In my previous post, I shared four of my favourite takeaways from the first four episodes of The Worldly Marketer Podcast. They addressed questions around identifying which foreign markets to target, how much localization you’ll need to do, why you should take an interest in local pop culture, and how Google Trends can reveal new international opportunities.
In this post, I’m going to share four more must-know takeaways that any global-minded business owner or marketer should heed – this time from episodes 5 to 8 of the podcast.
Takeaway #5. To reach potential customers in China, your web presence MUST be optimized for mobile. Millions and millions of Chinese Internet users are mobile first – and often mobile only – meaning they’ve leapfrogged straight from having no Internet access to using smartphones as their gateway to the online world. Especially among millennials, mobile devices are by far the most common way people access the Internet in China. So mobile optimization can’t just be an after-thought when you’re marketing to a Chinese audience. Design your content with mobile users in mind from the start.
Takeaway #6. A marketer’s #1 priority is to build an email list, right? Well, not in every market. In China, you can forget about email marketing. Even for business purposes, email isn’t a common channel of communication. People’s go-to channel is a messaging app called WeChat, which is a bit like Facebook, but on steroids. WeChat is THE social network in China now. It is used for virtually all professional as well as personal communications, and it has a wide variety of other uses besides messaging. For your brand to have any kind of presence in China – and in the Chinese-speaking community worldwide – you need to familiarize yourself with WeChat and make it the centre of your marketing strategy.
Takeaway #7. When you’re communicating with people from a different culture than your own, never make assumptions. Remember that you’re looking at the world through your own set of personal experiences and cultural biases, often without realizing it. To understand your foreign customers, you need to take a real interest, do your research and try to look at the world from their point of view. Always keep an open mind and a sense of humility. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions. Arrogance will get you nowhere. Instead, admit your vulnerability: realize that you will make mistakes, acknowledge when they happen, and use them as teachable moments. Your foreign audience will respect you all the more for your willingness to learn.
Takeaway #8. If you’re marketing to Latin American customers, put the emphasis on eye-catching visual content. In general, Latin American audiences aren’t big on written content, even for B2B marketing. So keep the text portion of your marketing materials as short as possible. That in-depth case study or white paper you spent so much time creating? Chances are, your Latin American clients won’t bother reading it beyond page one, even if you’ve translated it into Spanish. Your content will get much better traction if you present it in a visual format – for example as a video, ideally dubbed or subtitled.
That’s my second batch of takeaways from the podcast so far. I’ll share more takeaways in future posts. In the meantime, check out the podcast for yourself, if you haven’t already.
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Keep on learning and keep on growing!
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