Good morning, I’m Carole Gunst. I’ve worked in product marketing for a long time now. Most of my time has been spent right here in Kendall Square with software companies. All too often, I’ve just done my thing for a product launch for a North American audience and I’ve handed over my files to the international folks to take it from there.Recently I helped a client of mine get their website translated into 4 languages and it got me thinking that there’s a lot more I could be doing on the front end to help market globally.I hope this can be a good discussion today and that you’ve got some ideas to contribute too.
All too often, as marketers based in the United States, we tend to focus our marketing efforts on the market we know, which is the U.S. market. By broadening our thinking, we can take our messaging, marketing programs, and our products to a larger market. This gives us the opportunity to increase our sales and our brand loyalty.More importantly, is the fact that a lot of our customers are global. In the B2B space, we’ve probably got customers with offices outside of the United States. And, in the B2C space, the customers finding us on the Internet could be based anywhere.Keeping a few tips in mind, will help us proactively with our product marketing efforts. Let’s review a few tips now.
If you don’t know the marketplace in another country, work with someone who does. You can start with a local office if you’ve got one and work with the sales team there. If not, reach out to business partners in that country for suggestions of who to work with.Conduct a global brand assessment study. Take a look at your logo and visuals and consider how the colors, shapes and font choices (typography) will be perceived in other cultures. Could any of the shapes in your brand elements be confused with cultural symbols? Try to see your brand identity through the eyes of a local.If necessary, work with a designer or your marketing department to refresh your brand in the context of the new global stage where your products will have a multicultural following.Keep one logo for all countries but vary your slogan if necessary.Leave your brand name in English if the words are not crucial to the message your brand communicates.
Reducing the amount of text on graphic images is a good practice. It’s an even better practice when your images are being translated.If you’re working with machine translation, like Google Translate, then static images for headings, parts of a logo (like the tagline)or for call-out information, your content isn’t going to get translated.Optimizing your website's text for global access goes beyond limiting the number of graphics that utilize text — you also want to make sure your layout can survive machine translations.
Every country has it’s own rules and regulations. Work with a legal expert who knows what s/he before you start marketing in another countryAdvertising Regulations: In some regions of the world, advertising related to certain types of products are subject to approval by that government. Pharmaceuticals fall into this category. Comparative advertising also needs to be handled differently by country. While America may be relatively relaxed about using phrases like "best" and "better" to describe products in relation to other brands, Germany, France and Belgium are all known for having very strict principles when it comes to competitive messaging.Verizon's commercials that compared 3G coverage across America between Verizon's and AT&T's networks, for example, made it to fruition in the States, but this type of comparative, and possibly misleading, sales tactic may not be permissible in other countries.Regulation of Sales Tactics: Various sales promotion tactics — such as contests, sweepstakes, deals and premium offers (i.e., buy one, get one free) — are usually regulated differently across borders. Make sure your desired promotion tactics don't conflict with local laws before running them.Product Laws: If you sell your product online to an international audience, it is subject to product development laws regarding chemical makeup, safety, performance and packaging designs, including languages, sizes and materials used.
Why Market Globally? Customers are global Our customers have offices around the world, youshould too Internet makes you global E-commerce offers opportunities to sell to anyonewith Internet access Why not? More countries mean more opportunity
Typical Situation #1 Me: “Im giving a presentation on "ThinkingGlobally with your Product Marketing" As anEMEA guy, do you have any tips youd like toshare that would help your U.S. counterpartsout? EMEA Guy: “Yep sure, make sure youmessage test what you are rolling out. Makesure any statements or strap-lines [taglines]you create translate into other languages orcan be understood by other cultures. Haveproduct launch review cycles that includesfolks from other geos (APAC and EMEA).”
