How to develop a global marketing strategy and brand campaign

Having a great product or service is critically important to a business’s success. Yet it’s only part of the equation — without high-level branding and marketing, even the best product or service can get lost in the shuffle.

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To help you lay the groundwork for marketing success, let’s discuss the basics of running a global brand campaign, and the pitfalls you’ll need to sidestep.

Global marketing strategies 101

If you’re a smaller business, the idea of a global marketing campaign may seem a bit ambitious. Yet the truth is that traditional barriers to entry have reduced dramatically — or in some cases, have outright collapsed. Thanks to the rise of the digital economy, social media, Big Data, cloud computing, and modern technological tools, an effective global campaign is within the reach of most enterprises.

When designing a new campaign, the first thing to understand is that “global” doesn’t mean “one size fits all.” Marketing done well is targeted and tailored; in order for it to resonate with audiences it must be relevant. What a buyer in urban Japan finds relevant may be much different than what appeals to a buyer in rural Canada. Your buyer personas should incorporate local preferences and be updated periodically.

It’s also important to have feedback from people who are well-versed in any new markets you’re about to enter. We’ve all heard the horror stories about mistranslations. Pepsi’s “come alive with Pepsi” campaign was literally translated as “Pepsi brings you’re ancestors back from the dead” in Mandarin, while Coors brewery’s “Turn it loose” campaign in Spain was colloquially translated as “this product will cause diarrhea.”

Navigating local cultures, idioms and laws

Translations aren’t the only potential trouble spot; when you aim for a global market, it’s imperative to consider questions of cultural sensitivity. Additionally, not everything translates across cultures and languages. A brilliant tagline might fall utterly flat in another culture or language. Local expertise is the best way to ensure mistakes aren’t made, whether that means consulting with someone informally or finding a local business partner.

When in doubt, it’s a good idea to aim for the universal — something that is recognizable and all-inclusive. You can still add local twists and flair to universal content.

Even if your creative work is calibrated for global appeal, you should also be cognizant of jurisdictional differences. The rules and regulations governing marketing and sales vary from place to place — some areas are highly regulated when it comes to spam, user privacy, email marketing, etc. are a virtual free for all. Awareness of these differences are a key part of successful global marketing strategies.

Developing creative work that’s global in nature and negotiating the intricacies of jurisdictional compliance can be a tall order for some small-to-mid-sized firms. That’s one reason why it’s often a smart idea to partner with an agency that specializes in global marketing campaigns. Luckily, agencies like BIGEYE have the knowledge to avoid pitfalls and enough experience to understand where costs can be reduced (one example: by building an internal database of words or phrases you’ve previously translated, you can dramatically lower external translation fees).

The takeaway

Thanks to modern technology the barriers to entry for global marketing campaign are lower than ever. Before you get started, however, we encourage you to weigh all of the above considerations carefully.

To learn more on how to develop an effective global marketing strategy, contact our strategy team today!

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