Your company has spent a considerable amount of time developing a fantastic brand, and your product sales are doing well. However, you know that your global marketing campaigns would return better results if you could find a way to tailor them to make use of local knowledge.
Traditional marketing strategies have, for the most part, focused on the “big picture.” When building a brand, this is a good strategy. Consumer confidence in a brand is far greater in a brand that people know and recognize. This can be an essential factor in defining a broader marketing strategy.
However, those who work regionally or locally can often have a much better understanding of nuances about buyers in those areas. Store retailers, local sales representatives and other field marketers, often understand a lot about how the people they work with operate. They know that strategies designed for large-scale campaigns are even more persuasive if they are tailored for a specific region.
Consumers need to feel a connection
Shoppers make purchasing decisions for all sorts of reasons, but one of the major factors that will make a difference is that if they feel they are being spoken to directly, and experience a connection with the brand. Customers need to feel that they are understood. Sales reps and retailers who work locally know this intimately. Consider the difference between a New York campaign with the Statue of Liberty vs a Paris campaign with the Eiffel Tower. Something as simple as a reference to a regional quirk, joke, or sports team can make a difference in creating a connection with shoppers. Even if this can convert only a small percentage of your untapped markets, this can have a significant effect on your bottom line.
Understanding your markets
There are plenty of examples of marketing failures that are comical in retrospect, even if they were not funny at the time for the brand! One of the most famous cases was when General Motors was having a hard time selling the Chevrolet Nova in Spanish-speaking countries: nobody in the corporate office in the USA understood that “no va” in Spanish suggested that the car didn’t go. This is an example of a spectacular mistake that’s not likely to repeat itself.
Of course, we’ve gotten smarter than that (we hope), but the point remains true. And the larger your organization, the more likely these sorts of problems can occur, particularly if you are running an international brand across many different regions.
What is important is that it is crucial to give those with the local knowledge the ability to adapt global campaigns to best appeal to those within their specific region.
The Right Tools
If local sales representatives have the right tools that can help them use their understanding of a region or neighborhood, they can carefully modify marketing campaigns to ensure that they are best-suited to connect with their regional consumers.
If sales representatives can take perfectly branded materials from corporate and be able to create their local spin on an item, this will have a positive effect on sales.
Shoppers make purchasing decisions for all sorts of reasons, but one of the major factors that will make a difference is that if they feel they are being spoken to directly, and experience a connection with the brand.
So how can you make use of this information? Let’s take one example to illustrate opportunities which may not work at a larger scale, but may be very successful locally.
Say there’s a small community of people from a country that has a regional pastry that has a loyal but small group of regular consumers. A store makes and sells it, but not everyone in this town knows about it. They’d like to create an offer to get more people to try the pastry and become loyal consumers.
Their most common customers currently, and therefore those most likely to purchase this, are seniors who tend to use the internet less. To reach more seniors with a compelling offer on this pastry, you could place a targeted ad in a local community newspaper. In this case, it might make sense to have an advertisement in this paper with a person who looks very much like them; in this case, an older citizen of similar ancestry,
Now imagine that these folks might not speak English. On the other hand, their grandchildren do and love this pastry. These children spend a lot of time on their phones.
Perhaps a carefully targeted ad in a game for those with access through a local provider, with a picture of a child just like them eating this pastry? This will increase the likelihood that these kids will want to eat one now. It will also make them aware that it is available in a specific store so they will tell their grandmother to buy it for them now. And what grandparent can resist their grandchildren? Often the little things that can make the difference between success and failure: things like nuances in taste and tone and an appreciation of the cultural connotations of certain types of imagery. Your people on the ground are best able to pick up on this.
Of course, there are many other examples of how localization can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of a campaign, and therefore on sales. The point is that you have representatives who understand detailed information about their regions. They know what people like. They understand what drives local consumers. By empowering them with tools that can help them make changes to speak to them, they will have the power to quickly adapt local content so that it resonates with these local markets. You will be able to unlock a considerable amount of “local gold” and increase sales.