Edmund Optics Speaks the Customer's Language
Marisa Anne Edmund, Target Marketing magazine's 2012 Direct Marketer of the Year, likes to think big. And in terms of the global picture, that means Edmund Optics (EO) needs to speak the languages people use around the world, to understand the language computers use and to recognize what its own people are saying when they need outside help.
In the case of the written word, Edmund ensures the catalogs are translated for the more than 2.6 million recipients in North America, Europe and Asia. That’s why 11 versions of the catalog are printed in nine languages. The other two versions account for currency differences, such as the pound and the Euro for the U.K.
The company’s global sites, as well, need to work for different customers. There are five English versions and five translated versions.
Making sure customers get exactly what they need when they need it goes beyond translation. Edmund received a recent reminder of that via returned mail.
“Last year, we got a catalog back from 2001,” she says. “It had gone to Australia and, apparently, after Australia to just about every other country. But that was the initial address we had on there.”
The beaten, battered EO catalog returned in 2011 sported nine stamps and looked like a ragged passport.
“The lesson learned is that we needed a marketing hub in Singapore to more effectively mail to Australia,” Edmund says. “The good news is that we had done that eight years prior.”
But Edmund understates her involvement in that project. She made the move to build the marketing hub in Singapore and guarantee that no more homeless EO catalogs would wander the earth. A couple years ago, the hub got a director and fully staffed creative and translation teams. Now, EO can work with the staff in Singapore to regionalize campaigns for China, Japan and other Pacific Rim countries.
So the company that had been more domestic in the ’90s, before Edmund joined the business, has added regional offices in China, France, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and the U.K., as well as distributors in Egypt, Latin America and Poland.
That said, Edmund knows enough to realize when she doesn’t have the appropriate skills to completely solve a problem.
For instance, she hired search engine marketing firm Adworthy in March 2012 to improve EO’s organic and paid rankings. By July, EO was getting results—the company moved to the top three organic rankings for its optic keywords and from 3.9 (the first or second result on the right side of the page) to No. 1 in the paid rankings for the keywords “optics,” “imaging lenses” and “optical positioning equipment.” Plus, she targeted the ads to run only in the U.S. from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.—the time when engineers would be searching for optics. Now EO is spending 40 percent less on search.
Plans are under way to target other nations with keywords relevant to them during their appropriate time periods.
“One of the best tips is to know where you’re weak,” Edmund advises, “recognize that [and] leverage a partner who can help compensate.”