategies are effective, you must regularly measure the ROI of your campaigns. Doing so will help you determine what’s working and where you need to optimize for better performance. Some glocal marketing KPIs you should measure include SEO ranking, website traffic, localization rate of marketing materials, video views, sales leads, conversion rates, market share, net revenue, country-by-country sales and clickthrough rate (CTR) for ad campaigns.
Think like a glocal.
Expanding your brand into the global market offers a lot of benefits to business, opening up new opportunities and expanding your international reputation. All that remains is to get started.