The solution? To really drive lasting customer loyalty and engagement, you need to shape a brand story that’s compelling andtrue. Yes, we’re talking about authenticity. It’s a popular buzzword for a reason. But while most marketers know they need to create authentic messaging and build sincere customer relationships, they don’t always know how. And that’s especially true when it comes to launching brands in the global marketplace.
Let’s look at the main challenges you’ll face. The first: laying the groundwork for trust in a space where you and your buyers quite literally may not speak the same language. The phrase “lost in translation” is a cliché for a reason – all too often it reflects the reality of cross-cultural communication. Language differences can be a cumbersome barrier to trust, as what you say and how you say it are the conduits for your story’s perceived authenticity.
Similarly, cultural nuances can raise other obstacles to conveying your credibility. Your brand’s impact rises and falls depending on your understanding of the markets where you’re looking to compete. You’re a cultural outsider and any misunderstandings can be magnified by the hesitancy to trust. While nations and cultures may differ from one another in many ways, they all share one dynamic: most people hesitate to invest in a strange company that doesn’t make the effort to understand their cultural values, traditions and background.
Another challenge: ensuring your brand’s content stays consistent across linguistic and cultural changes. We live in a business era where globalization and content marketing get more important every year. That means it’s critical to convey a unified brand presence and message across multiple global markets and translation services.
All of this might sound daunting. The good news is, it’s definitely possible to build a trustworthy brand reputation in the global marketplace. You just need to implement the right marketing content strategies to address your audience. Those needs may vary across verticals and globally. Here are some tips on how to cultivate a reputation as a company that buyers can depend on, no matter how dramatic their cultural differences.
When educating potential buyers, be obsessively specific. Ensure that your buyer personas “translate” into all of the geographic areas where your solution is aimed. Create a clear image of what your brand offers to those buyers, with consideration of the cultural context. Absolute accuracy in your description of your service or product is key. Pay particularly close attention to how perceptions of certain adjectives might differ across cultures. Specificity stops you from selling yourself short and keeps you from presenting your services in a way that could be viewed as deceptively exaggerated.
Make translation assets easy to manage. When dealing with multiple vendors across the globe, organize your translation assets in one centralized place. Use the right tools to be sure all stakeholders and departments have access to your translation resources as well. That will eliminate the scattered management that results in inconsistent brand messaging and delays getting good content to market.
Offer results-based testimonials and be transparent with customer feedback. Again, honesty and specificity are your friends here. Provide detailed evidence of how you’ve served customers in the past, preferably with examples from the countries you’re selling to. You’ll establish exactly what kinds of needs your brand can meet while proving you can be trusted to fulfill your brand promise and satisfy customers in that region. When it comes to social media and online reviews, resist the urge to delete negative feedback; instead, respond to all complaints in a positive, respectful manner and try to take the conversation offline for resolution. This transparency will humanize your company and make your brand approachable, allowing potential buyers to see themselves as your customers.
No doubt about it, trust may be the most vital resource for generating a positive relationship with your international customer base. Be sincere and deliver your best product, but be aware too of the special communication and marketing strategies you’ll need to overcome cultural, language and industry barriers.
Meet Justin Gray
Justin is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of LeadMD, the world’s largest revenue operations agency having implemented over half of the Marketo user base. Justin has made a career of launching successful companies and scaling them, with successful exits of over 200MM+ in the last decade. Justin’s latest endeavor launched in 2016 when he co-founded Six Bricks an online learning startup designed to combat employee and customer churn through experience-based education. Over the past 10 years, Justin has emerged as a strong voice for entrepreneurship, marketing and culture. As a recognized speaker, Justin has been published over 350 times in industry publications and holds his own column, Tribal Knowledge in Inc., while writing for Entrepreneur, Tech Crunch and others. Justin and his wife Jennifer met over marketing and three years later welcomed their son, Grayson, into the world in April of 2017.