If you want to show the right ads to the right peo­ple at the right time, you have to per­son­al­ize mar­ket­ing cam­paigns to your cus­tomers’ char­ac­ter­is­tics and inter­ests. Dig­i­tal mar­keters col­lect lots of data about con­sumers’ inter­ests, demo­graph­ics, and pur­chas­ing pat­terns and then use this data to per­son­al­ize cam­paigns for con­sumers. But even with all this data, dig­i­tal mar­keters often over­look one impor­tant piece of infor­ma­tion: local­ity.

Global Dif­fer­ences

The world is made up of many cul­tur­ally and region­ally dis­tinct locales. Mar­keters must adjust for global dif­fer­ences. A mar­ket­ing cam­paign that appeals to a Chi­nese con­sumer may not appeal to a French con­sumer. Clearly lan­guage is an issue, but there are regional dis­par­i­ties beyond that.

Dig­i­tal mar­keters clearly rec­og­nize that there are global dif­fer­ences between con­sumers. Mar­keters adjust for sig­nif­i­cant differences—the most sig­nif­i­cant of which being language—but may over­look more sub­tle dif­fer­ences. After lan­guage, mar­keters need to adjust for cul­tural dif­fer­ences. And then there are regional dif­fer­ences. Mar­keters often over­look regional data and opt to per­son­al­ize ads based on inter­ests rather than local­ize ads based on region.

The Over­sight

Dig­i­tal mar­keters like to per­son­al­ize ads and cam­paigns based on search his­tory and other fac­tors, but often fail to locally cus­tomize ads. Non-digital mar­keters do a bet­ter job of cater­ing to regional dif­fer­ences than dig­i­tal mar­keters. It may be because non-digital mar­keters have access to less per­sonal data so use the data they’ve got. It’s not unlikely that mag­a­zines will release dif­fer­ent cov­ers in dif­fer­ent regions. Bill­boards, print ads, and com­mer­cials are often locally focused. Many dig­i­tal mar­keters over­look the oppor­tu­ni­ties in regional data and cam­paign localization.

When prod­ucts are time and locale sen­si­tive, e.g. con­certs and events, dig­i­tal mar­keters do a bet­ter job at region­al­iz­ing their cam­paigns. But, there are still ben­e­fits to local­iza­tion for prod­ucts beyond those that are geo­graph­i­cally and tem­po­rally sensitive.

The Local Benefit

Mar­ket­ing teams need to have local con­tacts wher­ever they are mar­ket­ing. It’s not enough to merely trans­late con­tent because lan­guage is nuanced. Also, con­tent that is sim­ply trans­lated will often lose its SEO value. You need local con­tacts to help you adjust con­tent so that it suits your regional markets.

Mar­keters should take advan­tage of regional data. Some regions spend more than oth­ers on cer­tain prod­ucts. There are dif­fer­ences in geog­ra­phy, weather, and cul­ture that influ­ence how peo­ple respond to ads and how and when peo­ple pur­chase prod­ucts. Local con­tacts can help you adjust to these dif­fer­ences and thus opti­mize ads and campaigns.

Cost to You

Regional mes­sages are more effec­tive because they are per­son­al­ized on a large scale. The more you per­son­al­ize your cam­paigns, the more you’ll have to invest in them. You need to eval­u­ate whether it’s worth it to read­just your cam­paigns and cre­ate dif­fer­ent ver­sions for dif­fer­ent regions.

Region­al­iza­tion does not have to be a costly process; it will save you money in the long run. You wouldn’t sell snow boots in the Sahara—so why mar­ket prod­ucts to regions that aren’t buy­ing? You may be wast­ing mar­ket­ing money right now. Check your regional data and read­just your schemes. Com­bine per­son­al­ized and region­al­ized data. Most impor­tantly, don’t over­look data.