Typical Situation #2 Me: “Im giving a presentation on "Thinking Globally with yourProduct Marketing". Got any tips I can share that youdsuggest as an EMEA guy?” 2nd EMEA Guy: “Yeah, definitely. I’d say that in thisincreasingly globalised world that we live in the old adage “goglobal, think local” is truer than ever before. Whilst productsmight be designed to be globally delivered, marketing mustbe locally focused – pull out the features and functions thatare more relevant and set aside those that don’t fit with theaudience.Also, Europe is many countries – many of my Americancolleagues seem to think of us as the United States ofEurope. “We’re going to localise the value proposition forEurope” they say – “change the Zeds to Esses and we’ll haveour collateral in International English”… what is internationalEnglish anyway?Make sure to travel and immerse yourself in the local culture– see how others do business and follow. This is no time to
Marketing Tips Present a local face to your customers Interview in-country customers on topics of localinterest and post the interview on your website Demonstrate an understanding and appreciationof the local culture in all that you do Write locale-relevant press releases in the locallanguage and release them on your website andon in-country online wire services Make local customer service accessible and easy
Marketing Tips Holidays are different so pay attention to them Time zones are different so schedule for that What you can ask customers to do isdifferent, i.e., they may not be able to give aquote for a press release or speak at an event Formalize Direct Marketing in some locales –i.e., Dear Mr. Smith v. “Dear Sam” Put your local address/contact info on thewebsite List local events you are participating in
Marketing Tips Monitor your global brand online to measureattitudes and the impact of your programs Use social media to connect with localconsumers and allow for two-waycommunications and establish a dialogue A localization partner can help withinternational social media monitoring andtranslation of these communications so youstay on top of what is being said about you
Content Tips Eliminate colloquialisms Edit marketing copy to eliminate U.S.-specificreferences, i.e., HIPAA and Sarbanes Oxleyregulations that don’t apply outside of the U.S. Get an in-country expert to write the copyusing basic copy points
Graphic Tips Reduce the use of text in images If you’re working with machinetranslation, i.e., Google Translate, they won’t workwith graphical images Allow your text to grow Make sure your layout can survive machinetranslations Web content written in English and converted toanother language, should flow into your webpage Print content may not flow as easily as somewords are just longer in one language than theyare in another, i.e., German
Legal Tips Advertising Regulations: advertising related tocertain types of products are subject to approvalby various governing bodies in other countries Comparative Advertising: may not be legal inother countries. Americans may use phraseslike "best" and "better" to describe products inrelation to other brands, but Germany, Franceand Belgium don’t Be Careful with Promotions:contests, sweepstakes, deals and premiumoffers (i.e., buy one, get one free) can be
Design Tips Work with an international design firm and in-country managers to understand perceptionsof colors and symbols with your targetaudience Color matters when designing a global-friendlysite because what a color connotes can varygreatly depending on culture. Green, forexample, can represent serenity or eco-friendliness in the United States, but in somecountries, it is associated with greed
Website Tips Make Your Shopping Cart Global: whenaccepting payment from global users, offer thepayment amount in one currency Share Shipping Information: post yourmethod of international shipping on yourwebsite to set your customer’s expectationsproperly Post customer service information andhours on the website
Website Tips Secure Website Extensions: i.e., .nl, .de, etc. inadvance of launching your site Choose the Right Search Engines: Figure outwhich search engines are used by the particularmarkets you are targeting Localize Content: Don’t just translate yourwebsite into target languages and think yourphrasing is correct. Use human translationinstead of machine translation where you can Choose Native Keywords: Work with nativespeakers trained in SEO to figure out the bestnative keywords for your website and its content
Social Media Tips - Facebook Facebook: Either create one page or many One brand page: lets you target updates bylocation, demographics and language. It’s easy toupdate. But, it could be confusing to users whovisit your page and find updates in multiplelanguages Multiple regional pages: takes more time tocustomize, as various logos and text should becreated for each page. But, pages will be betterfocused on each country you market in
Social Media Tips - Twitter Twitter: If you expect to tweet in multiplelanguages, you should create multiple Twitteraccounts. This minimizes confusion withreaders who dont speak all of the languagesyou tweet in. Dells Direct2Dell corporateblog, for example, has Twitter feeds inEnglish, Norwegian, Chinese, Japanese, andSpanish
Social Media Tips - YouTube YouTube: While creating video content invarious languages is a huge task that may notbe possible. Adding subtitles to YouTubevideos is a way to get around doing voiceoversfor each country
Marketing Tips - Measure Your marketing department, along with yourlocalization vendor can conduct a quarterlyreview of your international brandmessages, collateral materials, and language-related business practices in each market. Regularly seek client, vendor and employeefeedback regarding how your brand deliverson its promises and the evolution of yourbrands image