Carlota Pico recently sat down with Elena Romera, independent international marketing and communications professional and former international marketing manager for the EMENA region at Papa John’s. Elena gave bold insights into brand internationalization, data-driven marketing and how the food industry has adapted to COVID-19. She also shared cost-effective tips for entering new markets.

You can watch the full conversation in the video above or on YouTube, listen to the podcast on Apple and Spotify, and read our recap below.

Key takeaways

  • Internationalizing your brand—even if it starts with just e-commerce in different countries—requires in-depth, data-driven market research. Consumer behavior can vary greatly from country to country, and it’s vital that your brand’s presence reflects those differences.  
  • Market research allows you to understand what your competitors are doing so that you can gauge whether you can do something similar or adapt it to fit your brand. 
  • Taking your brand global can be expensive. Some tips to minimize costs include building strong relationships with local suppliers and focusing marketing efforts on digital channels, rather than more expensive traditional channels. 
  • COVID-19 has completely changed the way we consume food. Small restaurants and big chains alike have had to provide food delivery and online ordering services. The biggest beneficiaries of this new trend are delivery service apps like Deliveroo, JustEat and UberEats.
  • What differentiates good content from great content is the amount of data available to you. Data informs decision-making and helps you understand your audience. 

There is no such thing as a global product, especially in the food industry. It’s very difficult to create a product that’s successful everywhere in the world.

Rapid-fire recs

Your source of inspiration?

I follow several influencers in the content marketing world. I particularly like John W. Hayes—he publishes on Medium about email marketing, blogging and quantum marketing, and he’s very insightful. I also had the pleasure of meeting him at a workshop.

A valuable resource, event or group?

An event I highly recommend—especially if you’re interested in ecommerce or design—is the Smashing Conference, held by Smashing Magazine. It really helps me to keep abreast of all the latest web design trends. 

Your favorite book at the moment?

My favorite book isn’t work related because the sources I read for work are available online. So at the moment, my favorite book is “Invisible Women” by Caroline Criado Perez. It exposes data biases in a world designed for men. For me, it’s a piece of feminist literature that’s equally infuriating and interesting.

Connect with Elena and Carlota on LinkedIn, and find out more about Elena on her website.

This post was edited by Rishabh Agrawal, a freelance content creator based in Madrid.

For more insights into international marketing, check out:

Business-to-human marketing – Erika Bianco, international marketing and comms manager

Empowering women through marketing – Irena Bozhilova, international brand manager

Sound marketing strategies – Peter Holmberg, global marketing communications manager

To see the full transcript, click on page number 2 below.