In May, Lansons will be joining its international partner agencies from across the world for the annual PROI Worldwide Conference. This gathering of industry leaders is an opportunity to share best practice and learn from other countries as well as discuss trends and business issues with our partners. One of the huge benefits of having experts on the ground in each region is that they really understand the market they operate in. Today we bring you a perspective from Paula Andrea Restrepo Feo at Position Comunicaciones Estrategicas in Bogota, Colombia who considers the importance of local know how.
Clare Parsons, Chairman, Lansons
Building global reputation through local know how
Globalization is a term that has been used widely since mid 1980s and especially since 1990’s. The world has been brought together through the development of technology in areas such as transport and communications and, at the bottom line, the term has evolved from being a concept to reality: we have observed how more actions impact globally every single day. The easiest way to observe globalization is through trade and the necessity to develop new markets, though entering new markets is not easy. Countries and companies often check markets statistics and decide which ones suit them better, and that is why country-branding campaigns have been growing in recent years.
In our country, Colombia, we have made a great campaign to receive investment from foreign countries and develop ours as an attractive market. As José Pablo Arango, our country brand CEO says: “the positive answer to anything you may ask is Colombia”. In 2013, Colombia grew faster than Chile, or Brazil, México and Perú, to become Latin America´s third-largest economy. Colombia has, right now, the 23rd largest population in the World, is the second most populous Spanish-speaking country, the third most business-friendly market and the leading reforming country in Latin America according to Doing Business 2013 of the World Bank.
For the UK, Colombia is the fifth largest export market in South America and the UK is the second largest investor in Colombia. This is the reason why the British Government defined Colombia as one of its 20 priority markets around the World, aiming to double bilateral trade by 2015. Colombia is one of the two countries in Latin America chosen for this group.
For companies that are thinking of starting operations in another country, Colombia is now a great target, however, initiating business in a different culture is not an easy task, which usually should begin with raising brand awareness and gaining the trust of the relevant audiences.
We have helped many international companies in their task of positioning a name globally, yet acting locally, by understanding how the local market and their public opinion perceives, thinks, and works.
Good and strategic communications can help a company with this task by designing and executing a strategic plan to deliver the right information to every stakeholder to do business at a local level. Addressing the stakeholders’ needs and building up the right image in their minds requires working with knowledge and experience.
More companies are seeking this kind of services, because this is how globalization works. For instance, Emirates Airlines in Dubai hired an Argentinian agency to hire a Colombian agency to spread the word about the recruitment activities for Colombian Airbus pilots. In another example, Aon Risk, built awareness of their brand amongst top Colombian firms, through their Drill´s & Skills activity by inviting the children of CEOs and training them, through local football glories, on the values of the Manchester United team. Also, the UK´s Government sponsored the creation of UK Colombia Trade, a chamber providing business-to-business support to UKs SMEs in Colombia and requires a strategic plan to be implemented in both countries.
Obtaining global impact requires local intelligence, and that is what we have to offer.
Paula Andrea Restrepo Feo
Senior VP and Partner
Position Comunicaciones Estrategicas
Contact Clare Parsons for futher information about our international capabilities: ClareP@lansons.com