How do you create a strong global marketing campaign?


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Global marketing campaignsIf you’re planning a global marketing campaign, a lot of questions could be swirling around. Is there even such a thing as a universal marketing campaign that will appeal to several markets? Not if you want to succeed.

The key to a powerful global marketing campaign actually lies in personalization. It is crucial to target your messaging—headlines, copy, taglines, images, color schemes and more—to your audience’s cultural preferences.

For some expert insight into crafting an effective global marketing campaign, let’s hear from professional marketers and business owners who have been there.

Not so much global as local and customized

Because cultures, languages and advertising laws differ so greatly from one country to the next, applying a single global marketing campaign worldwide would never be effective. Instead, marketers must customize the campaign for each country. They should aim to make at least one facet of the campaign noticeably catered to the location.

When media allows, such as with email marketing, the message should be catered to each individual user or to specific user groups. Personalization is often an effective strategy.

–Simon Slade, co-founder and CEO of Doubledot Media Limited

Target your campaign to a specific market

Be sensitive to political, cultural and social norms for different countries and the appropriate use of images, words and scenarios. Many cultures associate certain colors with luck or with death, for example. Pay close attention to the use of genders and gender roles, especially in areas that may have strict rules on the showing of faces.

Using celebrities or spokespeople in global marketing campaigns requires an understanding of how the individual(s) will be perceived in the local geography. Celebrities in the United States may or may not be known in other countries (or they may not be known for the same thing or perceived in the same way).

Every language, culture and country has a unique take on humor. Be very careful when trying to be funny because it may backfire. Plan on involving locals and native speakers in campaign development and assessment throughout.

Ensure that images, words and scenarios are plausible for the target geography/country. Think about things like the weather, the climate, the terrain and the type of cities and towns for that area. For example, don’t talk about football in Europe or Asia when you really are referring to soccer.

— Norman Guadagno, senior VP of marketing strategy at Wire Stone

The right research and resources

The research prior to a campaign launch is crucial. Even if you have laser targeting, if the message doesn’t resonate with locals in an international market, the campaign can do your brand more harm than good. Make sure to invest the necessary resources in research prior to the campaign launch.

— Jason Parks, owner of The Media Captain

Planning for the next step: Seeking guidance

For professional guidance with your global marketing efforts, consider partnering with a language services company specializing in global marketing. They can help you create an overarching strategy, adapt your messaging for each target market and even help with measuring tactics to gauge your campaigns’ effectiveness in each locale.

More helpful resources

Global marketing translations: 6 best practices for preserving your brand’s identity
Website localization: Best practices for going global
10 advice-packed localization blogs for your global marketing toolkit

Courtney Huber, M.S.
Courtney is a professional writer and senior communications specialist at Sajan, a leading global language translation services provider. Sign up for Sajan blog posts to receive new translation best practices every week.


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