Imagine that you were finally able to travel to anywhere in the world you dreamed of.
This would mean taking a chance, stepping outside your comfortable bubble of functioning, engaging with cultures that you weren’t previously familiar with. While you might not market travel products, there’s plenty of strategies your marketing campaigns can borrow from the savvy international traveler.
Consider the skills that international travelers must use in order to survive and thrive while visiting a foreign destination:
1. They learn how to read the signs.
One of the first things that international travelers need to do in order to even survive in their new locale is to learn how to read signs. They’ll need to learn to identify signs such as street signs, and signs that lead them to tourist attractions or restaurants.
What signs are your marketing targets trying to show you – signs that would allow you to move forward efficiently and successfully with your marketing campaign? Here’s one way to find them: Start collecting pertinent data by performing research.
For example, do you know what’s being reported on the news, in newspapers, magazines, or inside of the trade publications your target market is reading? Are you aware of current buyer trends? Do you know if potential buyers are even interested in your product (or service)? Researching and collecting targeted data will show you whether or not you’re moving in the right direction.
This kind of research can also show you how your market responds to your competition, and if they’re looking for an alternative solution (your product, hopefully). The data also informs you if you’re moving towards the danger zone-a zone where you waste valuable energy and money marketing a dead-end affiliate campaign.
2. They learn how to speak the native language.
Smart international travelers often carry translation guidebooks. If they’re particularly clever, they’ll learn phrases in their destination’s native language before they leave their home country. International travelers understand that nothing endears them to the locals faster than learning the local language, along with local slang, and lingo. It will also allow them to enjoy a richer cultural exchange.
Smart marketers should implement the same strategy if they hope to endear themselves to new customers while attracting valuable lifetime customers. Marketers need to learn the same lingo and buzzwords that targeted buyers use, but first, they need know where to find this information.
Setting up a Google Alert is a great first step in gathering this sort of information. Social media reconnaissance is also crucial for learning how potential customers feel about products and brands.
Specifically, marketers can learn exactly what’s being said about a product or brand, along with the words that are being used to describe these. In this way, marketers will learn how to speak the prospect’s “language”. This endears the prospects to branded products (or services). At the same time, learning the “language” enables you (the marketer) to communicate with buyers concisely while making sure that your marketing message is heard, especially by those who are ready to engage you.
They need to understand you, and you need to learn how to communicate with them so that they can understand your marketing message. By the way, learning new “languages” will transform you (or your marketing department) into better listeners. This allows for faster communication, faster sales cycles, richer customer service, and superior product development.
3. They participate in local customs and activities.
When international travelers engage in local customs and traditions, it shows respect for the culture. Engagement with foreign locals also shows the willingness to create ongoing dialogue, which builds solid relationships.
In the same way, smart marketers can’t only hang out in their “safe corners” of the internet. Marketers need to understand how to engage with a vast variety of personalities, even beyond one specific buyer persona. Learning how to engage buyers on their territory and learning the behaviors of the buyer’s “culture” helps marketers to offer solutions to a wider scope of prospects.
In addition, improved communication skills are crucial for email and content marketing campaigns-great people skills is the foundation of great selling skills.
Show buyers that you (the marketing entity) are willing meet them where they figuratively live, while becoming an integral part of their culture. Learn where potential buyers hang out (social media, forums, blogs, etc.). It’s perfectly acceptable and welcome to take the initiative with buyers. This can be accomplished in a friendly and helpful manner without being perceived as condescending, pushy, or sleazy.
4. They understand how to think fast on their feet when problems arise.
International travel can be a great experience, but there are also plenty of war stories involving all sorts of things going wrong. It’s common for travelers to lose money, or find that they’ve been pick-pocketed of their cash and personal identification. And losing luggage or vital documents seems to be almost as common as catching a cold.
But, instead of crumbling under pressure and swearing off international travel forever, the resourceful traveler is able to resolve issues quickly and efficiently. Marketers need to hope for the best, but be prepared for worst-case scenarios while executing a marketing campaign.
For example, if website servers crash, a back-up solution should be ready to be implemented right away. Customer complaint resolution processes should be ready for enactment. The problem resolution process should be as easy for customers as possible, so they can quickly resume their buying process, or get back to using the product they’ve purchased.
Also, ask yourself if your customers can leave their online shopping transaction feeling more confident about your brand than they did before they engaged. If you’re not able to positively answer these questions, then you’re not going to be prepared for the inevitable challenges and crisis that often occur.
Smart international travelers implement basic steps to ensure that they’re getting the most out of their travel experiences. By borrowing some of their strategies, marketers can garner buyer affinity and loyalty. Once these are earned, conversions will be much easier to come by.