Despite what many think, the internet was created for more than just cat memes and viral GIFs.
Having the ability to communicate in a person’s own language is a simple step all websites should take when marketing globally.
Colors not only have a strong psychological effect, they also have strong cultural connotations. Spinnakr is a service that helps you target yourwebsite's visitors to increase conversions. Being dynamic in response to customer requests is the key to getting the kind of global attention your business deserves.  By integrating the kind of flexibility and adaptability into your business plan that allows you the freedom to change direction and focus based on customer input, you show that your company anticipates customer needs and answers them at “internet speed”. And that’s not all.  Because most online customers choose to take some form of action when on a website, you’ve effectively shortened their time to making a buying decision, meaning your advertising dollars go further, you don’t have to constantly bombard them with messages and sales pitches, and you get a solid return on investment.
You’ll be joining the 130,000 Smart Insights members from 80 countries who trust our advice to Plan, Manage and Optimize their marketing. However, the question of whether global marketing works is a frequent conversation topic amongst marketers, and the concept of globally-led marketing resources can be subject to much scepticism. Marketing departments, particularly those in larger companies, seem to follow similar pendulum movements. Global marketing can indeed work, drive synergies and economies of scale whilst preserving specific local needs and cultural considerations.
However, as with most marketing approaches, the key to success is a balanced approach.  Not all marketing activities can or should be driven from the centre. A global marketing approach does not mean the absence of local, market-specific plans and initiatives. Global marketing will typically set the framework and parameters within which local marketing operates, whilst giving in-market teams the freedom to control local success levers. Some areas of marketing that lend themselves to being led at a global or central level include branding and brand guidelines, strategic marketing planning and budgeting (with autonomy given to markets within their allocated budget), large-scale marketing campaigns, social media strategy and guidelines, research strategy, and global PR. Other areas best managed locally include local outreach initiatives and more tactical campaigns, local social media channels and PR initiatives, local partnerships and events, etc.  Markets need to have some control over the local channels that contribute to driving their success.
A tiered market will help you identify territories that might drive the highest potential returns. Too often, operating globally is seen as an excuse to avoid spending time understanding local cultures, customer needs and behaviours, as well as successful and less successful marketing approaches. And yet, it is obvious that a US-based customer is likely to be very different from a customer located in India or SEA. For a global model to work, global teams need to develop an understanding of local markets and establish a close relationship with local marketing teams.
Gone are the days when global campaigns and strategies were applied in a blanket fashion across all international territories - it simply doesn’t work.
Globally defined initiatives and plans need to factor in a degree of flexibility to cater for cultural differences.
Research the markets and take the time to get to know the international teams you will be working with.
So, you have established key relationships, researched local markets, and defined global marketing plans which you think accommodate local needs where required.
That’s a great start, but don’t wait for the campaign to begin to validate your assumptions. A proactive approach will give you time to adjust and revise your plans in the event of a problem. As the time for your campaign to kick-off approaches, there are a few key elements to consider to help it succeed; starting with outstanding project planning. Appoint a global campaign manager - with responsibility for all communication and coordination around the campaign.


