It’s a small world after all. Yes, really! And it’s all thanks to the internet.
In the past, the global market was the exclusive domain of multinational corporations with big bucks behind them. Now, even small businesses can reach audiences all over the world with an online store or website. In fact, while the famous international brands get a lot of press attention, according to Oberlo, it’s actually small and medium businesses that represent 90% of the global economy.
Whether selling consumer products, offering virtual services, or promoting an ebook or app, local businesses can significantly expand their potential reach and income by refocusing their efforts on a worldwide scale. For business owners, it means creating a shift to running global marketing campaigns that get you noticed by audiences in multiple regions.
What are the benefits of global marketing?
Expands your customer base: Currently, Statista states that 59% of the world’s population (or 4.66 billion people!) have an internet connection. For the first time in history, it is possible to run a local business with the possibility of reaching customers across the entire globe. The number of customers that can be gained by going global is potentially huge, and the costs of doing so don’t have to be exorbitant.
Helps improve products and services: Global marketing exposes a business or brand to a much wider and diverse audience. By analyzing interactions with a global customer base, companies have a much larger pool of opinions and data that can help refine and improve products and services, in ways they might not have thought of. International markets can even inspire ideas for new products or product adaptations, creating a whole new income stream that never existed before.
Boosts brand image: Global operations definitely add a certain ‘cachet’ to the image of a brand or business. A local company with a multi-language website, international shipping options, and customer reviews from different parts of the world creates a sense of strength and professionalism that cannot be faked.
And of course, the main and obvious benefit of global marketing translation is the potential to increase sales and boost the business’s bottom line revenue.
So, what can I do to become a global brand?
Before learning about how to create a successful global marketing campaign, it is important to consider what it would mean for your business to become an international brand. Start by reading this guide to brand awareness, which covers the basics of what brand recognition is, and how brand awareness is built over time.
Then you can begin to plan out how to go global in your niche. The main thing you need to do is take a close look at your offering, whether it be a product or service, and ask some hard-hitting questions:
- Is the offering suitable for markets in other countries?
- Is it adaptable to the needs of new audiences with different languages and cultural sensibilities?
- What would it take to get the brand active and operational overseas: Physical shipping services? Development of digital downloadable products? Upgrade of the current web store?
If you do see a real potential for your brand to go global, you can get down to the nitty-gritty of marketing to an international audience with purpose-built, localized campaigns and messages.
Let’s look at how to do it.
5 tips to create a successful global marketing campaign
Planet Earth is a big place. If you decide to launch your brand globally, don’t expect to reach the whole world from day one. It’s better to start “small” and work on expanding your markets as time goes on.
Here are the 5 tips you need to launch your first global marketing campaign and see it succeed.
Focus on regions where your best audiences are found
Narrow down your focus to specific regions where your business is generating consumer interest and has the best chance of performing well. A great way to do this is by analyzing your website traffic and seeing which countries or cities get the most traffic. This is easily done with Google Analytics. You can also examine your social media following and activity to see which regions have high engagement. Create a shortlist of promising locations and begin by homing in your efforts on these.
Research competitors in each locale
Before launching in any new market, whether it be around the world or around the corner, it is essential to scout out the competition’s products, operations, and marketing efforts. By researching competitors, you may discover that a regional market is saturated, and probably not worth your global marketing investment. You don’t necessarily need to launch all your offerings in every market; rather, competitor research can reveal which products or offerings are missing in a particular region and this can help you decide what to launch and where.
Develop region-based distribution strategies and partnerships
If you are offering physical products in international markets, you will need to create distribution and shipping operations for each region. This requires researching delivery service providers, estimated shipping costs, and other issues, such as customs and regional tax implications for customers. For companies launching digital or online services or products, like an app, you don’t need to worry about this step. Rather, focus on making sure your online infrastructure can support expected increases in traffic and use.
Localize your branding and campaigns
Once your product or service is ready to be launched, it’s time to focus on adapting your branding and marketing strategy for each region. This will entail the translation and localization of ads, user guides, product descriptions, and more. It may also mean localizing images to better appeal to customers in a specific region. Remember, localization is not just word-for-word translation. It’s capturing the sensibilities and norms of your target audience.
Be constantly aware of cultural and language differences
This is a touchy subject for any business looking to run global marketing campaigns. It is critical to avoid the pitfalls of advertising mistakes in foreign countries that can lead to bad publicity and a poor brand image. This means keeping up to date with current affairs and cultural events in different regions of the world where your business is active.
For example, running an upbeat ad campaign in a particular country on national Memorial Day is a very bad idea. For business owners who are on top of their global markets, the local cultures can actually provide a wealth of inspiration for clever, catchy ad campaigns. But you do need to stay on top of it constantly to make the most of the different global marketing opportunities.
Global Marketing Campaign Examples
Brands that have an international identity and infrastructure are ripe with amazing global marketing campaign examples. However, that doesn’t mean that small and medium businesses need massive marketing budgets to get their own results in global markets. Use examples like those below as inspiration for the different ways you can create a global marketing campaign to your advantage.
Nike: Nothing Beats a Londoner
One of the keys of localization is making customers feel they can really relate to the brand, and sometimes that means getting in their ‘headspace’. Nike knows this, so when they wanted to focus on their potential customer base in London, they launched a truly localized ad – set in authentic London suburbs, acted by locals and influencers, with a uniquely London character. And it worked. According to Global Web Index citing data from the online fashion search platform Lyst, searches for Nike products in London increased by 93% after the ad was released.
Nescafe: What coffee looks like all over the world
Nescafe is a great example of how to do global marketing, with a localized brand website for multiple regions around the world. Take a quick look at the differences between homepages of the US and Central-West Africa Nescafe websites below:
Note that website localization affects not just the copy and image, but the complete look and feel, and even the placement of various design elements on screen.
The Australian Nescafe website highlights another important aspect of localization. Scrolling just below the fold reveals a promotion of the Nescafe app. Clearly, the company is strongly pushing its app to audiences Down Under and has therefore placed it in a prominent position on the local website. This goes to show how marketing campaigns in different countries can play to the local audiences in several ways, whether in cultural references, design trends or even simply the priority of which product to promote first on the website.
The door to global marketing success is wide open
There are three things a business needs to win in global markets: knowledge of the customer base, localized marketing campaigns, and a global advertising platform to target your ads to relevant audiences in different geo-locations. The internet has leveled the playing field, giving even small, local businesses the chance to ramp up for global expansion. It’s simply a matter of deciding to take the first steps and start building a global marketing campaign — even today.