Companies are under constant pressure to maintain a unified global brand message, but that strategy can have its pitfalls. Imagine, for example, that you’re a European company trying to market a relaxing bubble bath to new moms in China. After launching your digital ad campaign, you suddenly find yourself in hot water with your core demographic. Little did you know, the Chinese tradition of zuo yuezi requires new moms to observe strict rules during their post-childbirth confinement period. One of the biggest taboos? Baths.
It’s All About Staying Relevant
Of course, effective global marketing is about more than avoiding embarrassing gaffs; it’s also about engaging with consumers in a personal, culturally relevant way. It is critical to learn how to communicate with women whose lives are shaped by vastly different traditions and expectations. And, finding native speakers who understand the mindset of each individual market will be vital if you want to effectively reach moms around the world.
The Right Message Needs The Right Medium
Of course, meaningful content won’t get you very far if it’s not delivered on the right platform. For example, in many low-income regions, it’s more effective to communicate through mobile technology than by any other means. In many countries, organizations such as Internet.org and the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA) bring critical health information to mothers via their mobile phones. Partnering with them not only brings your brand into the fold in hard-to-reach markets, but more importantly will allow you to help improve women’s lives on a global scale.
Here are some other significant international insights that we’ve gleaned through the years — learnings that have been of great assistance in reaching moms in a variety of countries and regions around the world:
Ninety-three percent of Brazilian moms use social media on a daily basis, so a strong social media presence is essential.
Each province has different policies regarding maternity leave, fertility, and pregnancy rights, demanding customized content for each single region in the country.
Chinese women value systematic learning, and editorial content that offers them to chance to take “lessons” on an ongoing basis speaks to this predisposition.
A deep appreciation of traditional Korean prenatal activities, known as taegyo, is crucial if you’re going to communicate with moms in this country.
Since tradition and culture play a large role in Malaysian family life, content geared to new moms needs to reflect culture, taboos, and traditional beliefs.
Community boards are especially important in this market, where women have a limited ability to communicate openly about key women’s health issues.
Word of mouth is a primary source of news and information among Singaporean women, so social information sharing platforms need to be a significant part of your content strategy when reaching moms in this Asian market.
Understanding that Hispanics read and write more blogs than non-Hispanics in the United States, an emphasis on authentic voices of Spanish-speaking bloggers could make a great difference when trying to reach Latina moms in Central, North, and South America.
More U.S. moms own smartphones than laptops or PCs, so mobile communications in this country is key, where 80% of the traffic comes from handheld devices.
Few experiences are as universal as motherhood, and yet the cultural norms and expectations around this life stage are strikingly different around the world. Global marketers who want to engage deeply with moms need to craft their content with sensitivity, understanding, and precision — and team up with a partner who’s already doing just that.