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Global Marketing Do you remember the “new normal” of the summer of 2020? The short time frame was quickly swept away by rapidly changing COVID restrictions, ending any sense of predictability for brands and customers. As the situation evolves, countries worldwide are adapting differently, while the expectations of local consumers vary widely and are changing rapidly.
This added complexity can make planning for the next year nearly impossible. To help you, we asked our branding, digital, and localization experts to eliminate confusion and identify the top global marketing trends in 2021. It will help you cope with current uncertainty, maximize your budget, and find new opportunities.
2020 caused a sea change in the marketing of many brands. Companies had to acquire (and retain) customers without appearing cynical or lucrative. Many chose to motivation on the tone of voice, channel reviews, and trade social responsibility.
Because customers remember the positive actions of brands. 79% of global consumers know the brands that diverted profits to good causes during the pandemic. (Including the support of your employees). And 37% intend to continue buying from brands that have responded well to the COVID crisis.
Therefore, it is no wonder that the triple ethics of people, planet, and profit has become a priority for many companies:
Working from home is likely to make a lasting difference. Many capitals have a high percentage of jobs that can be done remotely. However, country-specific and regional averages vary widely, depending on income and Internet penetration. Women also have less access to telecommuting opportunities.
The coronavirus pandemic and protests against Black Lives Matter also drew the attention of customers around the world to employee experiences. In the Edelman Trust Barometer’s COVID-19 report, which is based on a market survey of 12, 90% of consumers said they want companies to protect their employees. 52% said this was important to earn or maintain their trust.
Brands whose approach was deemed inappropriate were penalized around the world. 20% of French consumers said they convinced others to stop using a brand they believed had not appropriately acted during the pandemic. That number increased to 27% in the United States, 35% in Brazil, and 76% in China.
There was good news in 2020. Global CO2 emissions decreased by 8% compared to 2019, an unprecedented decrease. And surprisingly, China has promised to become carbon neutral by 2060. There are now 110 states with similar mid-century commitments.
For companies, this rapidly growing trend means that sustainability can no longer be discounted. 71% of consumers worldwide agree that weather change is as significant an issue as COVID. And they are willing to exercise their purchasing power under their beliefs.
Although the COVID talks have arguably overshadowed discussions on climate change, sustainability remains a crucial issue. Be prepared with your brand’s responses as it reappears after COVID.
Not surprisingly, the move toward root cause marketing has sparked a backlash. Consumers understand that profits are a priority for many companies. It is too easy to defend social problems for selfish reasons. The brand reasons have to accumulate. Otherwise, they will accused of waking up wash or greenwash.
Starbucks, for example, publicly tweeted its support for Black Lives Matter. The company took a quick U-turn after facing boycott threats. However, they said wearing BLM t-shirts or badges for their employees “would increase the division.” And Amazon’s stance of solidarity with black workers sounded hollow, as they had done little to protect warehouse workers from COVID-19.
So yes, take care of your people, do more to save the planet, and advocate for social issues. But don’t fall into the trap of posing for profit. And remember to tailor all initiatives to reflect customer priorities and experiences in each market. Store well-meaning social media posts and emails with targeted promotions, or your customers will look elsewhere for a more authentic alternative.
Your international markets can be a much-needed source of growth and income right now. If you are in a business that has grown during this time, you might even consider further expansion and the localization that goes with it.
In times of economic downturn, companies sometimes choose to reduce localization (and marketing). Common Sense Advisory has determined that the suspension of language support presents two main risks:
Lack of language support can result in lost sales, as customers abandon your brand in favor of a more local (or local) competitor.
It can significantly affect global growth and make it challenging to generate global revenue in the future.