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今回は海外向けマーケティング担当の Josel Solas より、デジタルマーケティングの分野を中心に、日本と海外の違いや海外進出に関する情報をお届けします。

Bridging the Digital Gap Between Japan and the World

The digital landscape continues to exponentially grow—impacting the digital marketing efforts of businesses across the world. You can clearly see this growth by looking at the SEO industry in the United States; alone, the U.S. is forecasted to reach 80 billion dollars in SEO spend by 2020.
As the digital world grows, so do businesses, and in turn, their hunger to expand on a global scale.
For ambitious Japanese companies, the western English speaking audience is the most lucrative market. There’s endless growth opportunities in the range of countries that can be targeted, not to mention, the presence of the United States alone is enough to make it an attractive market.
Reversing the roles, Japan too, represents a profitable business expansion for western countries. Japan ranks third in the GDP ladder, so the buying power is certainly there. Consumer behaviour itself has even evolved in Japan, where, on top of purchasing trends growing, price has become less and less of a factor in the buying decision. What company wouldn’t be enticed by a market that loves to buy and doesn’t mind paying the price!
With both parties wanting to leave their footprint on each other—each need to consider seriously how they devise their digital strategy if they want to make the biggest impact.
While a comprehensive digital strategy is key to a successful campaign, tailoring that strategy to be completely aligned with the target market is crucial to maximize potential. Therein lies the downfall of many companies that try to invest in foreign markets without properly planning their strategy.
Many digital best practices stay true regardless of the target country, but the dynamics of digital platforms, and the culture receiving your message, can differ enough to put a dint on campaigns maximum success potential.

Foreign Companies entering the Japanese market

When entering Japan, the first, and most obvious gap, is the language barrier. You need to be able to convey your message with a perfect command of your market’s language.
But it’s not just the language barrier you need to consider in Japan—you need to be able understand the different dynamics of their digital industry.
Take for example the search market industry in Japan. While Google is still the search engine champion, Yahoo follows closely—holding 40% of the search market share. Compare that to the United states—Yahoo only represents 10% of the search industry.
A localization strategy in Japan isn’t just being able to write in Japanese; understanding the differences between digital trends and being able to utilize local tactics are critical for success.

Japanese companies entering the western market

Enter the western market, a different, and much larger beast of its own. Competition is stiff, ideas are fresh off the dome, and there’s a plethora of professionals with high digital marketing IQ’s.
Where Japanese companies fail in global expansion, is that many expect by translating their Japanese copy to native English is an all winning solution. While it’s not necessarily a catastrophic strategy—it’s certainly not the best.
In a market where the competition is stiff and there’s an abundance of market leading strategies available—to simply create a campaign based on text translations just won’t cut it.
Utilizing the plethora of knowledge from western digital gurus, puts you in the best position to compete at the highest level. And that’s more than necessary when you consider how competitive the market is in western countries.

Synergizing your western and Japanese marketing efforts

While there’s a difference in approaching these two markets. There’s still many replicable strategies, and even valuable insights that can be gained. Building this kind of synergy by having a team of marketers that understand both markets leads to a true global strategy.
Principle offers a holistic approach in creating the perfect digital marketing strategy for Japanese and western markets.
As a native Japanese digital agency, we know the market leading strategies to best impact the local market. With their deep knowledge of the Japanese market, our team of digital professionals, have been assisting foreign and local organizations to make the best online impact.
In addition to our ‘know how’ on Japan, we’ve built a hybrid team of digital professionals from around the world, to help Japanese companies expand globally. Our consultants come from countries including the United States, Australia, China and Italy. Having a hybrid team gives us the opportunity to learn the latest trends and gain valuable knowledge first—and then apply that to the success of our clients.


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