Marketing Across The Continent: How Does It Differ?

July 25, 2014

OK, so a tour of the Med is not on the cards this summer. But I came across a fascinating article on the B2B Marketing website this week that gave me a virtual road trip across Europe. The blog revealed just how marketing differs in various countries across the continent.

Marketing budgets are predicted to increase by 6% this year. And it seems that it's not just the World Cup that Germany has won - they are also at the forefront of the market, representing 30% of Eurozone output. Germans are fairly conservative when it comes to technology; outdoor advertising remains a key staple here. Other countries gaining strength are Spain, Italy and France. These countries are much more focused on building relationships with brands; face-to-face is extremely important. In Italy and Spain, internet users are much more likely to interact with brands on social channels. Mobile marketing is also key - Spain witnessed a 70% increase in smartphone users last year alone.

France is one of the main industrialised nations, with Paris being home to the highest number of millionaires in Europe. A huge number of large corporates are also based in Switzerland due to its excellent quality of life; reaching out to them will mean you're reaching out to some of the most senior people.

Yet if you really want to tap into any of these markets, you need to focus on the target audience within each individual country. The economic, cultural and social differences are vast; just because it works in France, for example, doesn't mean it'll work in its neighbouring Belgium.

So what does this mean for marketers? Essentially, it boils down to localisation. This isn't just a case of expertly translating your brand messages; it means building engagement by telling relevant and local stories. According to the B2B Marketing article, speaking to a UK-based audience throughout the rest of Europe will get you nowhere. You need to understand each nation before you can tailor your content to suit its people. However, some believe that it's about finding the right audience for your advertisement, and making sure you deliver at the correct time and in the right context.

Here at Proctor + Stevenson, we're aware that there's no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to your marketing strategy. We work really hard to understand your target audience - whichever country they're in. That way, we come up with a plan that's precise, practical... and measurable.

Jessica Ellis - Business Development Director