A few decades ago, the massive majority of countries had a pretty limited amount of non-nationals resident. Out of those, many were long-term residents, so for the purposes of marketing were ‘assimilated’ and homogenous with the rest of the population. With the exception of very specific products, such as long-distance calling or flights, foreign residents were treated the same by marketeers; sliced and diced by age, gender, income, interests and other very standard demographics. This is no longer a wise strategy. Why?

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Working out the effectiveness of marketing activity is a tough challenge. The increase in the number of devices a user might have over the last few years has made this even harder.

In the past, a user may have used a PC at work and at home. In many cases, people might do their research or encounter potential providers at work and then complete an enquiry or purchase at home. Today, many individuals at least have a smartphone, if not also a tablet or another device they use. Tracking the multiple touch-points of a campaign and arriving at any conclusions about attribution is a hard problem.

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If there is a phone number, leads from online campaigns become hard to measure.

Following on from the problems highlighted here: The dirty secret of online marketing – let’s take a look at some of the challenges around properly measuring lead sources when the customer calls you.

Unless your website doesn’t have a phone number on it, some of the visitors to the site will call. To make this very clear, if you are not able to measure inbound calls and attribute them into your reporting on campaign effectiveness you will have flawed data. Bad data almost always leads to bad decision-making.

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When banners started appearing on the Internet, it seemed to be a marketeer’s wet-dream. We can finally measure! The click became king, the magic gauge with which an advertising message could be judged. So much better than TV, a poster or a double-spread in a magazine…

Fast-forward a decade or so and the dream now looks more like a measurement nightmare. Most advertisers have more-or-less managed to properly measure clicks. However, what happens post-click is still a mystery to most people. This is because it turns out that online advertising only solved a small part of the puzzle of “how much do I get back if I spend $X here?” As a higher percentage of spend migrates online, this becomes ever more important to get right.

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Tim Eldridge is Managing Director of Eldridge Ranger Advertising. He has over 25 years of experience helping companies sell to expatriates.

Tim Eldridge has been helping companies sell to expatriates for more than 25 years. Since he started, the industry has gone through significant changes – and not all of them are positive.

One of the major dangers for Tim is the loss of industry experience due to centralization. “The current trend to centralise media buying through a single agency is often driven by procurement to gain short term cost benefits”, says Tim. “In many cases, this means specialist business units are forced to end long-term relationships with market specialists to conform to group policies.”

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