When marketers roll out international digital campaigns—in completely different languages and cultures—the questions soon begin to pile up.
How do you measure the effectiveness of your campaigns in different markets? How do you interpret results from a culture you don’t fully understand? And how do you make well-informed decisions about where to invest for the best return?
To answer questions like these, there are three things you need to do.
Report on the right data—and be consistent
First, define the strategic goals for your campaigns and identify the right metrics to measure success or failure. It might sound simple, but you’d be amazed how many marketing organizations are reporting against the wrong metrics (and making important decisions based on them).
For example, one of our clients operates in a highly-commoditized sector with little to no brand loyalty, so measuring brand impressions over time is a valuable KPI. It can reveal where digital marketing investments will deliver the strongest return.
It’s critical that you look at consistent metrics across international markets to always compare apples to apples (even though some of the apples might be pommes, manzanas or mele). Only then can you make an informed decision on which markets are working for you, and which aren’t.
For one of our clients in the travel and hospitality industry, we create customized reports broken down by market, and then pivot by language. A report showed us that 10% of revenue came from German speakers. We dove into that data to examine the volume of traffic and conversions (to evaluate the ROI), as well as where and when people are searching (so we could understand how to target them effectively).
We discovered that people were searching when they were already on their trip, rather than from home during the planning phase. This was an important takeaway that ended up informing the campaign strategy.
But the data in the reports is only the beginning—the insights that are sometimes hidden in the data tell the full story.
Understand the stories the reports are telling
To understand the factors behind success and failure in international campaigns, you must be able to consider the cultural factors of each market when interpreting the reports.
That’s not easy to do for a centralized marketing team based in your home market. But it’s essential work if you’re going to use reports to form educated hypotheses and steer your marketing in the right direction.
You need a combination of visual information that can be quickly digested and understood, along with in-market insight to tell the story behind the data. At Oban, we interpret the data based on our knowledge of the market and create a narrative to guide our clients on how to adjust their marketing efforts for better returns. By pulling out key learnings to form the narrative hidden in the data, we can start to ask (and answer) the really interesting questions. It’s this combination—data plus insights—that starts off the most valuable conversations we have with clients.
Make decisions based on deeper revelations
When you combine quantitative data with qualitative insights, you can make more confident decisions about what to spend going forward.
To help identify new opportunities, it’s also worth considering qualitative reports on related topics—perhaps an in-depth look at an individual market, or a deep-dive report on a competitor. If you remain focused on ways to reach your strategic goals, this deeper awareness can prove invaluable.
In addition, align your international campaign data with other reports you use to manage your business, such as revenue, transactions, conversions or volumes. That way, you can have a single conversation around the same types of data, rather than trying to figure out where your numbers fit into the big picture.
Solving the attribution conundrum
For digital marketers, attribution models are becoming more important than ever as business leaders demand demonstrable returns on marketing investments. And the additional complexity of international campaigns makes attribution an even bigger challenge.
While all modern digital marketers are accountable for the way they decide to spend their budgets, the solution won’t ever be the same for any two organizations. But by establishing useful metrics, measuring valid, tangible results, and interpreting data using cultural expertise, you’ll be able to make confident, informed decisions about where to allocate budget to help your business grow.
Do you have challenges measuring the success of your global digital campaign? If so, you can find us here. We love talking about this stuff.
Tom Montague is a Senior Client Partner at Oban International, acting as a strategic and business advisor to his clients. Jules Sosso is a Senior Paid Media Strategist, directing paid media activity for a portfolio of high value accounts. Their focus is on helping clients to grow internationally through integrated digital marketing campaigns.
Oban International is Moravia's Global Digital Marketing partner. Read more about the partnership in this post.