A brand experience is about creating meeting points. Nowadays, digital channels, especially different types of social media, are the most used, and thus, the most important of those meeting points. Attention must be paid both to the type of content that is published on social media and how community management is handled. Thus, we are presented a golden opportunity: When digital meeting points are managed well on a country, channel and time basis, the resulting visible good customer experiences will work to strengthen the brand and help develop it.
Modern marketing requires modern methods: In the digital and social environment, effective marketing cannot be based on direct translations. While translating TV commercials or brochures into the language of the target country may at times be a viable option, local expertise is paramount if one wants to truly reach the target audience. A strong local touch and mastery of the native language gain particular importance in social media, as, when social media content and ads are just blindly translated into a target language, the message behind them gets lost.
The mass of digital content is constantly expanding and the only way to stand out is by drawing the target audience’s attention. One cannot simply produce a half-hearted copy of the original message combined with a photo from an image bank, but content needs to genuinely reflect the everyday life of the target group. Puns or images that work in the Finnish context may not have the same effect in another country. Before publishing content, it is also important to be aware of the mental state of the surrounding market, whether a certain message makes sense in a certain context and time or not.
Native and local content providers have a much better grip on the everyday life of the target audience than a random expert from a translation agency. They will also be able to use wording that matches the tonality of the brand in a way that fits the topic. In addition, natives are able to seize opportunities and shape messages to reflect, for example, the current societal discussions in their country.
Processes as a cornerstone
As a result of years of work, we at Grapevine have managed to find an internationally scalable operating model. Grapevine’s clients have it easy, as the company uses a strict screening process to select their local agents. Grapevine is responsible for managing the project, and the clients only need to communicate with their allocated Grapevine contact person. The responsibility therefore lies entirely with us, allowing our clients to focus on managing their marketing at a more general level.
Of course, the successful functioning of such a setup requires not only strict project management but also clear and shared processes. Fortunately, common operating models have been at the heart of our activities since the beginning. Without clear and ever-evolving processes, we would have gone off track a long time ago. As we always say, quality is preceded by processes.
An international network
There is a growing demand for international but Finnish-led processes. So far, we have been able to serve our clients on the Swedish, Norwegian and Danish markets. During this year, we will probably also open up connections to Germany and a couple of other Central European countries. That is why we have been searching for an active and high-quality international network of independent offices for more than a year. During this time, we were asked to join the CommUnity network. After a few rounds of validation, we came to the conclusion that CommUnity was just right for us. Through this network, we have been able to find partners in more than 30 countries, all of which are the best in their field.
We wish everyone a happy international spring!
For more information about CommUnity