For many businesses, technology and an increasingly connected world have pushed the boundaries of what’s possible in terms of international trade.
But as the possibilities grow, so too does the need to understand the differences between markets. So as we approach the halfway point of 2016, Bubbles explores the different marketing viewpoints and approaches in some of the key territories around the world to give you a global marketing perspective.
With some of the fastest growing economies in the world, the Asia Pacific region is a hotbed of opportunity in 2016. What are marketers in this region focussing on? Organic digital growth and search engine optimisation (SEO).
Bubbles has seen a large percentage of recent requests for core landing page and digital content translations come from clients looking to expand their presence in countries like China and South Korea. A recent Hubspot study supports this trend, noting that nearly 70 per cent of marketers in the region see growing their organic presence as their most important focus.
Interestingly, the same study also revealed that when the roles are reversed, marketing teams in the Asia Pacific region appear to struggle with how best to connect with overseas buyers. The research showed that marketers here were, on average, 17 per cent more likely to view tailoring their marketing content to overseas audience as a challenge than any other region.
Over in North America, analysis is king. Hubspot found that marketers in this region track ROI most reliably, demonstrate more positive ROI, and check marketing analytics most frequently of any other region.
With 88 per cent of content written in-house, they’re also the country most likely to employ in-house staff to work on their requirements.
If you’re going to invest in content and campaigns it makes sense to keep an eye on what’s actually working. When those campaigns are designed to connect with an overseas market, it becomes even more important to take a measured approach to marketing. Our most successful clients are the ones who come with us armed with the knowledge of who they’re targeting, leaving our translation experts perfectly placed to assess and deliver the words and phrases to connect with each overseas market.
Australia & New Zealand
Down in Australia and New Zealand, marketers are focusing on blogs. As a tactic that has evolved from an activity favoured by individuals looking to connect online, blogging works very well for companies looking to bring in a personal touch to their campaigns; it gives a business the opportunity to show its personality and expertise. Just one per cent of marketers in the region thought blogging was overrated, compared with 14 per cent who viewed social media marketing as such.
We’ve seen our customers experience some great ROI from blogs, and the opportunity to use the same blog in multiple languages creates yet further potential to connect with new audiences. In fact, here we are writing to you, our audience, so it’s certainly a tactic we’d advocate!
But a word of caution on investing in blogs for international audiences: topics can vary greatly and the lengthy word count presents plenty of potential for mistranslations. It’s wise to work with an experienced, qualified, professional translator who can ensure the original message from your blog remains intact throughout the translation process.
Europe, the Middle East & Africa
Final stop, the EMEA region. Similarly to the US, analysis and ROI are a big deal for marketers in the EMEA. Once again, this could be due to their high investment in content production given that 72 per cent of content is written by in-house staff.
Bubbles deals with a lot of requests for digital content translations for EMEA languages. For many UK businesses, it makes sense that the first stop on their global expansion plan is geographically close. But the differences between markets here can’t be underestimated, it certainly isn’t the case of one campaign fits all.
The Global Approach
What studies like the one from Hubspot make clear is that while the tools and methods may change, marketing challenges in 2016 are the same the world over. Analysis, ROI and audience understanding are a big deal for everyone. For anyone looking to operate on a global market, the true challenge becomes the question of how to create a global message or set of values that translates across languages and cultures.
Samsung is a brilliant example. Historically seen as a Korean technology business, Samsung’s marketing has been completely overhauled in the past couple of years to the point where its team took home 27 awards from the Cannes Lions in 2015. These are the most prestigious awards in the marketing industry, awarded in recognition of the work done to transform brand perception.
For Younghee Lee, Samsung’s EVP, Global Marketing, Mobile Communications Business, the migration from a Korean company to a truly global company was about identifying the company’s true nature, something she admits she can’t pinpoint to company culture or marketing.
Lee told AdWeek: “We have a spirit of the ‘joyful pioneer’, of not accepting limits and daring to defy barriers. And we are very open, inclusive and truly multinational.
“There was a time when we were very well-known as a Korea-based, boring and monotonous engineering company, but not anymore. I don’t know if the company changed first with the marketing approach following, or the other way around.”
So the key to success in global marketing in 2016? Identify your own ‘joyful pioneer’.