Launching an international marketing/promotional campaign is a huge undertaking, and stressful enough to put ice in the veins of any manager. But it can also be an exciting and inspirational set of days/weeks/months – when everything moves at the pace of a racecar and you surprise yourself with much you can juggle. If you’re planning a global campaign in the near future, you might find it helpful to check out our tips for making the process as streamlined and effective as possible.
1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If your company’s marketing campaigns up to this point have been smaller or localized, you might feel overwhelmed and daunted by the very thought of a global initiative – but you don’t have to go at it alone. For example, you can enlist professional global campaign management services and let this partner do the heavy lifting. Be sure to form the budget and lay out your objectives before proceeding with joint planning and execution.
2. Look for a good target area
Let’s be honest: a global campaign doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll target each of the world’s countries, but rather a specific set, region, or category of internet users all over the world. With this in mind, one of the first considerations for your company is which countries/regions to select. It can be helpful to look where users are already demonstrating interest in your brand/product/service, or if you’re a very new player in the global market – where similar campaigns and competitors have been successful in the past.
3. Differentiate yourself from the competition
In order for your campaign to stand out, it has to provide users with something new – something competitors haven’t tried or are unable to offer. And so, it’ll be useful to conduct competitor analysis in target markets to make sure that you’re not repeating a done-and-dusted campaign – or demonstrating an inferior offer. This tailored and analysis-based approach takes a lot more time and effort than a universal campaign for all markets, but should yield better and more relevant results.
4. Know the local laws and cultural norms
Just as tourists should be aware of local customs and regulations, brands should also pay attention to the relevant laws, customs, and traditions of the countries and regions that they’re targeting. Not only does this defend you from trouble and various legal actions, but it can also help you better connect with the target audience, and let them know that you care about their history and way of life.
5. Don’t rely solely on traditional SM
Adding to the previous point, keep in mind that the social media tools and networks you are used to may not be popular or prevalent in select countries. For example, KakaoTalk has a huge presence in Korea while China uses WeChat. And social media apps only scratch the surface: local websites, recreation areas, marketplaces, and public services can all provide unique spaces and opportunities for getting your message across. You just need to do the research.
6. Finish by collecting data, drawing conclusions
Some business owners have tunnel vision when it comes to campaigns – they’re focused on a handful of objectives and wrap the whole thing up quickly when these goals are met. However, if you want to really extract every little bit of use from a campaign, you should conduct a thorough analysis of its flow and results – with all of the relevant data and conclusions about some shortcomings. This will provide unique insights that’ll leave you well-armed to deploy another strategy in the future.
7. Consider collaborations
Partnering with people and companies that already have a big presence in your target markets is a move that can help you to expand your platform and send your message across through one of the most effective techniques – testimonials (word-of-mouth). One thing to consider is that recruiting dozens of influencers is often cheaper than getting a big-name celebrity – and the effect can be the same or even greater.
8. Be flexible in your planning and response
An international marketing campaign can have hundreds of moving parts, so even one plan going slightly askew can affect your whole operation. It’ll be much easier to come to terms with the fact that not everything can go according to plan – so the best you can do is adapt and roll with the punches as they come.
9. Try to avoid overstaffing
It’s pretty normal for companies to hire new people to support active and planned campaigns, but some of these specialists may not be needed anymore when the whole thing ramps down. To prevent keeping them on the payroll longer than is necessary, set expectations before hiring, such as specifying the term – and avoid panic hiring to cover urgent needs when you could, like outsourcing some of the work to another firm.