A recent study predicted that there will be over 2 billion online shoppers globally by 2020 (see • Digital buyers worldwide 2021). While an astonishing number, it is not really that surprising as a growing number of people buy goods and services while connecting with small businesses. For any business, not just large multi-nationals, that statistic is a compelling reason to consider starting, or ramping up, their global digital marketing strategies to help fuel sales and leverage this phenomenon.
However, going global is not for the feint hearted – we all realise that, when contemplating a global advertising campaign, there are several important factors that need careful consideration. Ignoring them may negatively affect the impact of your campaign, or worse, turn into an embarrassment. To fully understand the extent of what “could” go wrong, just check out this list 20 Epic Fails in Global Branding.
So, before kicking off your international digital marketing strategy, consider the following tips on how to successfully market internationally and how build a global campaign quickly and efficiently.
You can never assume that “what works in your country” will be similar in other countries. For example, advertising certain types of products may be subject to local regulations. The classic one being pharmaceutical products. Many countries have strict regulations and advertisements are often subject to approval. Obtaining approval will often require disclosing details such as chemical makeup, safety, performance and packaging designs, including languages, sizes and materials used.
Not just products can be regulated, but often also the sales tactics that are used to promote them. For example the oft used “buy one and get one free” is not always straightforward, or even allowed, in other countries.
How EasyBuild from Wave 2 helps: While we cannot do the research for you (you will have to do that yourself), we CAN help in the creative process of building the advertising materials. Once regional specifics have been identified, they can be built into the ad templates your agency or creative department have setup to create your campaigns. This can be a huge timesaving issue and completely side-steps the need for every user to understand the legal nuances of each target country. The result will be an ad campaign that confirms to regional regulations.
Cultural differences as basic as the colours or symbols used in your message are often overlooked but can really be important. Take the colour white for example, in Europe and the US, white is associated with purity, but in Japan and China, white is typically the colour of mourning. Likewise, the number “4” sounds phonetically like the word “death” in Cantonese and should be avoided as it is considered extremely unlucky. Needless to say, companies with a telephone number such as 444-4444 are highly unlikely to get any business calls (or even business) in China. The number “8” on the other hand, sounds like the word “wealth” and is a very lucky number to use.
Similar cultural differences exist with gestures, so be careful using images with models making hand gestures. This can be fraught with danger. Gestures like the “thumbs up” or the “A–OK” sign may be fine in some countries, but are quite offensive in others. So be extremely careful and do some research into the meaning of gestures, no matter how common, or innocent, they may be in your native country.
How EasyBuild from Wave 2 helps: Thankfully, applying colour and selecting imagery can be tightly controlled when using EasyBuild. The EasyBuild templates can be designed in such a way as to simply make it impossible for your ad content to inadvertently show a colour or image that can invoke negative emotions or be offensive. Knowledge of what is to be avoided is still required of course, but once understood, EasyBuild can really save the day by ensuring campaigns avoid using sensitive or inappropriate content.
Simply translating your content and sales slogan is often not quite good enough. Literal translations can sometimes have a secondary meaning in local slang or street talk (again, check out the “20 Epic Fails” link above). Unless you have a deep understanding of the cultural subtleties in each country you target, you will run the risk of inadvertently making some error.
Even if you have staff fluent in different languages, they may not all be marketing people. That may present a challenge when crafting advertising content that is consistent with your brand.
How EasyBuild from Wave 2 helps: EasyBuild is based on re-usable templates. Once designed (in ANY language) by your marketing, crafting new ad content is so much easier. Best of all, rules and constraints can be built into those templates that ensures new ad material stays on message. While the language may vary, the look and feel, the images used, the colours, and overall design will be consistent.
While everyone knows the largest Social Networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. which are often used in a digital marketing campaign. However, when reaching out globally there are regional networks that may well be worthwhile considering. That determination will depend on the audience you are targeting. For example, in Brazil, Orkut is huge and should be a considered as a channel destination for any campaign in that country. Likewise, when doing business in China, networks such as “WeChat” (which is the biggest network in China) or “Weibo” should be on your radar.
All these regional social networks and their specifications for advertising, may sound like a advertising production nightmare. But that need not be the case.
How EasyBuild from Wave 2 helps: EasyBuild offers not one, but two solutions to this production challenge. First of all, it produces content in a variety of formats, including PDF for print and HTML5 for digital. HTML5, of course, is a format that can render content on different screen sizes, automatically adjusting ad size. In other words, it is a responsive design format that will allow advertising material to adjust itself to smartphone, tablets, websites or even digital signs and billboards, without the need of producing separate versions for each platform.
The second way EasyBuild helps, is its ability to produce different ad shapes simultaneously. Note this is not the same as re-sizing an ad to fit a screen, instead, it is the ability to produce landscape oriented, square shaped or vertically oriented content – and can do so simultaneously. EasyBuild can even produce print ads and digital ads simultaneously! Add this feature to its ability to resize each variation (thanks to the HTML5 formatting) and it should be very clear why EasyBuild can really take the effort out of ad production.
Technology is now integrated into consumers’ everyday lives; from smartphones and smartwatches to tablets and laptops, people are always connected. That is a trend that will continue to shape the way people make purchases and interact with businesses. As stated above, by 2020, there will be more than 2 billion online shoppers around the world (see • Digital buyers worldwide 2021)
With so many consumers being online, it is essential for businesses to also have an online presence, even for brick-and-mortar stores.
Businesses of all sizes and industries can benefit from digital marketing, defined as the marketing of a product or service through digital media such as search engines, social media, email marketing, and a website. EasyBuild from Wave 2 can play a major role in that effort, simply by taking the complexities out of producing campaign material. Without EasyBuild, a digital campaign is laborious, costly and error prone. The bigger the campaign, the more EasyBuild can help.
Why don’t you contact Wave2 to find out more about your global advertising campaigns?
Or simply click here and set up a demo.