Just as you create separate messages for a variety of users withdifferent demographics, it’s important to consider the culturaldifferences as well.
Social = Global
This month we’re examining the role that social media plays in customer relationship management. Embedded within social, is its global reach. Every Tweet or Facebook update has the potential to reach a global network of fans and followers. Even if you’re a local business, chances are there are a few international followers in your online community. How can you effectively leverage these contacts, knowing they may or may not be a part of your target audience?
We spoke to John Sawyer, Director, Global Corporate Communications at Aprimo to learn what mistakes US marketers make in European markets, as well as how Aprimo’s marketing tools work to ensure that you are communicating with the right customers at the right moment with the right offer.
Cross-Channel, Cross-Continent Customer Experience
Last month Aprimo announced the release of its Relationship Manager with a new update designed to integrate into Aprimo’s Digital Messaging Center so users can leverage analytical data and segmentation to make it easier to create a unified cross-channel customer experience with real-time targeted offers. Additionally, the integration provides access to its Social Adapter, so users can automatically integrate personal customer Facebook data with other cross-channel customer data.
To accommodate the growing number of Aprimo customers using Digital Messaging Center, which is available worldwide, Aprimo also recently expanded the capacity of the Aprimo Global Cloud, which now comprises multiple data centers in the U.S. and Europe. The update ensures rapidly scalable, global coverage for the more than 1,500 customers currently running various Aprimo solutions in the cloud.
Both of these strategic investments reflect the evolving marketing landscape and serve to bring digital and integrated marketing management capabilities to the global marketplace. But now that you’re set up to market across channels and continents, what's next?
Mistakes Marketers MakesSince he’s the Director of Global Corporate Communications, you can be sure that John Sawyer has seen his fare share of marketing mistakes. But it’s not just language barriers that can hinder messages from across the Atlantic; it’s not understanding the nuances of marketing to Europe that can do the most damage.
To help US marketers better prepare, Aprimo asked marketers from around Europe: what mistakes do American marketers make when launching their European campaigns?
They heard a number of interesting responses.
- From Germany: Americans should be more modest. Buzz words like "first" and "best" may turn buyers off.
- From the UK: American messaging can be too positive. UK marketers use humor differently. And -- Americans aren't sensitive to UK spellings.
- From Spain: Americans need to be cognizant of country specific email/marketing regulations.
Of course, this is just anecdotal, hardly scientific -- but there are some important lessons all marketers should apply whether they are specifically targeting European customers or are addressing an audience that isn't exclusively based in the US.
- Don't Assume Anything: Just because you're familiar with a certain word or concept, doesn't mean everyone is. Spell out acronyms, don't use slang, and avoid abbreviations.
- Don't Rely Only on US-based data: Use global sources to appeal to global users, otherwise many could be skeptical of your data.
- Take a Country By Country Approach: Just as it's true that not all Americans act the same way, not all Europeans are alike. Drill down your messages to appeal on a country, city or local level, if possible.
- Balance Your Technology: Get to know your customers to learn how they prefer to engage with you. Eblasts may come across as impersonal, so you may need to make your marketing more personable.
Any marketing message should be meaningful. It should add value to your customer, while providing you with worthwhile data. Incorporating social into your customer relationship management system can definitely help you become better connected to your constituents, but don't forget to factor in the global aspect so your messages don't backfire.