15 July 2021
Cross-border creativity: connecting local brands with global audiences
Acquiring and retaining overseas customers is a complex task. Learn how localisation, personalisation and influencer marketing can enable businesses to grow internationally.
International expansion seems like an obvious step for most ecommerce businesses. Penetrating new markets can be lucrative, as it both expands and diversifies the customer base, which increases revenue and reduces risk. However, the difficulty of securing overseas customers cannot be underestimated.
Marketing your products to global audiences is not as simple as running display ads in foreign locales and paying your way to the top of search engines. Businesses must connect with their customers using a localised approach, ensuring their brand is sensitive to cultural nuances so that it resonates authentically. We explain the tactics that e-tailers must deploy in order to acquire and retain overseas customers.
What to consider when developing an international marketing strategy
Before doing anything, businesses should take a step back and evaluate the opportunity of selling globally. Are they ready for international expansion, i.e. do they have sufficient resources and the infrastructure required to succeed overseas?
Businesses should also consider their product. Is there demand for the product in the country they’re targeting, and if so, what does the competitor landscape look like? Does their product excel in terms of innovation or affordability? Is the product legal in the country they’re targeting, or does it contain ingredients that are condemned by their culture?
And finally, is the opportunity realistic? Looking too far afield not only makes logistics harder, but it will likely require a significant investment in infrastructure. For example, a UK business should first consider expanding into Europe, as it allows for expedited entry and demands simple infrastructure requirements.
A business should only pursue international expansion when they have considered these questions.
Tactic one: Localisation
A localisation strategy is imperative to overseas success. But what is localisation?
Localisation is the process by which businesses tailor their product, content or service to different audiences and cultures. It allows businesses to personalise their brand, helping to increase engagement with overseas customers and ultimately help them overcome market entry challenges.
Website localisation is one of the most important facets of a global marketing strategy. When people search for a brand, it’s the first thing they see, so it needs to instantly captivate the audience.
This is where some brands fall short, as they choose to translate their website using search engines which almost always misinterpret the context of the copy. Also, idioms and phrases used domestically do not always resonate with other cultures. For example, ‘BOGOF’ could mean something completely different in another country. Instead, businesses must transcreate their online content so that it caters to different audiences and cultures.
Of course, there is much more to ecommerce than a website. Brands must transcreate advert copy and collateral, and optimise it for the regions they’re targeting. Product packaging should also be transcreated, so that any information, instructions and ingredients are understood. Lastly, businesses must also consider investing in multilingual customer service representatives to improve the overall shopping experience.
Tactic two: Personalisation marketing
Delivering a product that suits the exact needs of a customer is every retailer’s dream. However, the practicality of creating a universal product that ticks every box is a somewhat difficult proposition that companies can seldom meet. Product customisation can play a pivotal role in bridging this gap as it offers consumers the power to shape an item to suit their particular needs or desires. This drives positive consumer engagement by offering buyers bespoke selection and delivering a unique product that is unavailable in offline retail settings; this versatility and increased choice ultimately improves customer loyalty and satisfaction.
THG Ingenuity partnered with one of Britain’s most loved chocolate makers, supporting the brand’s aspiration to deliver a completely personalised experience to customers through a new DTC online store. Previously the product was only available in physical retailers, but the brand wanted to make sure they were not left behind ahead of the Christmas retail rush. This was the brand’s first foray into online retail using Ingenuity’s DTC ecommerce solution and enabled the brand to surpass its competitors by offering customers a completely tailored experience. Buyers could choose everything from the type of sweets included, to the name printed on the label and accompanying gift card message.
The personalised solution increased the average over value by 90% (compared to the non-personalised tin) and delivered a +230% increase in orders above the original sales target. This experience shows that when consumers have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves into a brand experience, and even curate the product itself, it can deliver immediate results whilst also supporting long-term relationship building and brand experience with customers.
Tactic three: Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing, in a sense, has been around for longer than people think. Brands have always invested heavily in ambassadors as a way of increasing brand affinity in foreign markets or appealing to mass audiences. The difference between that and influencer marketing is that a Hollywood superstar or athlete isn’t the only solution.
Indeed, a well-known celebrity can help to elevate a brand’s image globally, but this could incur significant costs and may prove hard to calculate ROI. Thanks to social media, a new generation of micro and nano influencers have emerged, giving brands the option to hone in on target audiences for a fraction of the cost. For example, an influencer based in Spain gives businesses instant access to potential customers in that region, helping to breakthrough market entry challenges. Influencers can even be broken down by sector, with social media profiles and YouTube channels dedicated to gaming, sport and cosmetics to name but a few.
Another benefit to influencer marketing is that ROI is easily calculable. Engagement rates with influencers’ posts can be found directly through the host website or app, while promotional codes allow businesses to determine the number of sales that resulted from the campaign.
Go Global with THG Ingenuity
THG Ingenuity offers localisation, personalisation and marketing services that enable businesses to connect with global audiences with ease.
THG Fluently, our in-house translation and localisation solution, allows our clients to speak to their overseas customers in the right language, wherever they are in the world. The 6,000 strong team of translation and localisation experts can create SEO and PPC optimised content in over 160 languages. LOOKFANTASTIC, a THG-owned brand, has seen 92% growth in Italian sessions, 49% growth in German sessions, and 37% growth in Korean sessions since implementing localisation techniques via THG Fluently, demonstrating the impact localisation can have on business performance.
With an unrivalled catalogue of influencers, of all audience sizes, we can handpick a selection that will give you access to unexplored audiences. Our global offering spans all marketing channels including search, direct marketing, content, social media and display – all of which is transcreated and optimised by THG Fluently.
Want to tap into global markets? Get in touch with us today.