When it comes to marketing internationally, especially to countries that are half way around the globe (Russia, Middle East, China, India), digital marketing is very cost effective. Websites, email marketing and webinars are all good tools for building relationships and awareness with prospects in other markets.
But using these tools effectively does require some consideration for the local market and conditions, everything from time zones to seasons to working schedules.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you are marketing internationally:
- Keep in mind that weekends vary around the world. Saturday and Sunday are the norm in most places, but in the United Arab Emirates the weekend is Friday and Saturday, and in Saudi Arabia it is Thursday and Friday. Try not to schedule emails to arrive or webinars to occur on Thursday and Friday for prospects in the Middle East – your numbers will suffer.
- Schedule emails to arrive during working hours in the region you’re targeting (e.g. Middle East, China or India) rather than on the North American clock. With a 10- to 17- hour time difference between North America and markets in the Middle East and Asia, you run the risk of having your email lost in the overnight shuffle.
- Holidays are different around the world. Christmas might be a day-off for Europeans and North Americans, but it’s a working day in Japan.
- Keep in mind that not all time zones change for the changing seasons – so while adjusting between Standard and Daylight Savings Standard Time is common in North America and we have rules of thumb like ‘3 hours difference between Toronto and LA’ – sometimes that rule will change – like for Arizona – 2 hours in winter and 3 hours in summer. When providing details of a webinar always list it in local time where possible (i.e. 12pm PST or 3pm EST)
The nuts and bolts logistics of digital marketing are the starting point for effective digital marketing for international markets – but get them wrong and anything else you do, good or bad won’t matter.