European marketing is an challenging task for the uninitiated. This blog is devoted to business to business (‘B2B’) marketing, so although we are not delving into the challenges of labelling a chocolate bar in fifteen languages, nonetheless, European B2B marketing has its own complexities.
Here are some top ten suggestions for getting European marketing right.
10 Tips for Improving Your European B2B Marketing
1. Start with the company name – conduct research in every country in which you wish to operate. Check how it sounds, what it could mean, and whether it can be pronounced.
2. Register your internet domain names in every country in which you either operate or wish to operate as soon as possible.
3. Take a lot of trouble with your website or websites. There should be a dedicated area for each country.
4. Employ search engine optimisation (SEO) specialists to optimise your website for each country. Start with individual keyword research by country – do not just automatically translate your English keywords. Notwithstanding that, take into account that the US and UK use very developed online marketing compared to some other European countries.
5. Translation is not the same as localisation. Have everything rewritten by an specialist translator so that it resonates in each country.
6. Keep a glossary of industry terms, job titles, and terminology for each country so that your communications feel as if they have been written by the same person. Decide on the gender of your company (for languages where this is a consideration.)
6. Empower your local teams but work closely with them too so that they understand the priorities of the business as a whole. For example, they might have a lucrative business line that they want to prioritise when it might be more important for the company as a whole to deliver a small order early to one of your biggest global customers.
7. Ensure that pricing is managed carefully across all your European facilities.
8. Work with a branding specialist to develop branding which is both consistent but flexible enough to reflect local differences.
9. Keep in close contact with your colleagues, sales agents and contacts across Europe. Learn how the business works in each territory and ask their opinion on key decisions. Be prepared for surprising marketing campaigns and social events to be suggested by local staff. Listen to the reasons why they want to do this activity before making a judgement.
10. Roll up your sleeves and get out there! Understand how the business works by meeting local customers.
Enjoy – have lots of fun – and make the company lots of money too!