3 Tips To Develop An International Marketing Strategy

Notable international marketing mistakes:

  • The brand Vicks sounds very similar to a German word with sexual implications
  • Proctor & Gamble used a TV commercial in Japan that was popular in Europe. The ad showed a woman bathing, her husband entering the bathroom and touching her. The Japanese considered this ad an invasion of privacy, inappropriate behavior and overall in very poor taste.
  • Lebron James, a kung fu master and Nike. Let just say that this was not a successful venture into the Chinese markets.
  • Pepsodent tried to sell its toothpaste in Southeast Asia by emphasizing that is whitens teeth. They found out that the local natives chew betel nuts to blacken their teeth, which they find attractive.
  • The US hand gesture for “OK” is not OK in South America

Translation errors:

  • GM attempting to sell their Chevy Nova in Mexico despite the fact that “no va” in Spanish means “no go.”
  • Gerber having a problem in France, since “gerber” can be translated to mean “to vomit” in French.
  • Traficante, an Italian mineral water, was able to find great success in Spain’s underworld because it translates to “drug dealer”
  • Fresca means “lesbian” in Mexico.
  • Honda’s Fitta had to be renamed to Honda Jazz in Nordic countries as “fitta” was an old word used in vulgar language to refer to a woman’s genitals in Swedish, Danish and Norwegian.
  • Coors slogan “Turn It Loose” translated in Spanish meant “Suffer From Diarrhea.”

Simple, automated translation, which does not account for cultural differences, is a costly error that brands can’t afford.

Recently, P&G created an insightful and accurate multicultural, multilingual, multinational marketing campaign. The P&G’s Olympic campaign started with an internationally universal idea, what it takes to raise an Olympian. The campaign told the personal stories of 19 athletes who as a whole spoke 11 languages. The campaign respected diverse cultural expectations and languages by localizing their videos into 12 global languages.

3 tips for creating an international marketing strategy:

1. Build A Global Strategy … From The Beginning

First your company needs to decide if you want to compete and target international markets. Think global. If you consider doing this from the beginning, you won’t make the mistake of forgetting it. It all begins with awareness and ends with research. Conduct international market research. This way you know your message will resonate with your local and target market.

Marketing in Canada, most national firms already have to consider multiple languages. Also, when marketing in urban settings, marketers can target different cultures and utilize different languages. Too often, brands determine their taglines in English only. Only once they begin expanding beyond domestic borders do they realize that the phrasing is awkward or offensive, or it simply doesn’t make sense in an international market.

2. Engage Local Stakeholders

Effective global marketing requires local voices. Insert stakeholders. Work with local sources as often as you can. These local stakeholders can help you create an accurate multicultural brand identity with proper style guides, glossaries, and sample translations. They can also help to brainstorm campaign concepts and translate creative elements.

 

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Creating a Marketing Plan

Marketing simply is the business of promoting and selling products or services. Traditional marketing utilizes strategies such as direct sales, TV, radio, mail, print advertising (magazines, coupon books, billboards) and printed promotional materials (catalogs or brochures).

Digital or online marketing can be an inexpensive, effective and measurable marketing tactic to drive customer traffic and improve your overall business. Digital marketing includes social media, online advertising, content marketing (blog, email marketing, social media) and of course a website. It is recommended that businesses follow the 80:20 rule when allocating funds between online:traditional marketing.

Developing a marketing plan is an important first step for businesses. A marketing and/or communications plan should be included in a company’s Business Plan.  Creating, following and updating a marketing plan can help you to sustainably grow your business. Marketing is highly important because it is the mediums that put you into contact with your customers. A well thought out business plan will allow your company to:

  • Keep your company speaking with one consistent voice across a multiple platforms, products, regions, and customer interactions.
  • Standout from your competitors.
  • Consistently resonate with their target markets.
  • Plan your marketing tactics, campaigns and budgets to save time and money.
  • Conduct and manage market research.

