As I start to tackle my presentation* for an upcoming conference in the USA (yes, I know it’s a tough life!) my mind has been focused on articulating the challenges of marketing a B2B brand internationally.
Recognising the sometimes subtle and sometimes drastic differences required to ensure your marketing message is relevant and appropriate for each territory within Europe for example, seems obvious, but this often gets missed for global brands who try and target prospects in this region.
To make my point, let’s talk Orange Juice.
A respected breakfast table guest throughout the world, you only need to see the differences in language for a humble carton of Tropicana orange juice to see what I mean.
As you can see from these two cartons on this page, they are both for Tropicana orange juice. One is for a carton from the US market, one from the UK market – ‘pulp’ and ‘bits’ are the same thing, but the two countries use a very different word to describe the same thing. Exactly the same product, but with a very different way of describing it.
I was first alerted to this distinct difference when a client from the US was over here with us in a breakfast meeting and after looking long and hard at the juice on the table before him he eventually turned to me and asked “What the hell are bits?”
Reassured they are nothing more than ‘pulp’ in his world, he was content to drink on and the meeting continued.
But not without registering to us all, that if the language on something as ubiquitous as a carton of orange juice can be so different for two countries that speak the same language, you can see the challenge in EU alone with over 30 different languages in a land mass roughly the size of the USA. This is why a lot of US-centred organisations often struggle with getting their marketing message right in Europe (or even in the wider EMEA region) as it is just so very diverse and one mesage, even one word, can have very different meaning.
This is why localised content is so vital – whether words in your email, on the side of your carton, the conversation for your telemarketer or the lines on a web page or humble Tweet, you must ensure that the ‘one size fits all’ approach is never the default.
Know you audience, work hard to customise your content and you will reap the rewards. Assume everybody is the same and you may be left with nothing more than bits of success (or is that pulp?).
* “Europe: A Data-Driven Multichannel Strategy”