I’ve been talking to a company with a SAAS product offering recently who are looking to improve their online profile and lead generation in Europe. The pay-per-click campaign they are running from their stateside marketing team currently isn’t working.
It’s not the first time I’ve come across this issue and by centralising web marketing efforts, international companies could be missing out on overseas expansion and market-share growth.
Corporate thinking focuses on cost-savings as well as sales, so, as the Internet is global, it makes sense to centralise marketing operations right? Wrong.
If quality marketing is all about return-on-investment, then investment should be made in quality assets. A localised online marketing specialist, for instance. They understand the local market, the colloquialisms, the mindset of the audience.
Despite speaking the same base language, the UK and America are quite different playgrounds. Firstly, there are nuances with a language. The same can also be said within a language.
For example, the way you pitch to specific audiences will determine your use of words – both for search and for on page customer engagement. A teenage market is different from a corporate technical market. In the same way, a corporate technical market in the UK is different from that of the US.
Another thing I have noticed is that the culture is very different. Americans are a lot less suspicious than their UK counterparts when it comes to marketing and sales. They are a lot less likely to engage with marketing campaigns through cynicism - this challenge needs to be overcome by offering the audience what they need to engage with the brand.
The UK is Not Europe
Another mistake often made by American companies is to lump Europe together. It makes sense I guess from an operations point of view, but if the difference in culture between America and the UK is covered by the Atlantic, the cultural differences between European countries out of this world.
This company is by no means alone. I’ve worked with another software company that manages the website from America with no room for UK “interference”. As a result, their profile in the US is mediocre, in the UK, it’s non-existent.
By allowing the UK their own website, or areas of the main site that they can update and “localise” in terms of content and sales messages, they may just make a difference.
I don’t have a black and white solution the issue of localised web marketing, I don’t spend a large amount of time in the world of corporate marketing. But, cost savings don’t always deliver top-line results. If companies are looking to expand and take advantage of local markets, they need to be more willing to market locally.