Challenges of consistency

Staying on-brand is important for companies. Delivering a tailored experienced to visitors by market is also important.

Finding a balance between the two is a common challenge for internationalised companies, not only to ensure the brand is clearly recognised wherever you go, but also due to the cost implications from maintaining multiple sites.

Ultimately, most optimisation solutions afford the flexibility of being able to deliver multiple versions of a page based on rules. Companies should take advantage of this.

If visitors in one country respond well to a specific layout, messaging, or style, there is a compelling, data-driven business argument to present them with something slightly different.  Instead of asking yourself if a particular change is ‘on-brand’ enough, enable your business by asking yourself what your visitors like.

Final thought

When I referred to the number of times I had been mistaken for American, I did not touch on the fact that, well, not everyone gets it wrong.

There are three scenarios:

“So where in America are you from?”
We’ve covered this one. Sorry. Not from there.

“Well that’s an interesting accent…are you…by chance…Canadian?”
This is the one where they don’t really know, but they do know that Canadians don’t tend to be thrilled when thought of as American, so they dive straight in with “Canadian” and hope for the best. 

“Um. So. Where are you from?”
This is the safest play you can make. To be honest, I don’t know why more don’t opt for it.

Well, actually I do know why more people don’t opt for the last choice. It’s because we all have different behavioural tendencies regardless of geographical location. We react differently. We thrive on different things. We behave differently.

So, while testing, segmentation and targeting at the level of language and culture is a great start to drive value for online businesses, it’s just that, a start. 

I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on how (and what) to optimise when you’re operating in a global marketplace. Perhaps next time we can go a bit deeper into personalisation.