July 2, 2011
Tips on Marketing Your Brand to International Cultures
As you probably already know, there’s a lot more to marketing your brand to international cultures than simply using a free translation app on your company website so that someone in South Korea understands what the heck you’re talking about. And appealing to a global audience involves a lot more than being sensitive to certain cultures so you don’t come off like some pushy tourist. At the DMA’s upcoming 2011 Boston conference, you’ll find plenty of resources to help you extend your reach across cultural borders without ruffling feathers. But if you just can’t wait for October and want to get started now, here are some pointers on marketing your company across international lines.
Get a Grasp on the Law
There are regulations on advertising in foreign countries that you may or may not be aware of, and which could cause an otherwise well-planned campaign to be nipped in the bud. For example, in many countries you have to get explicit approval before you can advertise pharmaceutical or medical products. Likewise, there’s strict regulation in some countries pertaining to advertising special deals or holding contests. Read up on foreign ad law before you leap. It could save you the headache of having to reformat your entire campaign.
In America, it’s perfectly acceptable and frequently practiced to market products in comparison with other brands, declaring purported superiority over alleged inferiority. As consumers, we’ve come to expect something of a mudslinging approach to our marketing. But beware—this stuff doesn’t fly in some countries. Although there may not be any laws written in black and white that prevent you from doing so, it’s important to pay heed to the expectations that people in other cultures have of the way that companies represent themselves and their products. If trash talking the competition is frowned upon and that’s your typical approach, you’re either going to have to change your advertising “voice” or risk alienating a whole lot of potential customers.
Images and Graphics: The Universal Language
Instead of riddling the front page of your website with textual hyperlinks, replace words with images that will be (for the most part, anyway) easily recognizable and that will translate to a universal message. For example, if your main landing page requires a user to click “Enter” to launch the full site, replace the word with an image—like an open door, or an arrow, or some other graphic that says what you want it to say without resorting to language.
If you’re interested in learning more best practices for marketing yourself across various cultures, you’ll have plenty of opportunity at the upcoming DMA2011 event. Scheduled for October 1 through 6 in Boston, it’s already shaping up to be one of the most important 2011 advertising conferences in North America, with an expected turnout of 10,000 participants and hundreds of advertising exhibits, workshops, and symposiums—not to mention limitless opportunities to get face time with some of the world leaders in direct marketing, social media marketing, and internet commerce. Get more information here.
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