Vendor Spotlight--How to Make a Successful Match in Europe (841
Global direct marketing is complex. You need to understand numerous variables, including currency, language, legislation, lists and postal and addressing requirements. U.S. direct marketers can share the risks and rewards of global direct marketing by partnering with a local company in the target market.
When marketing within Europe, a local partner brings its experience in the local market to the relationship, acting as an ad hoc consultant. Europe is not one country. Even though the European Union offers free trade, free movement and a commonly accepted currency, there are many internal differences.
A partner can provide local market knowledge, such as which offers and creative work best, as well as how to price and collect payment. It also can help you navigate local tariffs, taxes and import rules on product regulations. For example, a U.S. cataloger advertising a gun cupboard in its catalog learned that the United Kingdom has different restrictions on firearms and firearm accessories than the United States.
So what is the main barrier between U.S. and European integration? Perhaps it can be best summed up with this example: When Europeans say football they actually mean soccer, but when Americans say football they mean NFL.
Remember, there are more than 15 languages spoken in Europe, and it is not always possible to transcend borders, markets and cultures with something that works well in another country. A local partner can tell you what works and what doesn't.
Determine Your CriteriA
Choosing a business partner in Europe is very different from selecting a partner in the United States, and there are a number of considerations to be analyzed before making a choice.
When selecting a potential business partner you need to decide on what criteria it needs to have in order to meet your company's requirements. This may consist of criteria such as minimum turnover or the availability of specific services, such as multilingual call center representatives, if yours will be a Pan-European operation.