Remember the early ‘90? The Internet was just catching the big wave, AOL was the cyber Buddha and you were first serenaded by the screeching sound of a dial-up modem and the announcement of “you’ve got mail.” Chat rooms were exciting, yet taboo…shhhh. Ahhh. It seems like yesterday. Fast forward to the millennium. Imagine your first introduction to the Internet is through Twitter, Facebook and Myspace. No, you’re not a pre-teen in America sipping tea or lattes at Starbucks while discussing Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers. You are in Russia, and you know only one version of the Web and that is version 2.0. It’s great to be you. However, if you are a company trying to market your brand or product in Russia…It sucks to be you. Why?
According to Alexander Repiev
- Russia is comprised of a melting pot of cultures, so it’s difficult to target an audience.
- There is no unified marketing concept.
- There is a lack of reliable national statistics on marketing trends.
- Official data is widely inaccurate.
Before you go Russian off to market your product or service, here are a few tips.
Sales Paper and Coupons:
Do your Research: With over 33 million Internet users and close to that amount of registered users on Russia’s top two social networking sites, social media is the best place to start. Another place to start is mobile marketing. Though mobile marketing is in its infancy stage in Russia, it is on the rise and has attracted its own target audience. After you complete your marketing homework 101: researched the various cultures, infrastructure, strategy and completed a forecast for possible political and economic changes, its time to make your list. You’ve searched the sales papers, so now let’s do some shopping!
- Class reunions or school related events: Surprisingly the top social networking site in Russia is Odnoklassniki, a site for classmates. Organize class reunions or similar events and try to implement and promote your product into the event, either through sponsorship, discounts or by merging the event messaging with your brand or service.
- Create product or service buzz on VKontakte, which is the number two social media tool in Russia. This site is like Facebook.
- Mobile marketing: Possible promotions include instant-win (package code registration), SMS–lotteries and SMS-contests geared toward your product or service.
Recipe for Success:
Remember…Digitality is not Totality: It’s not just about the product!
Clay Shirkey points out that there is no recipe for success when it comes to social media, but recommends three broad rules… “a successful fusion of a plausible promise (the why), an effective tool (the how) and an acceptable bargain (the rules) with the users.”