09 January 2012 17:31pm
Hi lovely expert people,
We are a small to medium footwear retailer, a few stores in the UK, but predominantly growing online. We currently serve four markets with distinct web stores in their local languages (UK, Germany, Netherlands, France) and we are looking to do the same with web stores for US and Australia soon.
The problem is this… We are reaching a point in certain markets where our arms length approach is clearly not working and we are not achieving the growth we want. We feel that it is because we are not “on the ground” in markets and don’t have the cultural knowledge, the market knowledge, just the day to day sense-checking, that you can only get with someone who is physically there, speaks the language as a native, and gets online marketing at the same time.
We operate the usual marketing activities; SEO, paid search, display, social, across our markets, but we do so with no local expertise. Our language/translation requirements are managed by in-house Customer Service Agents, and our expertise in each of these areas of marketing also comes from in-house, with a well qualified E-commerce team. We are looking into Content Marketing seriously, but are aware we need a distinct plan per market. Currently we don’t know how to proceed with this.
We have tried in the past to outsource activities such as SEO and paid search to agencies in each local territory, but it doesn’t work. They are geographically too far away, and have the “technical” skills to run these programs but don’t understand well enough what we are trying to achieve, and never will, because they are agencies. Also, the costs of applying this model to lots of new markets is prohibitive.
Therefore we want to continue to manage our campaigns in-house, but we need some local expertise in the each of our markets. But when we try to describe / write down what this individual/agency would look like, its gets tough. Agency costs are prohibitive and we consistently have bad experiences with them utterly losing interest once you become a cash cow to them, and finding a local individual in each market seems akin to finding a pinhead in the Atlantic Ocean.
My question would be, have any of you seen a type of agency / freelancer / whatever that would be able to source this? Have any of you got similar experiences and how have you gone about solving them?
This is just a reach-out really to explain our problem, say that we are open minded, and just to look for any thoughts / experiences / advice / words of wisdom anyone has.
Thanks in advance!
Technical Project Manager (MBA, MBCS, CITP, CEng) at Naxtech.com
11 January 2012 09:41am
There are 2-3 approaches which I have personally come across. The first one is using agencies who also understand your business and go beyond the "technical" stuff. The second one is hiring people from those regions and using them in-house to develop and execute your strategy. And the third one is working with franchisees or partners in each region who will work locally to promote your products and services.
I hope the above help but if you'd like to discuss further feel free to contact me.
CEO at Econsultancy
12 January 2012 17:42pm
Gareth - I empathise with your situation. I've heard similar from others. Lack of decent, and identifiable, freelance talent is the really hard problem. Even if they do exist, and they're good, they're probably pretty expensive at the moment.
I'll ask a few people who know more than me to see if they can comment.
President at The Noise Farm Inc
11 July 2012 23:18pm
Hey Im from Blighty living in the US, do you still need help?
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