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Global Marketing

How to Market to a International Consumer Through Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool that marketers can utilize to reach consumers across the globe. However, many companies are unsure of how to properly execute a global social media strategy or are not even sure where to start! Read my step by step guide to how to execute your social media strategy below:

Clarify The Brand Message
Before you develop this content for your international social media strategy, you need to determine your brand personality in order to deliver a clarified brand message.

In all of your social media posts, the posts should be written in a consistent tone that aligns with the voice of your brand. No matter which voice you decide is the best fit for your brand, it is most important to keep the tone consistent in all of your social media posts. In creating the copy for your social media posts, strive to keep the wording clear and concise. The consumer who is viewing the post should be able to precisely identify what your product or service is and be able to distinguish the value in what you are trying to advertise. You may also need to translate the language of your posting and consider revising the messaging depending on what country you are trying to market to.

Gather The Assets
On social media, the best way to create a desire for your brand is through your content. Make sure that the photos and videos that you are choosing to post on social media specifically cater to the target demographic of the country you are promoting your product in. Make sure to thoroughly research the characteristics of your target country and what type of advertising is most effective in that country or market.

When forming your content, choose photos and videos that are interesting and attention-grabbing. For example on Instagram, the photos stream looks the most professional when the content follows a certain “theme”. whether it be by color scheme, composition, subject matter etc. Whether your company decides to hire photographers and videographers or take photos with your iPhone – make sure that you are delivering quality content that is consistent with your brand.

You can also choose to curate content by using stock photos, but be wary of this technique. Especially if you are trying to take your company global, it is vital to your social media marketing strategy to incorporate original content that specifically highlights your product or service.

Create Content Specific To Each Target Market

It is crucial to understand not only the demographic characteristics of your target audience but also to understand where your international customers are spending their time online. Are you targeting an adult audience who consumes their information on Facebook, college students who are on Instagram, or preteens who are on Snapchat?

Choosing the right social network to reach your target audience is critical to the success of your international social media marketing campaign. It is also important to determine what content resonates with your audience. Would your target demographic be more likely to read an informative blog post, or rather a 30-second video? This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should limit your social media campaign to one platform, however, it is beneficial to determine which platforms you should focus on over others and which platforms are most likely to deliver the best results.

Engage With Your Audience

Engaging with your international audience through social media is key to maintaining a strong and successful customer reputation management. Your business must present itself well to its customer, make them feel engaged, comfortable, and trust in the credibility of your company. Once your company has delivered its campaign on social media, keep up with the posts and engage with your audience directly on the post. See what people are saying and deliberate what the best feedback would be. Keep up with how many views or “likes” the posts are getting and compare it to either competing posts or other campaign posts your company has run in the past. You always want to improve with each campaign and make sure each new campaign is even more successful than the first.

I hope you find this helpful in creating your international social media strategy!

Categories
Global Marketing

3 Extremely Popular Products Enjoyed Across The Globe

Companies spend a lot of time and money in conducting market research around the globe. Not only are they trying to appeal to consumers from foreign nations, they are also trying to conduct business in regions with rules and regulations that might not be similar to the home country.

Knowing the tastes and preferences of individuals around the world is an important way to penetrate the market successfully. Different cultures have different values which lead to differences in likes and dislikes. Taking these differences into account, what happens when you start to notice a growing convergence in these likes and dislikes?

Globalization has increased standardization as more companies create a product that will appeal to all. Cost savings and profits seem to be the main objectives of big corporations and localization is more of an inconvenience. Some companies have been able to achieve a global level of attractive by hitting each market the right way.

A company's product of service might be the same, but companies have snuck their way into foreign markets by personalizing the way they reach their customer and use advertising as a ploy to sell the same standardized product.

3 Most Popular Products Across the Globe

What you might not realize is that someone across the globe might be celebrating with the same drink in their hands. While they might be sipping their drink for dinner, you might be enjoying your drink for breakfast. Here are 5 products the whole world has enjoyed or still can't get enough off.

