Marketing can be one of the most difficult parts of running a law firm or a business as it’s something that needs continuous effort. Marketing styles can also change over time depending on the current trends—and these styles differ from market to market. For global law firms and companies, there are additional complexities involved as these organizations try to determine how to market themselves globally as well as at the local level.
Local Marketing: Pros and Cons
Domestic marketing is the most basic way you can market a brand. Compared to global marketing, it’s less expensive, easier, and more controllable. It also helps that your team is already part of the market, making their ideas and opinions more useful in the development of your marketing strategies. Moreover, you won’t need to do as much intense research since your team already has firsthand information as to what the market wants and how your target audience will react to your messaging and content.
However, global law firms and companies cannot afford to only focus in on their local offices and markets, as they need to ensure that that their brand is recognized in all of the locations where they do business. A global market means more clients, and more clients, of course, mean more revenue. Marketing an organization at a global level is more complex and more expensive. You have to invest in either a local research team or foreign marketing teams. There are also times when you have to invest in both.
Global Marketing: Pros and Cons
Marketing globally is not easy. Your organization needs to consider cultural barriers as well as language barriers. Translation must be treated with care, considering how words have different implications from country to country.
Remember KFC’s effort to enter the Chinese market? Instead of saying “Finger-lickin’ good,” the company’s mistranslated slogan said “Eat your fingers off.” A more serious example is when Kenneth Cole decided to use the Cairo protests in 2011 to promote his brand, tweeting that the uproar happening in the city was brought about by the online launch of his spring collection.
While the harsh response to Cole’s tweet was a consequence of plain thoughtlessness, even an honest mistake can hurt your brand. The thing about global marketing is that you can easily end up saying something that is culturally or politically insensitive to your audience, due to a simple lack of awareness. And the damage control is bound to be expensive.
How to Build Effective Global Marketing Strategies for Law Firms
Here are a few things to consider to make your global marketing strategy more effective:
Invest in foreign manpower.
Going global means spending money. Don’t hesitate to invest in foreign manpower. Whatever market you want to enter, wherever it is on the globe, build a team there and learn about your new potential clients, their culture and their issues and opportunties.
Make sure that the headquarters and the foreign teams work together from day one.
Collaboration is a big deal in marketing. Since each member of the team has something to contribute to the organization, it only makes sense that the headquarters collaborate with its foreign teams from the start of a project. Effective communication between teams will help eliminate any bad ideas early on and ultimately save time.
Don’t neglect your foreign markets.
Most companies make the mistake of not prioritizing their foreign markets and only think of their immediate audience. Keep in mind that succeeding in multiple foreign markets can give you profit that’s several times more than what you can earn domestically. However, not properly understanding how the foreign market will react to your branding, communication and content can lead to major issues for your entire organization.
Learn from successful brands.
Have you noticed how Coca-Cola does its marketing? One of the reasons why its ads are effective in every market is that they target a universal emotion. Coca-Cola usually inspires people with their ads. You can never go wrong with this technique. No matter where a person is from, they are human, and they have feelings that you can target.
The same technique is used by tech brands like Apple and Samsung. They pick a core idea that’s common in every nation and they stick to it. Samsung’s 2013 tagline “Inspire the world, create the future” is simple, yet appeals to everybody. Meanwhile, Apple’s influence is rooted in empathy, highlighting how much it understands people’s needs more than any other company.
Financial success through global marketing is a great goal for any organization to strive for, but keeping it local is also important. It all depends on where your law firm is on its journey and what your priorities are. What matters most is that you understand your market and the needs of your clients – wherever they may be.