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See both forest and trees: Going global without losing sight of your customers

Published August 27, 2013 at 9:16 am

Using recent campaigns from Coke and Nike as examples, we’ve shown in the last week that customers will respond positively to unique advertising campaigns that explain a product or service in an exciting way that still makes strong ties to the company itself.

A recent Harvard Business Review article commented on this same idea, saying that customers will often steer a company in a particular direction, especially when it comes to advertising. Whether businesses are pushed to go global or to simply improve their direct marketing services in targeted markets, it’s important to listen to consumers and make efforts to reach them through numerous communication channels.

Before technology was available at customers’ fingertips, many companies would have to establish a physical presence in a foreign country if they wanted to advertise and market in that area, HBR explained.

That’s no longer the case.

“But in today’s digital age, people in faraway places can find your website, learn about your company, and have an experience with your brand,” the article said. “Marketers and brand managers today cannot always control the traffic streams—and their sources—that arrive at their website. Customers are more empowered than they used to be.”

So, what can companies do to ensure that they reach their target audience through the appropriate channels?

Airbnb puts control back in consumers’ hands

Room rental service Airbnb recently launched a web-based marketing campaign that gives power back to its customers. Called “Hollywood and Vines,” users were encouraged to make short films on the Vine video application and submit it through Twitter with a promotional hashtag.

The company explained that it wants to create a story of “travel, adventure and finding your place in the world.”

By having real people show what makes their location great, the campaign effectively advertises to other potential customers who may be inclined to visit that area.

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