Remember the big billboards by the highways? Or perhaps the ads on TV that promised you a deal you just couldn’t refuse if you dialed their number right now? Those marketing techniques saw businesses dictate to the masses what is worth buying. However, in order to access those avenues of advertisement, companies needed a sizable budget that mainly big corporations could access.
With the advent of the internet age, social media has allowed individuals and businesses of any size to connect across the globe. Instead of billboards and TV ads, people seek out products and services based on recommendations from their fellow trustworthy customers, often on social networks. And whom do they trust? They trust those whose language and persona they can relate to and understand.
In addition to influence among peers, purchase decisions are also shaped by targeted, personalized marketing. Big data plays an important role in allowing businesses to learn the interests and even the habits of their target audience. The “one size fits all” approach is being replaced with solutions custom-tailored to consumer demand. The internet has opened a wide platform for people, organizations and brands of different cultures to interact and conduct business together. You can now market your products or services almost anywhere in the world, independently of your location. However, understanding the culture of your target audience is essential for success.
The ability to expand to global markets and to grasp your audiences’ languages, customs and behaviors, allows you to establish strong relationships with your customers all around the world. These relationships lay the foundation for a long-term audience that you can count on for support. By connecting with people on a personal level, you can turn strangers into customers, and customers into loyal brand ambassadors. Social media is an amazing resource to forge these bonds. With 26.3% of the world’s total population on Facebook in 2017 for instance, it’s a potential customer pool you simply can’t ignore.
Beyond profit and market share growth, you get to give your brand a voice and a personality that will set you apart from the competition. The barriers between a business and a client are constantly being blurred. People no longer want advertisements shoved in their faces. They want to know the brand intimately and interact with it. They want a relationship.
The internet can offer an unprecedented opportunity to expand your clientele around the world and establish a strong, trustworthy brand. So when opportunity knocks, are you prepared to answer? How do you tap into this potent source and create those valuable bonds?
First, consider your target audience and ask yourself: how can I touch their hearts? Develop your marketing to be social, sociable and relatable. Then, if you wish to expand across borders, develop your cultural intelligence to better understand cultural differences and connect with new audiences.