Magazine article Marketing

Strategies to Get across Europe

Magazine article Marketing

Strategies to Get across Europe

Article excerpt

Effective pan-European advertising relies on effective communication between client and agency, says Kate Robertson. She argues against simple answers and believes an intricate analysis of needs produces the best results

Everybody's doing 'it' -- doing Europe that is. With the inventiveness and imagination one would expect of them, advertising agencies have put forward a wide range of approaches each claiming its advantage over others.

Some multinational consumer goods companies addressed the pan-European issue some six or seven years ago. But even with this extra experience they are applying a range of different solutions. Obviously there are opportunities to maximise economies of scale and there are advantages in having a single identity across Europe. But on the downside, and there is one, there is an enormous potential for losing control of your marketing effort. If the old saying about 50% of advertising investment not working has any truth, when in Europe, that can go up -- and up.

It's a fair question to ask any multinational advertiser -- do you feel totally confident that every pound invested by you in every one of the European markets is wisely invested?

If I were a client I'd want to be able to say "Yes" to that -- wouldn't we all? Realistically, one has to strive to maximise one's control. This is what I would do.

* I would be wary of ad people baring gifts of apparent simplicity. They are sure to be guilty of oversimplification. There are a lot of so-called experts around who say (and maybe even believe) that pan-European advertising is simple, is straightforward. It isn't. Its creation and its distribution, done best, require a fine balance between consultation and action.

One needs to hear the views of marketers and the consumers in every market in which one operates, but it takes great skill and experience to judge which comments should affect a decision. Not all local comment that stands in the way of a pan-European roll-out is "not invented here" syndrome. If, as a client, I didn't have my own team in a particular market I'd definitely want my agency to be there.

* It takes guts and care to develop and to roll-out advertising with the support and commitment of client and agency teams in every market. …

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