Monday, April 29, 2013

International Advertising: Twitter, YouTube & Blogging

In my last blog on international advertising for Facebook, we touched upon various options when using Facebook for an international audience. This week, let’s talk about using Twitter, YouTube and blogging for our international audience.

Twitter: A popular option for targeting an international audience is tweeting in multiple languages. This requires creating multiple Twitter accounts to minimize confusion with readers who don't speak multiple languages — like me. Dell, for example, has Twitter feeds in English, Norwegian, Chinese, Japanese and Spanish.  This is not something every business has the time for, but make sure to shout out to your specific international audience, at least on occasion, to let them know they are on your mind.

YouTube: While creating your video content in various languages is a huge undertaking that may not be possible, adding subtitles to your YouTube videos is a great way to reach a larger audience on YouTube, which is the world's largest video site and the second largest search engine. 

Blogging: For the most part, unless you are fluent in another language or have a translator, if you are reading my blog you are probably writing your blog in English. If this is true for your business, look at the trends and current news of your international consumers – while there are some topics that are universally interesting, geography does play a role. It is always wise to incorporate some reference to a hot topic in a blog post, so make sure that you stay up to date with current events relevant to where your audience resides. If you are using WordPress as your blogging platform, they actually have a translator plug-in that you can add. Now doesn’t that make life a little easier!

Creating content for an international audience is not drastically different from writing for those that reside in your own country, just think about the little things that appeal to them. The ultimate goal for successful international social media is to widen your audience by making it easier for them to access your content. Other than that,

Have fun! Que se diviertan! Amusez-vous! Viel Spaß! Buon divertimento! Om pret te hê! Zabavite se!
(compliments of Google Translate)

Monday, April 22, 2013

My Favorite International Advertising Blunders and Translation Mistakes

There are some big name companies that have made big international mistakes by simply not conducting research. Even though these mistakes make us laugh now, it was no laughing matter for the companies involved. Products sat on shelves and in warehouses due to unexpected translations. But let’s look at the bright side, giggle, and maybe learn a lesson or two from the past mistakes. Here are some of my personal favorites: 

Gerber was having a lot of issues in France as the word ‘gerber’ means to vomit. Gerber is therefore not sold in France, although Gerber has a French Canadian web page attempting to explain this misunderstanding. 

Coors translated its catchy campaign slogan, ‘Turn it loose’ into Spanish. It was read as ‘Suffer from diarrhea.’ Let’s just say this beverage was not a favorite in Spanish speaking countries for a while.

Budweiser's 'King of Beers' became 'Queen of Beers' in Spanish because the Spanish word for beer, 'cerveza,' has a feminine ending. Although this did not hurt sales completely, it changed the brand personality, reached a different target market, and disrupted their entire marketing plan. 

The Swedish furniture giant IKEA somehow agreed upon the name ‘FARTFULL’ for one of its new desks. Although ‘Fartfull’ merely meant ‘speedy’ in Swedish, IKEA had to eventually pull this workbench from their website for obvious reasons. 

In the late 1970s, Wang, an American computer company, could not understand why its British branches were refusing to use its latest motto ‘Wang Cares’. To British ears this sounds too close to ‘Wankers’ which would not really give a very positive image to any company.

 The famous hair product company, Clairol, introduced into Germany the ‘Mist Stick’ curling iron. In German, ‘mist’ is slang for manure. As you can imagine, not too many people had use for the ‘manure stick’. And, while on the topic of ‘manure’ products in Germany, there was Irish Mist Liqueur and the Rolls Royce “Silver Mist” — these were some big mistunderstandings! 

Translation is one of the biggest issues companies run into when advertising internationally. Make sure, before you start marketing internationally, you research the native language. In some cases (i.e. Gerber) there is just flat out no solution. In other cases a little prior research would have gone a long way!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Congrats Homewood Suites Newburgh!

We’d like to congratulate Kathy Russo, General Manager of Homewood Suites Newburgh, and her staff for receiving Hilton’s “Connie Pride hotel Award of Merit”. The recipients of the Connie Pride Award, are considered the most prestigious group of award winners within the Hilton organization. The purpose of these awards is to recognize hotels performing within the top ten percent of the Hilton brand, as measured in various categories. Cleanliness, condition, adherence to brand standards, staff service as indicated by customer satisfaction scores, and the quality of the hotel’s physical accommodations are all factored in to determine award winners. Homewood Suites Newburgh

Monday, April 15, 2013

International Advertising: Facebook

We all know international advertising comes with challenges. For small business it takes in-depth research before jumping in. When thinking about international advertising, it is important to consider your social marketing, since it is such an integral part of an overall marketing plan. 

We thought we would devote a series of blogs to international advertising and social media. This week we will talk about Facebook. There are two key strategies for reaching global audiences using Facebook. The first, is creating multiple brand pages, which really makes more sense to me (although it is more work). The second, is to post updates that specifically target different audiences. This can work, and is a practical solution for smaller businesses with less time and money to devote to social media, but can get sloppy.

Multiple Brand Pages 
Global brands like Nike have a main Facebook page, but also have specific country pages. Nike UK page for example. This page specifically caters to their UK consumers.  They have large amounts of consumers around the globe, so this is a great way to brand. Creating multiple pages increases the localization of each page but requires more time for customization, as different logos and content are created for each page.

Targeted Updates
If having multiple pages is a bit more of a commitment than you are able to handle, you can target updates by location, demographics, and language on your main Facebook page. The advantages of having one single page are the time and cost savings, consistency, and more easily keeping your brand personality  intact. Additionally, fans from around the world can, where there are no language barriers, connect around a shared passion. 

Chances are you will immediately know which option is right for your business. Considering your strategy before launching is a good start. 

Remember to check back next week for tips on international advertising for Twitter and YouTube!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Cell to Table: Mobile Menus

Online ordering from restaurants, have you tried it? This is not just trendy; it represents a technological shift to the mobile device as technology becomes more compact, agile and capable.

Pizza Hut was the first large pizza chain to launch a mobile application for online ordering (Papa John's and Domino's have quickly followed). Pizza Hut first created a mobile-optimized site where consumers can log-in to their account, order pick-up or delivery, sign-up to receive deals and download their mobile app for easier use. You can also locate the nearest location and use the click-to-call capability to get in touch with a specific location. Being a favorite of my younger son, we all have the Pizza Hut app on our phones and I used it just the other night for his birthday. It really does make ordering easy!

Large food chains are saying they are bringing in 25 percent of their sales through online and app ordering. Even the mom-and-pops restaurants are seeing dramatic sales spikes. Consumers just do not want to deal with people on the phone anymore and 60 percent of adults are more interested in home delivery than dining in the physical restaurant.

People who order meals online spend more than those ordering by phone. They can view the entire menu online and items can be added in just one ‘click’. You, as a restaurant owner, can get more orders, more money spent per order, more repeat customers; and in turn, increase your bottom line and your direct return on investment.

If jumping right into an online ordering tool or your own app seems daunting, there are other ways you can reach out to diners. There is an app that is popping up on everyone’s smartphone. It is called GrubHub and it helps people find and order food from wherever they are. Consumer’s type in their address and are prompted with restaurants that deliver to that locale as well as pick-up restaurants nearby. Check out my blog about GrubHub and all the benefits this app offers!