Well, to kick this off, we need to ask ourselves “What is important for a company to know when searching for a digital marketing partner located in a different country?”.
Let’s say you are a company situated in the UK, US, Germany etc. and you want to benefit from the expertise of a leading digital marketing agency in a cost efficient EU member state. Here we will present to you the case of a partnership, nearshoring model, with an agency from a different country – Bulgaria. You can find below:
- A checklist for the competences of the digital agency for working with a client abroad
- A detailed list with examples what to look for when selecting a partner digital agency
You may be asking yourself the following questions (as we have been asked on a multiple occasions):
- Can the digital agency execute the marketing services properly – strategy, content, advertising, etc.?
- Do they have experience in different markets?
- Do they know our audience properly or can they find it?
- Do they know the local behavior of our audience?
- Do they speak the language properly and express themselves in a correct manner?
- What would be the response time, taking into account the fact that the teams are in different time zones.
Can the digital agency execute the advertising services properly?
It is important to point out that we are talking about digital marketing. And here are some facts we know for sure:
- Agencies take advantage and use the functional benefits of platforms such as Facebook, Google, Linkedin, Twitter, etc to reach users all over the world. And it does not matter where you are. You can advertise to any location in the world if you know how 😉
- We can take advantage of tools that give us the ability to research and learn about user behavior on a specific market, on a specific location based on some predefined characteristics.
- We can analyze in real time what people are doing and how they react to our ads. So we can learn, optimize and grow our advertising effort accordingly.
Once we know that technically, there are no obstacles for this to happen, we can discuss more deeply the pointed questions above:
Do they have experience in different markets?
Xplora is an agency that has been on the market since 2015 and has grown to be one of the leading agencies in Bulgaria for integrated digital marketing services. Here you can see our current portfolio presentation to see in real time our credentials and team capabilities.
From 2020 till 2022 we have managed to reach 70+ people, covering more than 100 active clients on a monthly basis. 20% of these clients we operate on a global scale. Here are some examples of working as a partner agency for regional and global operations:
Schneider Electric Israel – we have worked with them since June 2018 and we are responsible for their performance advertising and social media presence. It is really one of the most interesting projects we’ve worked on, not only because of the company profile but also because of the language and country specifics of Israel. But with the right process and team (from Schneider Electric side) we managed to create a really pleasant marketing flow in which we can discuss topics such as – upcoming events, upcoming campaigns, results, translations of ads, strategic planning, etc.
Apart from Schneider Electric Israel, we also work with companies such as:
- Helecloud – huge AWS Premier Consulting Partner
- Tek Experts – tech company with global operations in multiple locations
- Embodee – cutting edge SaaS for uploading existing 3D products for design clothes
- Prestige 96 – one of the largest biscuits, wafers and mini cakes producers in CEE
- TESY – one of the largest heating solutions producers in Europe
We currently provide customized digital marketing services for these and 20 more international companies. And this gives us an opportunity to understand how marketing works in different industries and countries for a specific business. And we have some benchmarks and examples to showcase.
If you wish to learn more about our experience, you can talk with us here:
Do they know our audience properly or can they find it?
One of the most important tasks for a digital marketing agency is to properly understand the business model of the company, how it makes money, its processes, team specifics and of course – its target audience, their behavior and where to find them.
You can check the Clutch profile of a digital marketing agency – a directory and leaderboard for marketing and web agencies with verified reviews from clients. For one – you can see for Xplora, an integrated digital marketing agency, the detailed reviews – overall review, opportunity & challenge, solution, results & feedback. There is a 5/5 overall score from reviews by marketing and communication directors, based on the components Scheduling, Cost, Quality and NPS.
Before we start a digital marketing project, we must always combine two specific tasks in the onboarding process:
3.1 Do the right research: we always need to make use of the research agencies do and the real time information the platforms give us. Before we start any project, we do try to find as much information for the target audience and its behavior as possible. We deep dive into different statistics, surveys and case studies. This gives us the ability to make better hypotheses and decisions.
3.2. Have the right experience with the target audience and the business category itself: Apart from doing the research, we do believe we have good experience with many business categories and their target audience. This gives us the ability to be a reliable partner and make decisions that bring better marketing and business results.
Do they know the local behavior of our audience?
This is a tricky question. And we do like to answer such questions. It is tricky because a marketing agency simply cannot know the native specifics of the target audience better than the client itself. That is why we always want to have good relationships with our clients and their marketing and sales teams. These teams know the native behavior of the audience and we can take advantage of this information and validate it with our digital marketing services.
And there are cases in which the client does not have a team at a specific market. In those cases we do work with their representatives (whether a sales person or a distributor) that can support us with such information.
What is important to have in mind here is that the client must be also involved in the process and support the agency, because they bring very high value information that can support the technical implementation of the digital marketing services.
Do they speak the language properly and express themselves in a correct manner?
Our team is quite fluent in English (more than 70% speak English on a native level and the rest speak it at a more basic level) and in German (we have 6 people with native German background, learning in different places in Germany). This gives us the ability to communicate and execute our campaigns in almost every country and client that uses English as a communication language.
When it comes to different languages that are different from English or German, we usually have two opportunities:
- We write our copy in English and have support from the client on a native side with the specifics of the language, the country and the audience. This is by far the most effective manner in which we work. But this takes a little more time and well established communication between both sides. This is how we operate in 70-80% of the projects we work with.
- Translation agency – we have worked since 2016 with Intellect – a leading agency that supports us with translation in various languages. They support more than 30 languages, so we feel comfortable using their services when needed.
It is important to say that here sometimes we don’t find using an agency for translation the best case as the translations are quite straightforward and not all the time capture tha native expressions and slangs. That is why we prefer working directly with the client or a representative from the native market in order to be as close to our target audience as possible.
What would be the response time, taking into account the fact that the teams are in different time zones
We have clients from the US, UK, Puerto Rico, Israel, etc. They all operate in different time zones and have different working processes. That is why we have an onboarding process that manages to cover all topics related to brief, planning, executing, reporting and real-time reactions. During the onboarding process we discuss ways of work and collaborations. We discuss how we work, where we raise different questions and how we respond to different situations.
Every project has an account manager that supports the process and is responsible to predict how the project will unfold in the upcoming weeks and months. This gives us the ability to minimize the risk of occurring situations with high risk and real – time reaction. Clients can choose between response time of 4, 6 or 8 hours per request that gives us more flexibility and agility within the project.
You can think of this as an SLA which creates a framework for responsibilities between both parties. And the account manager must ensure that we have at least a two to 4 week prediction within the project.
If you have any questions you can always get in touch with us here or take a look at our global portfolio here.