Breaking Down Cultural Barriers in Global Content Marketing

With globalization expanding rapidly in the last decade, companies cannot be complacent with simply doing business in one country. Companies worldwide need to find a way to break through the cultural barriers that stand between them and an expanded market. Reaching markets around the world has been a challenge for companies that are attempting to expand their brand and become world providers. One of the most significant challenges that companies face is creating a brand and product that can break through multiple cultural barriers. Having the ability to reach only a selected group of cultures is like having macaroni with no cheese. It gets the job done, but there is so much more potential to be reached with global content marketing.

How Big Brands Handle Global Content Marketing

Domino’s, Airbnb, Caterpillar, and Red Bull have all found effective ways to break down the cultural barriers that hold so many companies back. Like four blind squirrels looking for nuts, they all found different ways to find what they were looking for. Each company has taken a different approach to developing a brand that is known and valued throughout the world. By noticing the strengths within themselves, each company was able to devise a marketing plan that allowed them to not only reach foreign markets, but also become a well-known brand within them.

Dominos and Global Content Marketing

Domino’s is one of the most recognized pizza brands in the world. A great deal of their success abroad is due to the fact that they are able to adapt their standard business model to various cultures around the world. After some simple research and analysis, Domino’s is able to determine which different toppings fit into the different cultures they cater to. Adding different toppings in different regions around the world is very simple but also very effective.

While having a flexible business model to satisfy multiple cultures is great, it doesn’t hurt that Domino’s is partnered with the fourth most valuable brand in the world. Coca-Cola is the premier soft drink around the world. Coca-Cola is available in over 200 countries, making it the perfect drink to be partnered with in order to create a lasting presence around the world. Being partnered with such a popular brand helps Domino’s break through cultural barriers that already have a trusting relationship with Coca-Cola. These two factors have allowed Domino’s to break down the cultural barriers that many pizza companies fail to even budge.

Airbnb and Global Content Marketing

Airbnb is a company that provides a service that is necessary around the world. Airbnb has found a way to provide lodging services for low prices without having to ever see a customer. This idea is great because traveling for fun has become such a phenomenon in the past decade. Travelers are constantly looking for the most convenient and cheapest places to stay while they travel. 45% of Airbnb’s business is international, making cultural barriers an obstacle they must overcome. One way Airbnb makes business between cultures easier is providing their services in 26 different languages.

The use of new technology has allowed Airbnb to continue to provide perfect translation every day. The engineers at Airbnb have developed a translation management tool that allows translators to see new phrases as soon as they are put anywhere in the Airbnb system. This technology allows Airbnb to keep up with correct translations and keep an understanding of what customers want. Airbnb also uses simple online videos to market their process as simple and effective. They create videos for each region and then voice over for each specific culture. These videos are effective because they can be used throughout a whole continent and also be tailored to reach different regions all over the world.

Here is an example of how Airbnb uses an educational video that is tailored specifically for customers in East Asia.

Caterpillar and Global Content Marketing

Caterpillar is the largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment in the world. They have been successful because they have been able to break down the cultural barriers around the world and create new markets in both developed and developing nations. One of the biggest advantages CAT has in their market is the strength of their brand. Since the company came into existence, they have been known to create excellent products. This brand identity has allowed them to sell themselves to places around the world, knowing that customers would be willing to buy Caterpillar products. While the brand strength has been helpful, Caterpillar’s use of international dealerships has been the main reason for their success overseas.

Caterpillar’s 3,500 dealerships allow them to be stationed in over 180 different countries around the world. Franchising dealerships all over the world allows customers in different regions to be greeted by a person that understands their culture. The dealerships are trained to be accustomed to the language and culture of the foreign countries. These dealerships also hire employees from the area so it is even easier to connect with the local culture. With a sense of its culture in the Caterpillar experience, the customers can feel closer to CAT and develop lasting business relationships.  Even though there are many different dealerships around the world that sell CAT machinery, the customer experience is trained to be very similar.

Red Bull and Global Content Marketing

Red Bull has developed an identity that is known for outrageous events and athletes that perform extreme stunts. Having this identity around the world allows them to tie an energy drink into these events. Some would argue drinking a Red Bull might not allow you to jump off a cliff while doing flips and land safely on the ground. Their slogan, “Red Bull gives you wings” gives an impression that after drinking a Red Bull something amazing is bound to happen.

The thought of doing a crazy stunt does not need to be translated or taught by a different culture because that sensation you get inside is felt all around the world. All cultures understand the excitement that goes along with Red Bull’s Marketing. People want to do incredible things and Red Bull can pull out the inner daredevil within everyone. The use of YouTube videos has been a key to their success of global marketing. In the video below, Travis Pastrana, a famous rally car driver and stuntman, jumps a rally car over the harbor in Long Beach, California for a New Years extravaganza.

While this event has little to do with an energy drink, it had everything to do with living life on the edge and starting the New Year in a fantastic way. Hosting the event that was televised throughout the world brings a lot of attention to how Red Bull can be life-changing. By representing Travis Pastrana along with hundreds of other athletes, Red Bull makes it seem like anyone that wants to do something incredible can do it if they drink a Red Bull beforehand. Red Bull comes out with videos and hosts events year-round and can be seen by anyone. This sense of thrill seeking and use of professional athletes has allowed Red Bull to reach different cultures around the world.

Justin Kane – Content Creator

Created in partnership with Furman University.

For more information on content marketing strategies, check out our other blogs.

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