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From global to local - how to manage marketing content across markets


Written by Lotte Andkjær Christensen


Managing marketing efforts across diverse markets can pose significant challenges; differences in local behaviour, expectations, and cultural nuances, require careful consideration if you want to engage international audiences in a meaningful way and drive success.  

In this blog post, we will explore and discuss how brands and e-commerce companies can overcome these challenges 🚀


A strong brand

While it is generally recommended for brands to adapt their marketing strategies and content to local markets when expanding internationally, some strong brands may not need extensive localisation efforts. 

Whether it be iconic brand elements, global consistency or a universal appeal, the brand resonates with consumers across different cultures on core values or emotions, and need no further localisation. 

Few businesses are lucky enough to own such brands. However, we can definitely learn from them: Before you set your marketing strategy, it is important to understand to what extent your new customer base is already searching for your brand. Do they know your product or service? Do you have retailers in the market, who already paved the way for your brand? 

🗝️ take away: brand awareness and social proof will support your sales and help you learn from previous experience rather than starting from scratch. 


Understanding Market Differences

One of the primary drivers in managing marketing content across markets is the need to understand and adapt to local behaviour and expectations. Although you expand your business to a country which is close to your own and similar in many ways, each market is unique and has a long cultural heritage difficult to grasp for an “outsider”. 

Having a local team of marketing professionals, who can support your centralised marketing efforts with a local touch, is of course the ideal scenario. Local knowledge can bring you closer to your target audience and help you understand the market from a local perspective.

Our general experience is that many businesses choose to expand their operations to markets close to their own – and regions such as Scandinavia or The Baltics are often considered very similar in culture and behaviour. However, acknowledging that markets, as close to each other as they might seem, are still different, will help you build better content, which resonates with your audience. 

An example is Valentine's Day. A worldwide occasion associated with roses, gifts, and romantic dinners – also in the Nordic countries. However, Finland adds a unique flavour by naming it "Ystävänpäivä" or "Friendship Day." This alteration in terminology holds significance – it signifies that the celebration extends beyond romantic couples - and changes the globally known day into something very local.

While a full-blown romantic approach might be a hit in the neighbouring countries, failing to incorporate the friendship angle would fall short in Finland. By tailoring your message to the local sentiment, you ensure that your brand respects and connects with the cultural nuances of each market and veer away from the "outsider" label.

🗝️ take away: brand consistency and local adaption is a delicate balancing act!


Navigating local holidays and celebratory occasions

It's not just the messaging that differs across markets; local holidays and celebratory occasions fall on different dates. Awareness of these crucial dates and understanding their significance allows businesses to tailor their marketing efforts accordingly. 


An example could be Mothers Day, which is a huge driver of revenue – and celebrated on more than 10 different occasions in Europe alone. Knowing when to push the button for each local campaign is of significant importance. 


🗝️ take away: make sure to pay attention to the differences each market pose will help you gain trust with your target audience and ultimately drive conversions. 

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Language barriers

When you choose to launch your business in a new market, remember to observe language barriers and translation challenges. 

The many marketing AI tools, which have been launched over the last few years can definitely help you address your target audience in their local language in a relatively fast manner. However, from our experience, machine translation and other AI tools still cannot stand alone; Relatively simple product descriptions or smaller marketing texts might be easy to translate - but if you communicate to your audience via longer newsletters, on social media and in transactional e-mails, trust is key, and this is where language sets you apart. 


Imagine this - you are in the market for a product, where the choice is between two similar products, one from a local brand with a nice and informative website, the other from a new brand with the messaging slightly off point. Which product would you choose?

Alternatively you are looking at the same product and the choice is between the local offer in local language - and an offer from a new brand, which communicates in english. Again: for you not to choose the brand and product you already know, the new product needs to have outstanding features or a very good price to be competitive at all! 


🗝️ take away: As we spoke about strong brands above, the language doesn’t necessarily matter if you have a one-of-a-kind offer. If you however enter a new market with a competing offer or a completely unknown product, make sure to translate your communication to fit the market you are looking at. 


In conclusion, managing marketing efforts across markets requires a delicate balance between brand consistency and local adaption. Ultimately, successful marketing comes from a deep understanding of local culture and consumer behaviour, while the ability to tackle both brand DNA and local nuances is crucial 🌍


This is the latest story in our series on market expansion tactics, localisation and technology across markets. 

Check out the full collection here for more tips.


Lotte Andkjær Christensen

Lotte, the Head of Product & Marketing at MakesYouLocal, excels in the e-commerce sector. Lotte’s passionate about creating products that resonate with audiences and drive growth. Her expertise spans product development, market research, and innovation, making her a critical asset in helping brands succeed abroad.


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