Tips for Managing Global Digital Marketing Campaigns
Once a business becomes successful in one country, it’s easy to expand to almost anywhere in the world. If, say, you’ve set up an offshore company, thanks to the internet you can produce brilliant marketing from the comfort of your office, press a button and send it round the world. Then you can sit back and watch all that international business roll in, right? Well, only up to a point. Internet marketing can be very challenging at times, so here are some of the pros and cons.
Spreading the word
Social media can form the base of fantastic global marketing. In London Fashion Week last year, Topshop broadcast its fashion show live online via Facebook, watched by over two million people in 100 counties. Did the concept work? Well, at the end of 2012 the Topshop and Topman brands were valued at £2 billion, with a string of successful international stores – Topshop’s new Melbourne outlet was on course to reach £15 million sales in its first year after record results.
Managing local differences
Whilst the internet is a fantastic way of getting your brand known worldwide, you must take cultural differences into account. Global consultancy Accenture has just published the results of a survey on how people use the internet to buy cars, which highlights the differences between internet use in different cultures. For instance, the majority of South Koreans want to do absolutely everything online including purchase, financing and negotiation, whereas only a small percentage of Indian drivers were willing to do so.
When it comes to advertising or website design, even something as simple as colour choice can be fraught with danger. If, for instance, you design a nice ad based round a man wearing a green hat, most people wouldn’t see a problem; but in China, a green hat is worn by a man advertising the fact that his wife’s cheating on him. How would that affect the way Chinese people look at your brand? Could you be losing valuable customers because of one tiny detail? We all know that sex sells in the West, but apply the same values to Middle Eastern cultures and you’ll cause huge offence. Even classic art can be considered shocking – a recent touring exhibition of Greek sculptures intended to forge friendships in Qatar backfired into a diplomatic row over nudity. You can’t afford to ignore cultural differences!
Lost in translation
Do not use an online translator. Ever. We’ve all laughed at the toe-curling signs and products created by overseas companies whose marketing people are clearly not fluent in English, but beware, it works the other way around too! If you’re doing business abroad, don’t fall into the same trap as many of even the most famous multi-nationals have!
So, the moral of the story is that although digital marketing can help your business become profitable worldwide, you can’t afford to have a ‘one size fits all’ strategy. You still need people on the ground to help you tailor your campaign locally in order to achieve optimum results.
Author bio: Post by Michael Palmer, an Oxford based business graduate and writer. His writing covers many subjects, including business, marketing, HR, fitness, and football.
Image Credit: Flickr