Going big is always appealing. Who doesn’t want to see their startup or business flourishing on foreign markets? Would you say no to international clients? That’s why you run your business in English, isn’t? After all, we live in a globalized world, so why not showcase your products or services for the entire world?
Not so fast. For example, as statistics show, 51.6% of the content on the internet is in English, but only 26.3% of internet users speak or understand English. So what you do with the other 73.3% of the internet population? How do you attract them to buy your products or services?
Do you have a strategy for them? Is your startup or business recognizing the value of globalization? Have you (or your marketing department) designed the marketing campaign for both local and global markets? Do you run brand events as a means of interaction with the local communities?
You see, whether you’re representing a startup or a well-established business, engaging local communities can be unexpectedly challenging. From efficiently connecting with foreign markets to attracting new clients, the entire process can take lots of time and money, especially if designed incorrectly. Just think about all the cultural biases and misunderstandings between different parts of the world.
If you decide to run brand events, however, you’ll increase your chances of building a powerful communication platform with local communities. At the same time, by doing so, you’ll have all the means to actually understand better foreign markets and subsequently tailor customized marketing campaigns. As the Freeman Global Brand Experience study highlights, “91% of marketers in Western Europe agree that a personalized approach to brand experience can drive increased sales.”
Considering this, here’s how you can run brand events to engage local communities and foreign markets:
Step 1. Apply cultural diplomacy protocols
Whenever you are about to run brand events, always ask yourself how well you know the local characteristics of a community. What are the things you should avoid? What terms, colors, or visual graphics may be offensive? How could you inadvertently predispose the locals toward you? Apart from studying the particularities of a city or country where you intend to run brand events, consider asking for the help of a local professional. He or she could explain you the cultural aspects you should take into account, and also guide you during the planning process.
Step 2. Work with local influencers
If you want to conquer the heart of a local community, think about collaborating with its thought leaders and influencers. Invite them as guests and speakers. Incentivize the local influencers by offering them a powerful networking and branding platform. Subsequently, ask for their help to promote and to increase the visibility of your brand event.
Step 3. Associate your event with local media outlets
Make a list of popular newspapers, TV channels, blogs, news websites, etc., and negotiate a potential collaboration with them. Whether they want to be the media partners of the event or to gain access to your speakers, find a way in which you could add value to them and convince them to cover your event. By doing so, you’ll increase your media exposure in the local outlets and achieve a higher brand awareness.
Step 4. Wrap the event narrative around the local identity
When you are about to run brand events for potential foreign markets, don’t forget to adjust the narrative, tackling the specific local issue and problems. Obviously, months before the event, you must carefully analyze and study the characteristics of a specific local community. By doing so, you’ll know exactly how to build an event that talks directly to its attendees’ hearts. Subsequently, you’ll be able to promote your services or products, adding the local flavor.
Step 5. Go global
Don’t lose the sight of the global perspective and share with your attendees the positive impacts your international startup or business may have on a local level. This way, you’ll contextualize your services or products better, while also giving them a concrete meaning for the market you are aiming to conquer. By doing so, you won’t lose your authenticity, but still highlight the broader understanding your startup or company has.
Conquering a new market or engaging local communities requires careful analysis and strategic planning. Whenever you run brand events, personalize the experience of your attendees according to the local worldview. However, don’t lose sight of your brand’s broader mission and adjust it to local problems and challenges.