Diversity is the language of commerce, and an increasing number of the world’s consumers are now located outside the United States. Marketing to a global customer base may prove challenging, but definitely rewarding. As a global marketing agency specializing in translation and other multilingual needs, LinguaLinx wants to make it a little easier for you, and shine a spotlight on international markets. For this month’s post, let’s stay close to home and look at Mexico.
FIVE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD FOCUS YOUR GLOBAL MARKETING EFFORTS IN MEXICO
- Location, location, location! Mexico is a great place for US-based businesses to expand due to proximity – and free trade agreements. The list of countries encompasses the United States and Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, Israel, Japan, and the EU. Mexico is a MIST nation – another acronym for emerging markets besides BRICS.
- They rank #16 on Bloomberg’s list of Top 20 Emerging Markets. In 2011, U.S. goods and services trade with Mexico equaled about $500 billion!
- They are our 3rd largest trading partner and the 2nd largest goods export market. Top industries include machinery, electrical machinery, mineral fuel and oil, vehicles, plastic, and also agricultural products.
- Mexico boasts the fourth fastest-growing social media population in the world, according to eMarketer.
- Their population is very engaged. Mexico’s middle class is growing – a 17 percent increase from 2000-2010.
CHALLENGES (AND SOLUTIONS) FOR GLOBAL MARKETING IN MEXICO CHALLENGE
#1 – ARE YOU SPEAKING THEIR LANGUAGE?
Like the United States, Mexico does not have an official language, but a de facto language – Spanish. You might have heard your Account Executive ask – “What kind of Spanish are you looking for?” The reason why we ask is because Spanish spoken in Spain is different than what is spoken in Latin America. Think of British versus American English; there are differences, but you can still understand what one another are saying or can read what is on paper. However, the differences come out in grammar (vosotros versus ustedes) or in colloquial slang. If you are going after a specific market, such as Mexico, let your LSP know so that we can find a linguist living in Mexico to do your Spanish translations.
CHALLENGE #2 – ESTABLISHING A BRAND EARLY AND EFFECTIVELY
Learn a lesson from Coca-Cola. They entered Mexico in 1898, so basically everyone living there has grown up with the soft drink. They achieved success by first providing free refrigerators to restaurants, and made sure their product reached even the most remote areas. So they have established a tradition in Mexico and tailor their ads to local culture and customs. This is important for any brand, no matter the size.
CHALLENGE #3 – DO YOU HAVE A PRODUCT THAT WILL SELL IN MEXICO?
This is an important question – just ask Taco Bell. Most of us in the United States consider Taco Bell fast food with a “Mexican” flair. “Mexican” is in quotation marks because the food served by Taco Bell is not close to authentic Mexican food. This is one of the reasons why Taco Bell has failed in Mexico – not once, but twice. Their first attempt in 1992 was very short lived. In 2007, they tried again, branding their food as Americanized and serving French fries. This attempt failed, as the idea of Taco Bell did not resonate with people in Mexico. They did not like the non-authentic food. Before entering a market, try to do some research to see how your product will be received. Roll it out slowly. Consult in-country experts to see what they think.
CHALLENGE #4 – LACK OF INTERNET CONNECTIVITY
Mexico has the second-largest economy in Latin American (behind Brazil) which makes it hard to believe that they only have a 36 percent connectivity rate, which is near the bottom when ranked with other Latin American countries! eMarketer data also puts Mexico behind worldwide trends in total percentage of eCommerce sales related to overall business sales. One positive, though, is that the forecast looks good, according to Forrester research. Most eCommerce customers come from the middle class, and Mexico has one of the fastest growing middle classes in the world!
Get on board early and make sure your Spanish language website is up and running. After all, people are more likely to buy products or services if they are presented to them in ways in which they understand!