Marketing in your own country is one thing, but marketing somewhere international is completely different. There are different factors to consider when starting a global marketing campaign. In order to prevent failures and only have success, certain steps should take place. Learn the steps needed by continuing to read this article.
Businesses that successfully navigate the global market can reap substantial rewards by tapping into new customer bases, expanding their reach and opening up new growth opportunities. Launching a global marketing campaign to reach those markets provides enticing benefits: consistent messaging, exciting visuals, brand recognition and the opportunity to build once and use everywhere. However, the challenges associated with a worldwide rollout can be significant and include:
- Ensuring that the campaign is culturally relevant in all markets.
- Establishing regional key performance indicators (KPIs) and goals.
- Developing an effective global communications strategy.
- Coordinating activities across multiple time zones.
- Driving adoption across the organization.
We had these factors in mind when we launched a recent product. With operations in the United States, Europe, and Asia, our team had to create a message that would resonate with customers in all regions. Additionally, we had to consider cultural differences and how people interact with technology in different areas.
Over several months, we took an in-depth look at our buyer personas to understand their needs better on a regional level. We then worked internally with our brand team to develop a campaign to help connect with a global audience.
Here are some lessons learned and best practices to help make your next global launch successful.
Start With A Program Management Approach
Don’t underestimate the complexities of rolling out a global campaign. Use a project management approach to orchestrate the entire program and set realistic timelines from the start. The number of dependencies across external agencies, internal stakeholders and the marketing organization can easily create a domino effect if any key milestones are missed. So as you build the project plan, don’t forget to make necessary provisions for bank holidays, vacations of key owners and major initiatives that might make essential resources unavailable. Having your go-to in-region translation person out for two weeks in August will otherwise create havoc with your estimated project completion dates.
Once your project plan is in place, establish a status update meeting cadence to ensure all stakeholders are held accountable for task completion. The status meeting is also an excellent opportunity to discuss any issues and come up with remediation as a team. Remember that setbacks are inevitable no matter how much planning you do. Planning for eventualities will allow you to move past them quickly and with grace.
Create A Requirements Document And Stick To It
No matter how diligent you are about creating your plan, there will be unforeseen changes or, even worse, scope creep. For our global launch, we created a clear, written requirements document outlining each team member’s key objectives and deliverables. Each locale had specific considerations we captured upfront and tracked throughout the project.
You should also account for governance, handoff processes between teams, language and time zone differences, and the definition of roles and responsibilities. Share the document with all stakeholders for signoff and update it regularly as new specifications arise.
Establish Clear KPIs For Each Market
When we launched our campaign, we knew we couldn’t simply rely on general metrics that apply to any launch. Instead, we wanted to understand our audience in each market and establish KPIs to help us measure our progress.
Work closely with your regional teams to develop unique metrics that will tie back into your initial plan and requirements document. As a result, you will be able to more accurately measure the success of your launch and identify areas for improvement on a regional level.
Develop Global Personas
Any successful marketing campaign starts with a deep understanding of the target audience. In the global marketplace, this is often more difficult than it seems. Buyer personas can vary widely from country to country, and even within individual countries, there can be wide cultural variance. Marketers should take a detailed and nuanced approach to global audience segmentation.
Before our product campaign, we met with global sales and marketing teams to better understand the unique regional needs of our customer personas: teachers, IT administrators and school leaders. We also shaped our entire process around a framework that served as our road map for end-to-end project management. The biggest takeaway we gleaned from that resource was about stakeholder management and communication guidance. Following the framework helped us keep everyone on the same page and avoid any misunderstandings that could have arisen from cultural differences. Ultimately, we launched our product successfully in multiple markets, largely thanks to our approach at the outset.
Localize Your Assets
Localization involves more than simply translating your copy: It encompasses everything from photography to videos and CTAs. For example, we quickly realized that regional and cultural differences required different photos for the various regions of our global rollout. In some places, kids dress more formally, while kids dress more casually in others. To account for differences like these, you should not only translate text but also localize your photography.
We also worked with our localization team to ensure that our website, collateral and video content were translated and tailored to each target market. Efforts like these can help you reach a wider audience and deeply connect with your personas.
Launching a global marketing campaign can be a complex undertaking, but I’ve found that the key to success is effective communication between all stakeholders that you underpin with careful planning and execution. And never stop learning. After all the results are in, hold a retrospective or postmortem meeting to review key insights and apply them to your next global campaign.