Best Practices for Affiliate Marketing in EMEA

Do you know the international differences when advertising through affiliate marketing?

These five best practices can help you effectively advertise in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).

Know Your Customers

Knowing your customer base is important for every region you advertise in. Success will come by creating trust with your customer base, delivering the right content and media, and advertising products that are valuable to them. There is no point talking about the German Bundesliga in Italy, or Gaelic Football (GAA) outside of Ireland.

Overcome Language Barriers

One of the greatest challenges in advertising to customers in EMEA is the language barrier. Europe itself has the greatest linguistic and cultural diversity of the Western world. Although English is considered the international business language, certain cultures relate better to advertisements in their native language. Examples are: the French, Germans, Russians, Spanish and Italians.

If you only have English ads available, use British English terms when targeting EMEA customers rather than American phrases. For example: The word “vacation” is used in the US and “holiday” is used in British English. The same goes for the season “fall,” which is used in the US, while “autumn” is more commonly used in British English.

Follow Country-Specific Laws

Since the rules and regulations of online marketing are regularly reviewed and updated, it is important to know your online advertising laws. For example, on May 11, 2011, the European Union made changes to how companies worldwide are allowed to collect or use information from European website visitors. The legislation is called the European E-Privacy Directive. The same goes for the Middle East, where religious, cultural and political factors need to be considered before targeting this region.

Products and Services

Getting a product or service in front of the right consumers is always a challenge — especially when you are advertising on a global scale. It is difficult to promote a product or service that consumers are not familiar with. Some questions you should always ask yourself:

  • Is there a demand for this product or service in EMEA?
  • Who are the major competitors?
  • Does it make sense to advertise in this country?
  • Is this product legal?
  • Do we need to translate the name?

Both Clairol and the Irish alcoholic drink Irish Mist did not properly consider the German language when they launched their products there. Clairol’s hair-curling iron Mist Stick and the drink Irish Mist both flopped. Why? ‘Mist’ is the German word for “manure.” Fancy a glass of Irish manure?

Localization and Currencies

If you are focusing on one particular country, it is important to offer the right currency. For example, it does not make sense to advertise a price in Japanese yen if you are promoting a product to French consumers. You want the product or service to relate to your audience as best as possible and for them to make fewer decisions throughout the buying process. Before diving in to a specific market, take time to research which countries within EMEA you want to focus on and how you would treat the different language, cultural and business issues, rather than treating EMEA as one. Ask for guidance from your vendors and manufacturers on which countries convert best and if they have any particular advice for you.

Find out if you need any extra links or banners for a certain region. Vendors are usually open to sending additional content in order to help drive sales.

Once you are aware of the potential setbacks and challenges you face when promoting within the EMEA region, creating a plan of action based on these best practices can help you overcome many hurdles along the way.

Amy Carabini is an Affiliate Marketing Manager at cleverbridge.