By Peter Klein | Senior Vice President, Media
From the U.S. side of the performance marketing industry, it is becoming increasingly apparent that many brands and direct-response advertisers are expanding globally. Even as a starting point, more advertisers are placing increasing marketing spend in English-speaking countries outside of the US, such as Canada, the UK, Ireland and Australia. The days of performance marketing being almost predominantly a U.S.-based industry are over. Now, the trend is toward multichannel and multinational performance campaigns, particularly within social media and mobile.
Of course, working outside of a brand’s home country is ripe with its share of challenges and obstacles. Besides a possible language barrier there is the sticky issue of differing advertising and consumer marketing regulations. These can quickly trip brands up as they seek to expand their performance and affiliate marketing efforts. Therefore, it’s imperative that any advertiser wishing to expand its performance marketing campaign to an international market partner with a reputable performance marketing company that has experience managing global campaigns.
Advertisers place their trust in a performance marketing partner for many reasons, the most important of which are trust and proven ROI. That partner must be able to help scale your campaign internationally via direct presence, affiliates or forging and managing new partnerships to help deliver.
Even before MediaWhiz was acquired in January 2013 by Matomy Media Group, a global performance marketing company, my colleagues and I had worked with numerous brand advertisers on launching and managing their international lead-generation campaigns. Below are some of the lessons we have learned from the more than 10 years’ experience we have in international performance marketing.
Trust … but Verify
In order to succeed in performance marketing within international marketers, it’s imperative that you work with a trusted expert in the industry. They should have a strong affiliate network with deep reach across multiple verticals in the countries and regions you seek to penetrate. Not all companies operate in multiple countries, so you may also have to ask for their help in recommendations.
Global Offices and Operations
Some companies have physical offices and employees in other countries, such as Matomy and its North American hub, MediaWhiz, which, combined, have offices in Israel, the US, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Germany and Mexico. Having such a broad global presence allows a performance marketing company to have deep expertise and relationships within specific countries, while also providing the necessary scale that most international affiliate campaigns require. Additionally, there is the advantage of knowing a region’s customs, language, regulations and culture, all of which help translate ad copy into a powerful and accurate marketing tool. It’s not as easy as Google Translate!
Working with a performance network that has global offices and operations in multiple countries is the best option, as it ensures that almost anywhere your campaign runs, there is a member of your marketing partner’s team there to help guide it to success.
Global Affiliates, No Global Offices
Affiliate networks typically operate in only one country. However, since they typically have many advertisers that accept traffic from other countries, they have strong working relationships with numerous affiliates in several countries. While this shifts the onus of developing country-specific ad copy and marketing tactics to the affiliate, working with a trusted network partner helps ensure proper techniques and brand compliance are utilized. This is still a strong option and is the arrangement of many advertisers’ affiliate marketing programs.
No Global Offices or Global Operations
There are also many affiliate networks that operate solely within a single country and do not have any international presence. This doesn’t have to be a barrier to success for expansion of an advertiser’s program, as you can still keep your trusted network partner.
If wish to retain all aspects of your brand’s affiliate program with one partner, then that partner must help bring in relationships with other international performance networks or go find the affiliates. Leveraging your affiliate network to help add such relationships and expand your brand’s reach is the most time-consuming option, but the ability of the partner to manage these relationships and be the sole point of contact more than makes up for the initial time investment.
In summary, the key factor for international expansion of a performance marketing campaign is to acquire the proper expertise by working with a trusted performance partner. Your performance marketing network should ensure that any international third party that works with your campaign protect your brand’s reputation and value as much as it does. It’s for this reason that we strongly recommend working with a performance network that has both global offices and owns or has its own access to global traffic. Doing so will ensure your brand is kept within the trusting hands of your performance network and your campaign is not siphoned off to some third-party provider with whom you have little to no contact or trust.