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.