1. Coca Cola

Source: Business Insider

No one can deny the power of a refreshing can of coke. This beverage is enjoyed by 2 out of 10 people every single day. Coca Cola has the ultimate strategy to appeal to markets – foreign or not. Whether your young or old, a cold glass of coke fits right in at any occasion.

With their marketing strategy revolving around happiness, coke has managed to break through to every market in numerous countries.

2. iPad

Source: Business Insider

Despite the tough competition with tablets out there, Apple's iPad is no doubt one of the most popular. About 211 million iPads have been sold since its launch in 2010. In 2013 the iPad took over the tablet market with 40% market share and are since enjoyed by children and grown ups all around the world.

3. Rubik's Cube

Source: Business Insider

This colorful puzzle took the world by storm with its simple yet challenging concept. The Rubik's Cube gained so much popularity that there are many competitions that revolve around this toy. With so many videos and blogs on how to solve the cube, the Rubik's Cube is still a favorite product among many, even though it has been around since 1980.

An interesting concept to grasp, even though there are extreme differences in cultures and values, products such as the ones mentioned above are a way of bringing us all closer together. These products, in a very tiny way, help us put our differences aside and let us know that we can share a Coke and solve a Rubik's Cube with each other.

Sources:

http://time.com/92765/10-best-selling-products-ever/

http://www.businessinsider.com/10-of-the-worlds-best-selling-items-2014-7

The Best-Selling Products of All Time

Categories
Global Marketing

Popular International Social Media Platforms Your Business Can’t Afford to Pass Up!

Did you know that over 76% of businesses use social media to advertise their business? However, not many international businesses are taking advantage of popular social media channels outside of their own region. If you are working for a global company, consider expanding your social media usage to other region-specific platforms in order to boost your international social media presence.

For example, China has created multiple social media websites such as Sina Weibo and Renren since Facebook is banned. Sina Weibo is similar to Twitter in the sense that it is a “microblogging” platform and is heavily used by Chinese celebrities. They have over 368 million registered users and the top public figures on the site boast millions of followers. However, the social media platform does have to abide by China’s strict censorship laws and many keywords are banned. A global business can take advantage of the Sina Weibo platform by utilizing an influencer strategy. They can partner with popular accounts of Sina Weibo to promote their product to a Chinese audience.

RenRen is another popular Chinese social media platform that looks and feels extremely similar to Facebook. Users earn “points” for liking, commenting, and sharing on the platforms which can be redeemed for special emojis and profile backgrounds. Businesses can utilize RenRen in a similar way that they promote their products on Facebook by interacting with customers and try to create engagement on their profile.

Because Russia has the highest social media usage rate in the world, over twice the global average usage, it is a market not to pass over when creating your social media strategy. The most popular social media site is Vkontakte, which is another clone of Facebook but has much more market share in Russia. Vkontakte is unique in the fact that users can post music or movies, which can explain the high usage of the site. Russians use Vkontakte as more of a media streaming platform rather than a place to share updates with friends. Businesses can buy advertising space on the social network in order to increase their awareness in Russia.

Orkut is the most popular social network in Latin America and is the most popular in the country of Brazil. On Orkut, people can create their own chatboards similar to Reddit or Quora. A business can take advantage of the discussion platform by creating threads that talk about the product or service. This platform is a great way a business to get feedback from customers about their product and to spark a conversation about their company.

It is important as a global business to be aware of the different social networks that are popular around the world and to branch out beyond the US popular platforms. Leave a comment below if you know of or use any other international social media platforms!

Categories
Global Marketing

Reaching Consumers of Different Generations

The other day I came across an interesting article about how different age groups react to different types of marketing strategies. I belong to the millennial generation and personally, I find all my information and advertisements through social media and sometimes, the television. I thought I would do some more research and share the information I found on what marketing strategies are most effective on 3 different generations.

Millennials (1981 – 1995)

Born into this generation, it is true that I have a tough time keeping my phone away. I probably check Instagram 5 times a day and even click through interesting ads that boast 90% off on clothing websites. Companies that study millennials immediately jump to mobile marketing as the best strategy to reach our generation.

