International Inbound Marketing - for domestic growth
Not infrequently in this blog I discuss the global opportunities which US manufacturers can readily identify and comfortably develop without exposing themselves to substantial risk or complications. And if you follow articles here you'll know I'm a strong proponent of the power of content marketing as a fundamental B2B sales growth tool.
One of the huge ancillary benefits of inbound marketing is the way it lets companies identify and gradually experiment in potentially profitable foreign markets. They don't have to start with the dart board to pick markets, but can let markets pick them. That was the premise of a presentation I recently made on the role of your domestic internet marketing as a foundation international inbound marketing.
Exporting teaches lessons that help at home too
But it gets even better! The reciprocal is true as well. Just as great domestic marketing will open up international opportunities, global sales experience provides great lessons to help companies compete at home.
Not only are there product and application innovations that can be re-imported to the domestic market, but there are valuable cultural nuances that will enable domestic inbound marketing success for the rapidly growing Latino population in the US.
I've written about this opportunity before, but the occasion of Hispanic Heritage Month merits highlighting it again.
Back to personas
If you're an accomplished inbound marketing professional you build content around carefully crafted personas. You identify key buyers and influencers and adapt your approach and content to their specific perspective.
And then.....if you're advanced, you create a "Spanish" version. Well, what about Portuguese for Brazilians here in the US. And what about the vastly different cultures between regions in Latin America and the way they tend to map to clusters in the US?
If you want to excel, there's a lot to consider. Translation? Localization? Enculturation?
The Journal of Advertising Research has focused on this topic extensively. Recent research reported by WARC includes:
- "Is Your Digital Marketing Strategy in Sync with Latino-User Behavior? A Growing Demographic Forces Media Firms to Rethink Mobile-Marketing Strategies - A surge in the U.S. Hispanic population is a wake-up call to identify and strengthen strategies for targeting this important demographic segment. comScore's Gian Fulgoni and Adam Lella offer strategic considerations: explore the plethora of publishers available for reaching young, bilingual Latinos who use both mobile and PC devices; create targeted content designed to be viral ..."
- Enculturated" Pleasure: A Study in Multicultural Engagement: How Do Mexican and U.S. Consumers Respond to Humorous Advertising Differently? - Humorous advertising has been considered an effective technique to increase viewers' positive responses. The current study compared the personal uses of affiliative, self-enhancing, aggressive, and self-defeating humor styles by consumers in Mexico and the U.S. It also compared Mexican and American consumer evaluations of these four humor styles used in humorous advertising. While showing non-significant cross-cultural differences in the use of humor as well as the attitudes toward humorous advertising, the study revealed significant differences in the use of - and responses to - different humor styles. The findings highlight the importance of selecting appropriate humor styles in crafting international humorous-advertising strategy."
And even with that in depth approach to elements of the marketing challenge, still none touched on the importance of regional differences. Latinos in the US with Andean vs. Caribbean vs. Central American or Southern Cone origins, for example, aren't some homogenous group. And cultural roots and preferences are retained within families and communities here in the US. So having bilingual marketing is probably better than nothing, but real success requires understanding nuances in launguage, culture and buying habits that only in depth in country expertise can create.
Maybe your best approach to selling successfully in the US is to sell successfully throughout Latin America!
But for now, simply consider the magnitude of the opportunity. This is a great infographic from Smartling that helps to capture the scope of the opportunity. (click it for a full size .pdf)