Why is localized marketing necessary for your business?

Sep 24, 2021 Marketing

Thanks to advancements in technology and globalization, businesses can reach audiences around the globe. However, sometimes reach is not enough. The need for relevance has quickly replaced the idea of mass-targeted marketing. And a localized marketing strategy is an effective way to gain this relevance.

This strategy, along, with the aid of powerful platforms and algorithms, allows companies to access data to carefully tailor their brand’s outreach. As a company that wants to expand its business map, knowing what is localized marketing and how to do it is vital.

In this regard, HoloBase invited the Co-Founder and CEO of DYNAMIGS Consulting Davide Fassari to share his experience in localized marketing on September 8.


Starting from the definition

Localized marketing refers to brand marketing for a special cultural, geopolitical, or religious region, which takes into consideration the local customs, taboos, and preferences of the customers as they are engaging with a brand.

An effective localized marketing strategy can avoid missteps and mistargeting when entering a certain market. Without taking these factors into account, a company runs the risk of having to rebrand an existing, and typically expensive, marketing campaign, or even loses the market. It’s all too commonplace to see companies appear in viral news articles due to ridiculous or outright offensive advertisements. Therefore, the local culture is very important for a company to implement a well-thought-out localized marketing strategy, which can help brands avoid this awkward scenario.

Meanwhile, when we speak of localized marketing, we look at creating content that will resonate with our audience. But this doesn't mean simply taking something from western social media and translating it. There has to be a strategy and creation behind it. And the understanding of language is the first step for a better marketing strategy to enter the market.


The balance between localization and standardization

For a business to succeed, they have to know their target audience. But what if the audience doesn’t know the business? In the past, standardization has been the market strategy of choice for companies looking to expand their operations. With today’s changing demographics, however, that may no longer be the case as localization takes a more focused approach at marketing. In the case of standardization vs localization, which one comes out on top, and how can the two be balanced?

Standardization refers to a strategy that attempts to make a product or service universally accepted across various countries, regions, or platforms. In most cases, this involves strategies that utilize comparable or even identical materials to gain the trust and business of clients regardless of where they are located.

Localization is a strategy that alters the brand or product a company sells to tap into a more diverse market. Such a strategy can make the product more acceptable to the brand's specific audience. Mr. Fassari thinks China is a market that is more suitable for localized marketing considering the cultural, geographic, and demographic diversity of this country. Although, these two strategies don’t have to be completely separate, however, and one can eventually lead to the other.


Marketing in rural areas

"How can localized marketing be adapted to work in remote rural areas without connectivity?" One of the participants asked.

With his years of experience in marketing in China, Mr. Fassari shared his thoughts: "This depends on the demographic you are looking to penetrate. The positive is that most of the leading platforms in China are used by everyone from all areas which makes life easier. And you might be better off using platforms like Kuaishou, but the concept is the same."

Meanwhile, HoloBase's long-time friend, Ianton Tan, also ponders on this topic: "Outside China that is a challenge as Davide mentioned about connectivity. There will be back to the basics in terms of understanding consumer behavior. Different challenge... and Chinese companies venturing might focus their resources on their Tier 1 or 2 markets at the moment."


The advice of effective localized marketing strategy in China from the marketing veteran

The participants in the discussion expressed their views on this issue. The following is a summary of HoloBase:

First, a clear strategy is necessary for a company to do localized marketing. Starting on the right foot is key as momentum will be the driver on digital platforms, being favored by the algorithm is vital.

In terms of content production, brands need to know who their target audiences are so that they can produce content that resonates with them. Then, brands need to know where to find the target audience online and offline. Just like people who live in rural China are more likely to use Kuaishou than Tiktok, they are more likely to buy something from Pinduoduo than Taobao.

Forecasting and a completely different take on their global or regional marketing strategy must be different. Ideally, an independent local team from the existing team with decision-making power is also important.

To summarize, a careful plan and proper research are necessary for a company to do localized marketing.


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