Large global brands often want to integrate their marketing strategy to develop a global ethos for a brand; one set of messages, one market perception, one company and many markets. That’s the aim anyway – and it makes logical sense. However, the difficulty lies in how different markets, and languages, act. It’s near impossible to set up any sort of marketing in one country for it to be 100% relevant in another. This is particularly true in the affiliate sector. The UK market is keen on cashback and voucher sites but this is not true for our EU neighbours. Germany is far more aligned with PPC campaigns and in France, email marketing is the biggest affiliate platform. So how can you develop an affiliate strategy that has a global potential?
This was a recent task from one of our advertisers, Lenovo, to develop a strategy that would allow different markets to implement an affiliate programme controlled by a central hub. Firstly, we looked at working with some key publishers who had the capacity to work across different markets; the team worked extensively to research the possibility and negotiate the best partnerships for Lenovo. Any partnerships were exclusive so we had a finite number of guaranteed partners for all markets. This allowed an element of consistency for the global programme; our primary partner was Netmedia planet who would be exclusive search partners for the programme. Having this constant allowed us to be more flexible with the other elements of the programme allowing different countries to tweak their set up according to the local demands of their market.
Secondly, we developed a concise toolkit, detailing the key elements of the campaign and centralised all communication. All markets report in the same way, measure and deliver on the same objectives. This means any update, change or communication can be rolled out quickly to a huge number of international publishers.
What we’ve learned is that the key to looking at setting a strategy in different markets is understanding and flexibility; you can’t simply roll out the same elements and localise the content, it’s not going to work. But you can develop some exclusive partners with a competitive rate because of the scale of the programme, allowing you to work on a toolkit for different countries to localise and consequently build a relevant programme. That way each market has the flexibility to evolve as well as delivering against a set of objectives and work together to present a united front for the brand.
It’s been a great success for Lenovo and we’re starting to look at a similar approach with other clients. If you’re keen to hear more the CJ account managers are all happy to talk further.