Although it is true that social media is one of the main forms of reaching this generation, millennials value recommendations and opinions from other people when it comes to purchasing products or services. If our friends and family say it's good, then it must be good because we trust their opinion.

If we see our friends post pictures or send us 20 second videos of where they are, it must be a place to go. Individuals in this generation don't like to spend too much money on designer goods or other products; sell us an experience and we'll jump to it.

Reaching millennials: 

  • Be up to date on trends and use social media (Instagram, Snapchat) to attract attention.
  • Build a campaign strategy that requires unique interaction that will become popular through word of mouth.
  • Strategies should be built with a mobile view layout.
  • Bloggers and influencers are the best way to boost sales.

Generation X (1965 – 1980)

Taking cues from my parents, generation x most probably owns a house or two, doing well in their careers and browse Facebook on a daily basis. Generation x is an important generation to target because they are the ones with the disposable income and will most likely spend on your products.

Individuals of gen x aren't easily convinced by the trends and are smarter when it comes to buying brands. Thorough research must be done before buying a product and they are not easily convinced with marketing strategies. However, flash sales and ways to save more money are always on their radar.

Reaching gen x:

  • Discount coupons are still popular and email marketing a popular way to reach gen x.
  • Talk about the value and effectiveness of your product in your marketing strategies over what color palette to use for the campaign.
  • Use videos for a more effective way to get your message out there.
  • Show this generation why your product is more reliable than your competitors.

Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964)

Baby boomers love to engage on Facebook and will leave a comment on every picture you post. This generation is close to retirement and even though they have little to no debt, the recent recession has left them frugal with handling their money.

You might be surprised to know that baby boomers are avid internet users and conduct as much research as they can on all products and services. Brand loyalty is very important to them therefore it is not easy to switch them to your brand from another. They love a good discount and spend their money on products and services that come with great savings.

Reaching baby boomers:

  • Make sure to put out as much information on your product or service as you can. The more detail the better and it doesn't hurt to add pictures, infographics and/or videos.
  • Baby boomers prefer a service that offers direct communication, preferably face to face.
  • The bigger the savings, the better the sales with this generation.
  • Facebook advertising is a quick way to reach this target demographic.

Source:

  1. http://www.smarthustle.com/15-key-strategies-marketing-different-generations/
  2. https://www.brandignity.com/2017/01/best-marketing-strategies-for-different-generations/
Categories
Global Marketing

Bringing Netflix to South Africa – Challenges with Consumer Adaption

Netflix is revolutionizing the way that people around the world view television. As part of the entertainment industry, Netflix provides users with unlimited access to a variety of shows and movies, including their own original content. Since its origins in the U.S. in 1997, the market has become highly saturated and cannot sustain continued growth. Therefore, international expansion overall has been a key element for the company’s growth.

Netflix entered the South African market in 2016. They strategically chose to expand to South Africa to serve as an access point to the entire African continent, and gaining market share in this area will mean future success as development in this region continues.  Currently, revenue in South Africa for the video streaming industry in amounts to US$17m. This revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate of 12.6%, resulting in a market volume of US$30m in 2022.

Expanding in South Africa has presented a unique set of challenges to Netflix as one of its first ventures into a developing country. As of August 2017, less than 10% of households in South Africa had access to the Internet. Consumers in South Africa have found that slow streaming due to slow internet interrupts the efficiency of using Netflix and makes it difficult to get full customer value. In order to succeed in this market, Netflix must do a thorough job in segmenting and targeting the market so as internet usage/speed grows in the South African market, company market share grows with it. 

The typical consumer in South Africa is similar to its international customer. Their target consumer is a middle or upper-class individual that has a sufficient amount of disposable income to spend on leisure activities and entertainment. The current price of Netflix in other countries ranges from $7.99 USD to €8.99 EUR. This translates to R99 and R121 respectively. With such a large wealth disparity, Netflix must consider whether it is worth their time to try to attract customers in the lower-income market. Their one-month free trial will be sure to attract many new customers in the beginning. However, to keep these customers after their one month trial, they must spark a high level of interest in their series and set a low price that lower-income individuals will be willing to pay.

