All Things Localization / Technical Writing

Is Complacency Killing Your Marketing

Complacency is a byproduct of success. It is easy for companies with in-demand products to stick with a “business as usual” marketing strategy to save time and costs. But this outdated and short-sighted mindset is out of place in an increasingly global business community.

This article explains how complacent marketing can be detrimental and offers helpful tips on how to overcome it.

Adapt and Overcome

Marketing is crucial for businesses entering new markets. It is the bridge between a new culture and your product. Failing to adapt your marketing to meet the needs of a new culture only creates barriers to your success.

This is highlighted by the recent failure of Chinese tech giant, LeEco, to enter the US market. LeEco management ignored its American employees and tried selling its phones using a Chinese marketing model that didn’t resonate with American consumers.

The reasons why LeEco chose not to change its marketing strategy are not clear, but its refusal to adapt its marketing to American consumers was a big factor in its downfall.

When operating in new countries, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How is this culture different and how should we market our products differently to connect with this new culture?
  2. Do I need to localize my products and my marketing material?
  3. What training and resources will my marketing team need to understand and connect with this new culture?

If you find yourself struggling to answer these questions, consider working with a qualified localization expert or consultants with expertise in the particular market you are entering.

Adapt and Reflect

Avoiding reflecting on and modifying your marketing strategy is a quick way to become out of touch with consumers.

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A case in point is in the diamond industry. It has been operating as a monopoly by two companies for over a hundred years, and a long-term lack of competition has resulted in extreme complacency in its sales and marketing strategy. As a result, the industry has started losing customers and money.

The culprit? Millennials. Millennials are slowly turning the diamond industry on its head by leaning away from traditional wedding rings and choosing gemstones over diamonds. Consequently, the diamond industry is changing the way they market their products to Millennials, but only after losing millions of dollars in business.

To avoid costly mistakes like those of the diamond industry, it is important to frequently review your marketing strategy and avoid complacency.

Free-flowing and Flexible

Complacency is easy and comfortable, but in marketing, it alienates consumers.  Always ensure that your product and marketing materials are localized and match the tastes of consumers in your target market. If you find that your product still lacks resonance, reflect on your strategy and retool it. Allow yourself the fun and excitement of learning how to integrate your product into a new and interesting foreign culture. Who knows? You might even make some money in the process.

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Dwight Wozich is a long-term American expatriate living in Shanghai, China. Including his current role as a technical editor for CSOFT international, Dwight has over 7 years of combined professional experience working in multicultural environments in "The Middle Kingdom". He currently assists CSOFT’s local Chinese clients in the technology industry to find their voice in international markets through the creation of transcendent marketing and consumer documentation. He frequently enjoys giving impressions of famous people and characters, such as Sean Connery, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Mickey Mouse.

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