All companies can build their marketing effectiveness by thoroughly understanding the:

  • Target markets

o   It is best to create customer profiles    

  • Who are your existing and potential customers? What is the best way to communicate with them?
  • Buying, selling, and communications processes    

o   How do your customers prefer to buy? How are you set up to sell? What tactics or channels best facilitate buying and selling?

Your marketing plan should at least discuss the following sections:

  • Objectives: What should result from your marketing plan and activities?
  • Buying and selling process: Your customer’s buying process are the steps that customers follow when making a purchase. Your selling process is the set of steps that your sales team goes through when making a sale.
  • Messages: What do you want customers to know? How do they want to receive your messages?
  • Tactics: What tools or channels should you use to convey your messages?    
  • Budget and schedule: How much do your tactics cost? What is your budget? When should you run your campaigns?

An effective marketing plan must begin with market research and a thorough understanding of the areas mentioned above.

Final Tips:

It is very important for companies to track and measure their success. This means tracking your Return On Investment (ROI). The more quantifiable the metrics (e.g. a 5% increase in sales/market share or lead generation) – the better your future plans will be.

Your plan should create a plan that addresses each step in the marketing and communication process. Realistically, limited budgets will require prioritization.  Typically new markets, products or services will require more work and therefor a larger budget. 

Is Facebook Advertising Right for your Small Business?

Small businesses should consider adding social media ads to your annual marketing strategy. That means small businesses should not automatically write off advertising on Facebook. The key to being successful with Facebook advertising is managing expectations. There are conflicting reports regarding the effectiveness of Facebook ads. Do comments and advertisements drive purchases? Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear-cut answer.

Facebook Ads for Small Businesses

One of the strongest uses for Facebook ads is to get people in a very specific demographic to like your Facebook page so that you can then message to them over time. For example, a small local restaurant you can get Facebook users in your area to like your Facebook page and then offer coupons or promote events. Then you can incentivize your Facebook community to share those promotions so their friends can see it. This is how posts and advertisements can go viral. It’s important to note that viral ads are not the only way that Facebook can help small businesses.

Small businesses can also have success in Facebook advertising promotions. The businesses that often get poor results with Facebook ads are the ones that try and push a hard sale. This doesn’t work in other advertising mediums, so businesses shouldn’t be surprised that it is ineffective on Facebook. Facebook tends to work much better when promoting softer offers such as free giveaways, discounts or building fans that can be converted into leads/sales in the future.

Facebook Ad Benefits

Facebook ads help small businesses to build a fan and customer list. This is similar to email or direct mail marketing, but social media can offer more control and data. With traditional advertising (yellow pages, radio, TV, print, etc.) you get an ad, but you don’t get a customer lead generation list to cultivate. With Facebook ads, business owners can create a growing community of potential customers that you can foster for years. When used effectively, Facebook ads can help increase your word-of-mouth advertising. Being exposed to your friends pages, business and products can make for more effective marketing.

Facebook also offers data analysis and customizable options, similar to that of Google, which can help you increase your online exposure. The ability to target your ads (like on most digital platforms) is a huge benefit for small business owners.

Effectiveness of Facebook Ads

Another benefit of Facebook ads is that there are less competition for keywords than there is on Google or other PPC (pay-per-click) sites. As mentioned above, you are able to reach your target demographic in a casual online atmosphere.  There is more trust established, when a person likes your Facebook page than with a Google search. This trust can be an important factor in the effectiveness of your online marketing.

A big difference between a business Facebook page and a traditional web page is the ability to see and track customer engagement and feedback.  If a Facebook user decides to click on your Facebook ad they land on your Facebook page where they can see interactions and comments that users are saying about your company/brand. As a result, it helps build trust with your client pool.