Showmax is the primary competitor to Netflix in the South African market.  Even though both provide streaming services, Showmax also has downloadable content, a greater content selection, since Netflix originals are not available in South Africa and are catered more to the local population in South Africa.

South African consumers favor witty, smart, and family-oriented advertising, which can be utilized via television, radio, print advertising and social media. Additionally, Netflix can offer limited membership plans to target lower income families and offer a limited range content. The customer will pay a cheaper price and be limited to the language-specific content such as Afrikaans, Zulu or Hindi content.

If Netflix is able to successfully penetrate the South African market, there is no limit to the possibilities that Netflix has to expand to other developing countries.

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Global Marketing

Would You Try McDonald’s International Menu?

Food is a favorite in every culture. Everybody loves food, whether they want to or not. For this weeks blog post, I decided to add a little fun to our segment and talk about junk food. It's not only American's who like to have a cheat meal with fast food, other countries like to indulge as well. But how different are the burgers we eat here to the burgers in China or Japan?

I am putting this week's spotlight on McDonald's. Why? Because I bet you didn't know McDonald's could have shrimp on their menu.

When you are a giant international company, cultures, tastes and diet restrictions cannot be ignored. From not serving beef in India, to serving Halal meat in the Middle East, McDonald's does a pretty good job of taking advantage of the freedom to customize and localize their menus.

I'm not going to lie, I do indulge in a spicy McChicken meal now and then. But let me tell you, the spicy McChicken patty in Dubai tastes completely different to the spicy McChicken we get here, and will say that I prefer what I get back home.

I have added a little sneak peak on what I thought was interesting on the international menu:

Country: Japan
What? Ebi Filet-O-Shrimp Burger

Mmm, who want's to say no to a shrimp burger? Essentially a shrimp tempura burger with with battered shrimp, Ebi shrimp tempura sauce and lettuce.

The Japanese folk love it making this item a popular go to on the menu.

 

 

Country: Austria
What? McNoodles

Stir-fry noodles with veggies is definitely not something you go to McDonald's for, but Austrian's sure did! A popular trend in Austria made McDonald's jump on the bandwagon and serve this on the menu for a limited time.

Flavors such as Chicken curry and Sweet and Sour sauce were available to enjoy.

 

Country: India
What? Spicy Paneer Wrap

Beef is not served at restaurants in India, so what does McDonald's do? They create a wrap with Paneer (cottage cheese) of course.

This wrap comes with lightly fried Paneer in a spicy batter, mustard, salad and a creamy dressing for you to try.

 

I find it very interesting how a restaurant such as McDonald's, known for it's Big Mac's and McFlurry's all around the world, has different favorites available in other countries. It is interesting to see how people's tastes are different around the world where popular restaurants cater to these tastes and customize flavors and meats accordingly.

Even though I talked about junk food, we can see an on going trend of individuals starting to ditch the fast food habit and go for healthier options. Salads and wraps are slowly becoming people's go to's and we have noticed this fast food chain to implement changes to adhere to the trends.

My question to you is then will we see a demise of fast food chains in the next 20 years?

Sources: The Food Network, First We Feast

Categories
Global Marketing

American Consumerism: Land of the Free or Land of the Greed?

Although we may claim as Americans that we live in the land of the free, we are completely and inescapably trapped by our consumerist society. We are bombarded by advertisements over three thousand times a day from various mediums, which not only heavily influence our decisions in regards to what products we purchase, but these advertisements also distort our perception of reality. Whether it is from subliminal messaging to manipulate the unconscious or intrusive market research to analyze what exactly will grab the consumer's attention, the corporations behind these advertisements are driven by greed to cross moral boundaries for the sake of making a profit.

From the perspective of the corporations that advertise in the media, we are born to spend. Companies strive to create brand loyalty from infancy so that children can become lifelong consumers of their product. There are various strategies that companies utilize in order to generate brand loyalty from children. An example of this would be Disney licensing a beloved cartoon character to McDonalds to transform into an enticing toy for a Happy Meal in the objective that the child will associate the love of the character with the fast food chain. In the year 2001, McDonald's spent over 1.4 billion dollars worldwide on direct media advertising.

