Marketing – a job for the export department?
After a number of years working in export marketing, Alex Woodruff focussed his marketing sights on the following:
International advertising and international campaigns
- Should campaigns come from HQ or is it better to delegate?
- What stays the same, everything, general concepts, or executions?
- Who should define (or implement) marketing instruments?
As I’ve been heard to say many a time: it all depends.
- B2B or B2C
- Heterogenity of target groups in different countries
- How slogans and visuals come across in different cultures
- Skills of staff at home and abroad
- Marketing departments’ and (lead) agencies’ responsibilities
- Importance of website, brochures etc in each country
Advertising adaptation vs. global campaigns
Alex Woodruff set up a niche advertising agency called englishtalk in 2005 with the primary goal of developing English advertising and marketing materials. Based on his front-line client-side experience prior to englishtalk, and work after 2005 on campaigns for international clients, his agency developed a model that captures the multiple levels of advertising adaptation. As well as assessing what level of adaptation companies and their competitors currently use, the englishtalk model makes it possible to define strategies. Based on the strategy, companies can define precisely what level to adapt campaigns on and which general areas of media to use. In a nutshell, it removes the randomness of international advertising.
There’s a particular tendency for B2B companies to assume that marketing should be kept uniform in all countries – something reflected by many of their websites. Typically, the messaging and images are the same – a guarantee they’ll eventually put their foot it in. With the advertising adaptation model, you’re less likely to shock or upset other cultures, or hear that people are wincing at your marketing materials.