Andrea Smith—the Owner and Founder of the ADS Agency—was stationed in Scotland for a year for a global branding role which she loved. She worked with 70 brand ambassadors from over 17 different countries. Interacting with different cultures and people tunes your marketing ear in unexpected ways.
Dialects are quite different, like listening to a new a Jersey accent versus a Texan. The different dialects in the UK don’t even understand each other. Working with different cultures is a unique experience.
Global marketing starts with market research
Creating a message for different countries starts with gaining knowledge. Andrea sought to get to know everyone during her time in Scotland. Her goal was to have a half-hour conversation with every person to hear the challenges they’ve experienced with marketing. She wanted to learn what they’ve done in the past and where they’re trying to go. Those interviews gave Andrea important qualitative research.
As Andrea went back through her notes, she found themes that she could extract. She spoke with her team about it and learned that their brand presence was lacking. Innovation was a core value of her company, but many people felt that wasn’t how they were seen. She saw the problem, and it became an opportunity.
Market research instructs your path
Andrea took the conversation—and the data—straight to the CEO of the company. He was floored about how people perceived them. So they launched a campaign to educate their customer base about how they innovate. They did brand reports every month to highlight different areas.
This also gave people a way to shine on their own without it being all about one person or entity speaking for everyone. It was a way to highlight people that don’t often get to share their voices. The experience was about creating a community in a place where there was none. It goes to show that you can’t skip market research.
It’s okay to brag—just do it better
You also have to talk about what you do. Of course, people won’t think you’re innovative if you’re not marketing it. Marketing and bragging are totally different things. People aren’t turned off by fact-based marketing—you’re informing people.
People feel funny about “bragging.” But is it really bragging? If you’re serving your customer and prospective client with information and education, it’s helpful to them. You become a resource that they know, like, and trust. Every business wants to make money and bring in customers. But you have to start by bringing value to your customer’s lives by helping them solve their pain points.
Hear more of Andrea’s strategies around contenting marketing, social media, and thought leadership in episode #60 of the Content Callout podcast!