When launching a digital marketing campaign to power an overseas expansion, it’s important to set out benchmarks for measuring success.
If you’re working in a new market and language, the unknowns can easily accumulate. The language is new, the culture is unfamiliar and there is often no roadmap to mark out what success looks like. Without signposts to mark out the path to success your company’s expansion may stall and grind to a halt.
With marketing effectiveness and return on investment becoming increasingly important, marketers need to determine the right data to track, and crucially be able to interpret the data correctly to find what’s behind the numbers.
In this article, we’ll outline how to identify the right metrics to track and establish the objectives worth targeting.
Identifying measurable metrics to define success
Before picking a bunch of metrics to measure success against, you will need to outline your objectives for the campaign. The chosen metrics should reveal the success or failure of your campaign, rather than be used to self-justify the continuation of your campaign. Therefore, the metrics that evaluate your campaign should be tied and interwoven into business objectives.
For example, a business that is trying to grow its sales in a new market might be interested in the percentage of new customer growth year on year and how the cost per lead develops (preferably reducing) over time, especially if lead conversion remains static or improves.
A vanity metric, which wouldn’t prove particularly useful could be campaign engagements (likes etc). This might not be a useful metric to measure because engagement doesn’t equal sales.
If your campaign is truly global and you’re operating the same campaign in multiple regions, be sure to use the same metrics across the board. Doing so will enable your evaluation of success to remain consistent. This will help you to understand which markets have the most growth potential. Those which aren’t up to the mark can be abandoned to channel a greater degree of budget and resources into successful markets.
What is the data really telling you?
To evaluate the success or relative failure accurately and dispassionately, your business will need to look at what’s behind the numbers. Do you understand the wider trends? Is there a story that you’re missing which could open up unexplored opportunities?
Cultural and social factors have an important role to play in the success of an international marketing campaign. Failure to account for cultural differences can lead to marketers scratching their heads when some markets show little appetite for their brand’s products or services.
If your campaign is less successful than you had hoped in a certain market, might there be mitigating factors? Was a linguistic error made? Or did you overlook a cultural factor or belief which has caused your campaign to underperform? Alternatively, perhaps social issues such as new legislation, civil unrest and economic downturn have contributed to numbers being lower than expected. Perhaps your targeting and segmentation need to change between markets?
Oftentimes there is a disconnect between central and local marketing teams, as the former is responsible for translation and localisation, yet the end result of a centralised campaign that is adapted is that it just doesn’t “feel” right. Translation is a highly expert skill, where linguistic command of language and cultural awareness are as crucial as each other. This is best carried out by a language specialist with the key context and knowledge to understand the subtleties of culture and your product, service, market, discipline or industry.
Data and qualitative factors should also be given equal weight. Take, for instance, the current cost of living crisis. This is evident in many economies around the world, not only the UK. Understanding the economic position of each country you’re advertising in will help you make the best decisions about proportioning your budgets intelligently and potentially avoiding those where consumer confidence is low or discretionary spending is reduced at present if you’re pushing a non-essential item.
The attribution challenge
As alluded to earlier, attribution, or to put it another way, understanding a campaign’s return on investment, is a key focus point for marketing professionals. Return on investment must be demonstrable or budgets can be cut. Unfortunately, international marketing campaigns, by their nature, have many more moving parts than domestic campaigns.
This can be overcome by a careful selection of relevant metrics, astute interpretation of data and the application of linguistic and cultural expertise – check out translation services to learn more about our approach. With these bases covered, budgets can be precisely allocated with conviction.
Maximising your chances of success
When marketing to international audiences, your chances of success are greatly maximised when choosing to work with language experts. Our translators have dedicated their lives and professional careers to creating effective communication. We build our service on their passion and love for the ability to carry your company’s meaning and intention across borders. If you would like to learn more about our services or discuss your requirements in detail with our excellent project managers, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.