The Cost

Facebook ad pricing can vary, but is directly related to the area of your target market. The minimum ad bid is low (approximately 0.01 or a penny), but as with Google AdWords, if you’re trying to advertise to a competitive demographic, you’ll be placed in an auction (similar to Google AdWords) with other advertisers and you’ll have to pay significantly more per click. As with most online marketing platforms, companies can control how much they spend by setting daily and campaign budgets.

Many experts say that the price of Facebook ads is among their most appealing features. As with most marketing campaigns, you need to commit to a budget of $500 to $1,000 to get started. Also, it is important to test different ad types, images, and landing pages. After you finish your A/B testing, you can run the more effective ads.

Have You Created Your Content Calendar? Here Are 4 Tips To Help!

It’s the end of the year and the home stretch is in reach. Don’t forget to complete your content calendar for 2014. Content calendars can help you plan out a clear plan of attack for the New Year. Planning ahead will help you pre-empt writers block and allows you to construct a strategic digital marketing roadmap. It’s important to note that every content calendar is different, because every company is different. Make a separate Outlook or Google calendar or event an Excel spreadsheet.

It’s also important to remember that your content calendar is not static and none of your information is ‘set in stone’. Feel free to add new campaigns, move them around or delete them. Here are 4 more tips to help you get started.

1. Plan for holidays
Start by including major holidays on the calendar. Google when these are and plan around them throughout the year (e.g. Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc.). Also include all of the lesser known holidays too, even if you don’t market specifically for them.

2. Add events
While you may not know all of next year’s events, this is a great second place to start. Add events such as conferences, company events, client appreciation events, etc. These events will influence the content in your emails campaigns. Also include internal events and time off schedules, as this can affect content marketing production.

3. Include email marketing campaigns
Hubspot as stated that email marketing has the best ROI in the industry. Add each type of campaign you are planning to create throughout the year. Examples can include daily/weekly/monthly newsletters, welcome series, re-engagement campaigns, special offers, sales, new products, events, etc. I also recommend color coding each type.  for a wide picture of when it occurs over time. This is also a good time to brainstorm and make note of new campaigns and ideas. If you have a blog, you should also considering brainstorming and noting topics/ideas for your blog as well.

4. Add the extras
Find the right balance, but feel free to include additional marketing campaigns (on and offline), social media promotions and contests. Adding these will help enhance the content you have in your email marketing and as a result it should help increase your customer engagement.

Good luck with your calendar and if I missed any tips or ideas please feel free to sharing them in my comments! 

Content Marketing 101

In business, especially professional services, relationships and referrals are the key to business development. While personal referrals will also continue to play a major role in business development, according to HubSpot, 43% of all marketers have found a customer via LinkedIn in 2013. It took a few years for content marketing to catch on in the realm of professional services, but today a good content marketing strategy involves producing and distributing material that is valuable and interesting to your target audiences. Hopefully you are part of the 23% of marketers that HubSpot stated are investing in blogging and social media in 2013—a 9% increase from 2012.

Benefits of Content Marketing

  1. Affordable. 
  2. Improves your search results and indexing. 
  3. Fosters prospect nurturing.
  4. Drives content efficiency. 

The Content Marketing Model

  1. Create content that is important to your target audiences (e.g. blog posts, articles, whitepapers, webinars, videos, books, etc.).
  2. Promote content through social media, presentations, email marketing, etc.
  3. Convert readers by providing free access to your content, but request at least their email address.
  4. Engage through phone consultations, meetings, assessments, and demonstrations. Be consistent with your ability to demonstrate your (or your company’s) knowledge and expertise.

The Must-Haves in Content Marketing

  1. Plan ahead – have a content manager and a calendar.
  2. Tailor your content marketing strategy to focus on your buyer personas and target market. If it doesn’t interest your clients or prospects then you have missed the point.
  3. Explore a variety of mediums (e.g. text, images, video, infographics, etc.)
  4. Be transparent. Channel your enthusiasm and showcase your company’s culture! 

