With digitization happening at a more rapid rate than ever, the effects and reach of globalization can be felt more than ever in various aspects, be it in personal spaces or corporate spheres. While markets and countries opening up to each other was earlier seen as a hindrance to cultural identity, globalization is now associated with the amalgamation of new cultures, access to new markets, seamless exchange of goods and services across countries, the rapid spread of technology, and amicable relations between nations. Globalization is also seen as an opportunity for brands and companies to enter new markets, and digital marketing is one of the easiest ways in which that has been achieved.
In the 20th century, globalization was merely a flow of goods, services, and capital among countries. But globalization in the 21st century is seen as a flow of information, as companies have realized the value of data as an integral part of marketing. Digital platforms- social media platforms in particular- have made global communication easier by reducing cross-border communication costs, and making it easier for businesses to connect with customers all over the world.
Moreover, with networking and building relations across nations having become easier through digital marketing, the global markets aren’t playgrounds just for big companies anymore- small businesses also have an opportunity to thrive alongside the big players.
A rapidly digitizing world also results in a more diverse and aware customer base that wants more – be it in terms of the quality of services rendered or customer experience. Brands, then, are compelled to build their digital marketing strategies in a way that not only sets a global footprint but also ensures that global excellence is maintained across geographies. This is good news for local and global companies to use digital globalization to their advantage in their marketing strategies.
No real-world example can be more indicative of this than the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw companies take advantage of the increase in online traffic and pour in a lot of effort and resources into building digital marketing strategies to keep their audience engaged.
Digital marketing has emerged as the driver of advertising in this age of the internet and algorithm-operated platforms, as the global market for digital marketing and advertising was estimated at US$350 billion last year alone, and is poised to grow by 20% this year. Video advertising, social media advertising, and search engine optimization are also gaining a lot of traction as subdisciplines in this booming space.
The reason behind this success of using the internet as an advertising platform is the desire to go “viral”, or reach millions of people in very little time. Digital marketing, essentially, is an exercise to make a brand’s presence go viral and assert its relevance. This is done by cashing on already viral content like memes, pop culture trends, and current issues of a particular area. In the recent past, we have seen companies with humble beginnings increase their brand value exponentially to stand toe-to-toe with more established brands through innovative digital marketing strategies.
However, reaching new audiences across the world is not as smooth as it sounds, as entering new markets means that the company’s digital marketing strategy must resonate with the target audience and make them interested in its brand. For that, it is important to develop a digital marketing strategy that piques interest and creates buzz around the brand; and for the right reasons.
The company needs to lay a solid groundwork for a successful entry and sustained presence in the country’s market, and gaining cultural education about the country is the first step to that. The company will find itself dealing with an entirely new set of values, traditions, historical contexts, and cultures, and understanding them would help them deliver their message with more impact. Moreover, culturally insensitive marketing will backfire on the company terribly, and bring it a lot of trouble even before they establish themselves as a brand.
In addition, taking local preferences into account would do wonders for brand engagement. What customers prefer varies from place to place, and catering to those preferences would garner a larger response. It is also important to realize that what motivates audiences into action (here; becoming your customers) in one place will not be the same for another place.
Even though English is used all over the world, the company would see better responses by marketing in the native tongue(s), as the marketing content would be easier to consume then. This would mean that all the marketing, be it social media posts, advertising copies, emailers, etc. must be translated into the local language. Moreover, localizing this content instead of just translating it would make it more meaningful to the audience and help them connect to the marketing strategy much better.
A standardized social media strategy would not work either, as social media trends differ from place to place. Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. are not used in all the countries, and companies must be open to making strategies for other search engines and social media platforms as well. The keyword phrases and time zones differ among countries too, and the company should optimize their content and posting based on that. In short, the company’s digital marketing must be relevant to the country’s social media trends.
This is an age of influencer marketing, and getting the support of industry influencers and thought leaders in the company’s target country would boost its digital marketing efforts. Bloggers, social media personalities, artists, and others have considerable influence and following, and their endorsement would increase the company’s social media engagement manifold.
Spotify, for example, has become one of the biggest global companies in the world, and the reason behind its success is its hyper-localized content and marketing strategy, specific to each country they enter. Essentially, it promotes local music and artists of a country to a global audience, which not only results in said music and artists gaining worldwide recognition, but also the audience finding their preferred music on Spotify.
In addition to that, Spotify advertises in the vernacular languages spoken in the country along with English and tries to include the local flavor in their advertisements through popular culture and colloquial references. This is a strategy that is doing wonders in India, particularly, as Spotify is overtaking already established, decade-old streaming platforms like Gaana in terms of the number of users.
Ours is a “global village”, as they say, and advertising to a global market is now easier than ever if done right. Getting started on digital marketing is pretty simple, and the first place to start is on social media, or by building a website for your brand. You can employ strategies like Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click Campaigns, Social Media Marketing, etc. to reach a wider audience.
The Go-To-Guy! is a branding and marketing agency based out of Hyderabad, India that has been helping companies all over the globe make their voices heard.