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Important Differences to Keep in Mind Between Local and Global Online Marketing

written by: Vilie Farah•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 5/9/2011

International online marketing can be very effective but it requires more work than a local campaign. Cultural and linguistic specifics need to be taken into consideration and often, the creation of several sub-campaigns will be a must.

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    marketing-sign International online marketing is a new opportunity that the world of the web has provided business owners with. Internet has a global reach and this fact makes it easy for companies to expand their activities and to reach a wider audience.

    Global web marketing sounds very simple but it differs from a local web campaign. It has to get across borders and it needs to appeal to people coming from different places and having their specific cultural and linguistic background.

    The creation of a quality internet marketing campaign takes some planning and analysis. You will have to explore your target audiences and you will need to discover a universal message that appeals to all.

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    Researching Your Audience

    A local campaign targets a single, clearly defined audience. This fact differentiates it greatly from a global web marketing campaign.

    A quality international online marketing campaign starts with audience research and analysis. Each international audience has its specifics. The campaign has to refrain from addressing that is typical for one group but that will remain misunderstood by other people.

    In case the internet campaign targets many audiences, you will have to come up with specific messages. A universal campaign will have difficulties remaining effective within societies that are very different from each other.

    Though any type of marketing campaign starts with planning and research, international marketing requires more work and extensive examination of culture, language and market needs.

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    Making the Campaign Universal?

    Creating a universal marketing campaign that appeals to people across borders sounds easy but is it really so?

    International online marketing can be universal, as long as it refrains focusing on language, culture and ethnicity. Research needs to confirm that audiences have similar interests in products and services. These conditions are needed for an effective universal campaign.

    A campaign can be carried out in a similar manner in the US and the UK, for example. Word play can be used effortlessly and people are likely to get the message instead of being confused by it.

    People in West European countries have similar standards of living and social norms/values. The same campaign will likely be effective across borders – for example in all of the Scandinavian countries.

    If, however, the campaign targets people coming from vastly different backgrounds, it will be wiser to come up with several sub-campaigns that address the needs of specific audiences.

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    Making Your Website Global

    An international online marketing campaign will work solely if your website is optimized for the needs of visitors from many countries.

    The first step focuses on the creation of multi-lingual website content. English is a good start but it will be insufficient if you want to address audiences that speak other languages. International online marketing demands more effort in terms of both website creation and optimization.

    Once the content is created, optimization efforts will start. The right keywords need to be discovered for each audience. Some people will be attracted by one of your products while others will look for something completely different.

    Search engine optimization (SEO) is a major part of your web marketing efforts. Making it culturally-specific is of vital importance. The selection of general keywords and content can rarely do the trick.

    International online marketing requires hard work. A local campaign will be easy to perform – you know the needs and preferences of people. International campaigns have to refrain from generalizing or utilizing cultural stereotypes. Frequently, global web marketing demands the creation of various campaigns. Careful research and examination of audiences are of vital importance for the creation of an effective and highly successful campaign.

    Source: The author's web marketing experience

    Image Credits:, Author: renjith krishnan