Retrospective: Global Marketing

Category: Marketing Translation, Technology

Stephanie drives Acclaro’s global marketing efforts, from strategy to creative direction and implementation. A native of California, Stephanie has traveled extensively and lived in Peru, France and Cameroon. She earned her BA in World Arts and Culture, cum laude, from UCLA, and speaks French fluently, along with a smattering of Spanish and German.

Reaching out to consumers — no matter where in the world they may be — has always been an interesting challenge. Ten years ago, print advertising in magazines and newspapers was still the dominant medium and direct mail consumed your physical mailbox (…judging from the state of our front-door mailbox, some things don’t change, apparently). Today, marketing has gone digital, social and is rapidly infiltrating the mobile sphere, as consumers move from leafing through pages to scrolling or swiping through them. Smaller devices and a growing desire for short, easily-digestible information have ushered in a desire for visual content over textual presentation. And even more recently, marketers must have a working knowledge of keywords, rankings, and traffic analytics to make sure the over two billion internet users worldwide are able to locate a particular business in search engines – ideally in the first few links at the top of a search page.

Another marketing innovation has been culturally-focused advertising. Bilingual (or even multi-lingual) advertising shows up more and more on billboards and buses in areas with diverse global communities…ten years ago, you’d be hard-pressed to find an outdoor ad in any language other than English. Now, even McDonald’s is in on the game, even sporting some very cool mixed-language ads.

In early 2011 we brought you a blog post about the rise of global mobile advertising. This is one of the most rapidly growing areas in international marketing, due largely to the predominance of mobile devices and strong mobile networks around the world. If you don’t want to take it from me, take it from this article by Anne Frisbie, InMobi’s North American VP and managing director. Some interesting points from her include:

  • The PC web took 17 years to reach a billion people, while mobile devices are expected to reach ten times that many in only 5 years.
  • People in the U.S. spend more time on their mobile devices than on their TVs or PCs.
  • Mobile devices provide more than a quarter of global media, and your typical mobile user sees almost eight hours of media per day.

So as you  expand your business internationally in the brave new world of marketing, it’s important to think about how recent marketing trends will shape your translation and localization requirements. For example, your images and infographics may warrant a cultural analysis of shapes and colors to avoid offense. Mobile sites and apps will need a separate review on different platforms for accuracy and usability (especially since some languages, like German, expand and take up more screen space when translated from the English). And something many marketers overlook:  Your SEM (search engine marketing) program will need adaptation for your new, global markets.

Just remember, attracting the right international customer requires top-quality marketing translation services. Your marketing campaign deserves it, and so does your brand.

Photo attribution: pinke_olive