Plan ruthlessly – make sure deadlines, responsibilities and deliverables are clear to everyone involved. Consider time-zones - your timelines must reflect these so all relevant materials are ready concurrently across all markets.
Communicate - plans, deliverables and expectations across different channels and multiple times.  Touch base with in-country teams regularly to provide support and advice and to stay on top of the campaign as it unfolds. Running a campaign in multiple markets means you will have to be particularly disciplined about tracking results.  The campaign manager is a good person to coordinate this. Get buy-in from in-market teams on these targets.  Share these metrics early and share them all.  Seeing how each market contributes to the overall success of the campaign might help drive a bit of healthy competition!
Review metrics weekly with the team, preferably on a call or video call, and take actions to address under-performance. Once your campaign comes to an end, make sure you consolidate the insight gained and organise a debrief. A critical element that makes global marketing work is the relationship you establish with in-market teams.  An open communication channel is vital in developing trust and nurturing these relationships. Time-zones will make this a challenge, but it can work, and it will pay off.  Creating cohesion in the team will go a long way in driving your joined success. Most obviously, it ensures your marketing strategy is applied consistently (but smartly) across territories and it allows you to operate more efficiently through economies of scale.
Beyond this, one of the biggest benefits of operating globally with a local presence is the opportunity it provides to develop a deeper understanding of the markets in which your company operates and their potential. With thanks to Paul Butler of Facebook for the global communications map, and Creative Roots for use of the coke bottles image.
Growth brands including Apple, Google and Netflix are heavy users of outdoor advertising (OOH) and spend 10% of overall ad budgets on OOH. Very useful and helped me understand the strategies to consider in conducting business globally. Great post, it did surely provide me with useful inspiration when drafting the general guidelines for our global marketing team!
International companies work a lot with global marketing plans, yet they often forget to consider local varities when implementing these plans. Excellent article — the natural push and pull that occurs between global strategy and local implementation is one of the biggest challenges.
Of course, we can understand the web as a tool to connect us to people around the world, given that it has made marketing to a global audience as easy as a click.
At least half of foreign users won’t purchase your product if the information about it is not communicated  to them.
And with that internet speed comes greater demand for products and services to be delivered immediately. The idea of leveraging a marketing strategy across multiple markets seems to be nothing but beneficial.
Sometimes central teams are set up to oversee all territories; at other times these same teams are fragmented into regional or local components, each focusing on their specific market(s). It also allows top tier markets to access bigger budgets, giving them autonomy; for example, research into local users’ behaviours to inform product development. However, it is critical you define the areas clearly to avoid friction and inefficiencies.  Take the time to do this upfront - don’t wait until issues start arising. Their lives, cultures, and needs are different, so it makes sense they will interact very differently with your products or services.
A community meet-up, social media competition, or treasure-hunt based campaign might resonate well with some markets, and not at all with others. Socialise these plans with your international teams as soon as possible, seek their feedback and ensure that there are no legal issues to prevent your plans from working in certain markets.


It will also allow you to get buy-in from your local colleagues.  And, after all, a huge part of the success will rest on their shoulders during execution. Plan your campaign’s official launch at a time and date that works for all the countries in the campaign.
These discussions should be active and vibrant, allowing all local teams to chip in and contribute. Regular (video) calls are a great way to keep the teams up-to-date with the latest global plans and changes, as well as to learn about the latest competitive developments in-market, or to discuss new campaign ideas. For each campaign or activity you run, you will gather feedback and suggestions from a range of markets. Isabelle has held a number of positions with leading internet brands Amazon and Yahoo!, managing global teams to deliver cohesive strategies and in-market success, and is now Digital Consultant and Founder at e-nhance. Further to Recommendation 7, my suggestion is to budget for a global marketing team meeting every year. It saves effort and resources, and ensures a high degree of consistency between all in-market branding and activities. Failing to do this will result in cross-communication, misunderstandings and missed deliverables.
And, at every step of the way, get all parties to confirm when deliverables have been completed so you can stay on top of the project at a global level.
This is invaluable insight you can leverage by developing a repository of best practice and ideas which will help drive your long term success. It’s astounding how much misunderstanding can result from even the best intentioned emails.
Marketing that is successful in your home market may not have the same effect in a foreign one. And an Indian celebrity is unlikely to be known in France or Japan.  Privacy laws can be very different from country to country too. Start with any budget, get real-time pricing, pick the billboards you want from an online map, set up your campaign and get your ads up in minutes. And group conference calls, although necessary, can be wearying — especially for the US who has to wake up early and Australia who has to stay up late! We suggest that you familiarize yourself with basic associations in countries that you expect to see great conversions from. Sometimes tailoring your message around a particular culture may not produce better results; however, the point is to be aware of cultural differences when marketing to foreign users because messages have different meanings in different cultures. Face-to-face meetings show there is a live, breathing human behind an email address, and it enhances team cohesiveness better than any conference call can. Pro tip: try and avoid pictures with text in them because replacing those pictures may cause a headache.
Learn which colors work best for that specific location, but don’t spend excessive time on the subtle meanings of color. There are few things worse than  being oblivious to sensitivities that could have easily been prevented by a quick Google search.
While Americans may find certain jokes, cultural references, or current events comical, there are many other cultures who may not be laughing.



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