In a study conducted by Morgan Spurlock from the documentary Supersize Me, first grade students could all easily identify company figureheads such as Ronald Mcdonald or Wendy, but none of them could recognize historical figures George Washington and Jesus Christ. The reason why companies such McDonalds devote so much money and resources to advertise to children are because children have a $700 billion influence on adult spending. Check it out in the video below!

Instead of companies merely presenting the pros and cons of their product in their advertisements, a vast majority of advertisements are designed to manipulate the consumer by sending the message that we are “lacking in some fundamental aspect.” One advertising executive exclaimed that “what makes this country great is the creation of wants and desires, the creation of dissatisfaction with the old and outmoded”. As a society, we have been told by advertising that who are and what we have is not good enough, therefore, we must buy products to compensate for what we are lacking. 

Between the years 1997 and 2007, there was a 457% increase in the amount of money spent on cosmetic surgeries in America. Advertisers thrive on holding up an unrealistic standard of beauty in order to estrange the mass majority of the population into feeling incompetent. The contrast between how the typical model looks in a magazine spread to the appearance of the average person is tremendously differentiated. If advertisements began to feature models who more closely represent the appearance of the average American, the consumer may be trapped into thinking that she is beautiful and competent just the way she is (gasp!).

Although we inevitably cannot escape from advertisements in the media, it is vital that we are cognitively aware of the effects that our consumerist society has on our thoughts and actions. Not only must we refuse to internalize the skewed messages we are receiving from advertisements, but we must also strive to not blindly purchase our products solely based off of brand recognition. One can become a more informed and powerful consumer by viewing advertisements with a critical eye rather than allowing ourselves to be mesmerized by the message.

Categories
Global Marketing

Expats and Pop Culture in Dubai

I moved to Dubai, U.A.E when I was six years old. I was raised in the bustling city and had the opportunity to interact with numerous nationalities every day. When we look at culture, we talk about the norms, religions, languages, the likes and dislikes of the individuals in a region.

 According to Global Media Insight, as of 2018, expatriates dominate Dubai (88%) with the majority of expats coming from India (27%). With over 200 nationalities in one city, you can only imagine what kind of trends are popular in this region.

Dubai does a good job of having entertainment for all tastes and preferences. Predominantly a muslim country, Dubai celebrates every religion and with this comes celebration of every festival. Christmas and Diwali are big, but you will find every holiday being celebrated at some time or the other.

With Indians being the majority of expats, there is a big influence of Bollywood in Dubai. Bollywood is so liked in this region that when you go to a movie theatre, you will find a lot of non Hindi speaking people enjoying a Bollywood film. Individuals who don't understand the language go to these movies as there are subtitles available in English and Arabic for everyone to enjoy.

In city like Dubai, we are thrown into a realm of choices from all over the world. Bollywood and Hollywood entertainment, European shopping, Jazz music, Arabic cuisine (and any cuisine imagine), and countries such as Prague or Thailand being a hop, skip and a jump away. We are spoilt by having ever service available to us in every different way and I think consumers in Dubai have a global taste. We can go anywhere in the world and somehow spot a brand that we know of from back home.

With so many cultures available at our fingertips, individuals are able to express themselves in many ways and have the freedom to choose what they like. Do you want to try something new? Or are you comfortable eating your culture's cuisine everyday?

My tastes lie in American pop culture. In hindsight, I was exposed to Hollywood and my tv shows consisted of The O.C., One Tree Hill, Bones, Grey's Anatomy and basically any popular American tv show out there. I open the Tabloids and we get news of Andrew Garfield or any A list celebrity that is deemed interesting in that week. I was 8,000 miles away from Los Angeles, and probably had the same interests as my generation living there.

I might be interested in American culture, but my brother, who lived under the same roof as me growing up loves British culture. Our roots are Indian and we always come back to it, but even though we grew up together, our tastes lie in two completely different nations. Some might think this is Globalization at its worst, where people's taste are merging too much. However, I think with we are lucky to understand what the rest of the world is like, right in our hometown.