The minute your digital marketing strategy steps outside of the U.S., you start relating to Dorothy and, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” Global digital markets are quite different than those domestically. Global digital marketing training should include the following four principles.
1. Internet Isn’t Fast Everywhere
In the U.S. (or in any developed market) we take for granted that we have fast internet. Some of the business offices we visited had internet that was so slow it was faster to use your cell phone (yes, seriously). They can’t connect to Webex or webinars and struggle to watch online videos or do anything other then basic email. Even though these markets seem advanced digitally with high mobile phone penetration, the reality is that the digital infrastructure isn’t really there to fully support digital consumers.
2. China doesn’t use anything you use
If you’re in business and have a global perspective you know that China is HUGE. The challenge for digital marketers is that the ecosystem there is 100% different – they can’t use Facebook or Google products – so everything is specific to the China market. This means that marketers and businesses need an entirely different approach to reach this large and growing market.
3. E-commerce isn’t developed in many places
In the U.S. we are spoiled with Amazon (which seems like it has been around forever) and basically every retailer now offering a seamless e-commerce platform. We can buy everything online in an instant. Globally, there are many markets that have almost to e-commerce. Why? A variety of reasons, but in many cases it centers around infrastructure. Some countries don’t even have a central banking system to support digital payments yet. While people are more connected online, there are still many physical and system challenges driving adoption.
4. People are addicted to their phones everywhere
In the U.S. drivers are distracted by their phones, in Europe cyclists have their phones out while biking and in Asia pedestrians are walking in to things because they have their face down looking at their phone. One thing that is common is that people are addicted to technology and seem to be unable to focus on walking/biking/driving. Beware!
What’s the takeaway? Research the markets your considering entering. Invest in global digital marketing training to help understand digital in foreign markets and the obstacles in the way of delivering your message.