Blogging Tips

  1. Create content that connects – The most important part of your blog is the content. Write for the audience you want to target and create content relevant to them not you. 
  2. Frequent Content – Frequency is important, but there is no perfect number. 3 – 5 times per week is a good place to start.
  3. Remember SEO – SEO is important for your blog as well. Remember to consider load time, titles, mobile versions, site navigation and keywords.
  4. Social Media – Use social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ to promote your content. Grow and nurture your communities. Be diverse and part of the communities you decide to participate in.
  5. Utilize blogger sites – Review sites like TechnarotiMashableAlltop and others that are relevant to your industry and audience.
  6. Email your posts – Email will help get your content in front of more people. Utilize an email service (e.g. Constant Contact) and be consistent. Subscribers will begin to expect to see your content on a regular basis.
  7. Press Releases – Use press releases to spread the word about news and your product and services. Many companies (and associates) wrongly believe that there is nothing newsworthy happening at their company. Events that should have press releases include: new products, completions of projects, announcements of contracts, new partnerships, new personnel, awards, industry whitepapers and interviews with company personnel.
  8. Influencer Outreach – Target influencers in your industry and establish a relationship with them. Find out how you can help them, comment on their blogs and then ask if they would be interested in guest blogging for you. 

Too Expensive? Here are 10 Affordable Marketing Tactics

Marketing, advertising and promotion are a critical to business success. It is also a crucial link to your customers. Instead of avoiding or cancelling these tactics, you can try and implement some cost saving tactics to increase brand awareness. Here are 10 affordable marketing tactics to consider implementing:

  1.  Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare, etc.)
  2. Content Marketing and Lead Generation (Blogging and Email Marketing/eNewsletters)
  3. Promotional events (Competitions with prizes that media can attend)
  4. Public Relations (Write content about what your business is doing)
  5. Press Release or Article (Submit it with a small ad to local newspapers and media)
  6. Guest Hosting (Contact local radio/TV outlets and offer to do free interviews or consults)
  7. Hijack (Listen to media shows or online conversations and jump in with your comments)
  8. Community Involvement (Volunteer to provide presentations at local community groups)
  9. Be Charitable (Only do this if you believe and want to be involved in a local cause)
  10. Networking (Get out there and mingle!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too Expensive? Here are 10 Affordable Marketing Tactics

10 Helpful Social Media Tools

Here are 10 helpful tools that should allow you to be more efficient online.

  1. WooBox.com – WooBox.com is a Facebook brand page app service that provides a host of free and paid apps.
  2. Piktochart.com – This is free and paid infographic and presentation tool for non-designers. 
  3. PicMonkey.comPikMonkey is a free online picture editor.
  4. LiveTweetApp.com. This is a live-tweet wall tool that you can use for events and conferences. 
  5. Tagboard.com Tagboard tracks hashtags across all major platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and Google+) so you can see where these hashtags are being used.
  6. Feedspot.com. Feedspot is a new RSS reader that allows you to pick and follow blogs based on your interests and then it makes suggestions based on your activity.
  7. Picozu.com. An online drawing and photo-retouching application. 
  8. Dominder.com If you own a lot of domain names this tool should help. It is a reminder service for your domain names, so you won’t miss any re-registration dates.
  9. Zeen.comAnother image-generation tool that enables you to create shareable, poster-style pieces of content. 
  10. Youtube.videodeck.net. If you are familiar with Tweetdeck, essentially this is the same tool, but for YouTube. This tool allows you to follow your favorite subscriptions and content with an online dashboard. 

10 Tips for Writing the Best Facebook Status Updates

Here are 10 tips to help you optimize your Facebook posts!

  1. Post an interesting fact
  2. Share a tip, a stat, piece of news or checklist
  3. Endorse content
  4. Don’t always ask a question
  5. Inspire action (e.g. pinning an image)
  6. Tell users what to expect (especially with blogs and videos)
  7. Test adding a “P.S.” line
  8. Use short links (try bitly)
  9. Use images with text (try PicMonkey)
  10. Ask users to commentImage