It’s indisputable that we’ve entered the age of truly global marketing, where advertisers and marketing professionals must understand that they’re catering to a diverse worldwide audience. Far too often, today’s marketing professionals aren’t up to the challenges posed by the 21st century, and are making too many common mistakes time and time again when it comes to taking their message onto the international stage.
Stop making these common mistakes in your global marketing initiatives, and brush up on the common gaffes made by some of the world’s leading brands so that you can avoid them yourself.
No one is immune from a marketing failure
Many business owners are fooling themselves into thinking that they’re immune from a PR disaster stemming from a terrible marketing failure. What many small business owners don’t understand is that in the digital age everyone can go viral in a minute, and that small mistakes in your marketing strategy can end up costing you big when you try to scale up your advertising efforts. If you’re trying to avoid the most frequently made mistakes in the global marketing industry, you need to review the worst mistakes made by some of the biggest brands in recent years.
Take a deep dive into some examples of brands who saw their messages get lost in translation, for instance, and you’ll see that way too many global marketing initiatives are launched with a shallow understanding of local cultures, customs, and languages. It’s absolutely imperative that any marketing effort that features translation or complex, language-heavy pitches to consumers be run by a local beforehand to catch mistakes well ahead of time. Companies that try to push brands overseas without doing their homework when it comes to translation will soon have an embarrassing PR crisis to deal with.
Beside languages, many modern marketing efforts don’t take local customs into consideration, resulting in jokes that fall flat in advertisements or pitches that are downright offensive from certain perspectives. Contemporary marketing professionals need to review how important of a role culture plays when it comes to the dizzying realm of international marketing. Taking some extra time to understand the international audience you’ll be approaching with your message could be what ultimately saves you from a scandal.
Finally, marketers should understand that they need to be specific. Today’s international world is truly complex and diverse, meaning messages can appear vague if they’re not specifically catered to one overseas audience. Rather than allow your efforts to go in vain, you should specify who you’re targeting and narrowly bombard one audience with ads cleverly designed to catch their eyes.
Understanding an international audience
In order to have a really successful international marketing effort, today’s marketing gurus need to gain a comprehensive understanding of the audience they’re pitching products and services to. That’s easier said than done, and no marketing professional with solo ads should expect to become an expert on a foreign culture overnight. Nonetheless, marketers can learn more about the people they’ll be pitching to over time, and should focus on gaining an understanding of technological trends in the local area they’re focusing on.
Failing to understand how the locals make use of technology is a terrible mistake that cost many global marketing efforts dearly. Not realizing that many people in the developing world rely entirely on mobile phones for access to the internet, for instance, could render an entire targeted campaign virtually worthless. As users continue to flock to mobile phones and show consistently higher engagement rates on mobile devices as time goes on, understanding the technology in the hands of shoppers will grow to become a more imperative part of global marketing. If your global marketing strategy doesn’t include a section on how you’ll be advertising in the mobile scene, you’re likely making a huge mistake.
Finally, many marketers are failing in today’s business world because they don’t understand how imperative it is to run internal audits, and to do so regularly. In today’s digital world, too many marketers are content with allowing software to tell them when things are wrong, and are afraid to get hands-on to determine if they need to make a change of course. Advertising and marketing professionals should never allow a previous way of doing business to interfere with a possible shift in strategy that could result in success in a new foreign market.
Fixing all of the flaws in your existing
marketing strategy isn’t easy, and will take time and money, but it’s
imperative that you’re constantly refining your strategy to attain success. If
you stop making the above mistakes in your global marketing efforts, you’ll see
improved results from your advertising campaigns in no time. Remember to keep
it local when heading into the international marketing arena, and you’ll do