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Global Calendar is a “Must Have Tool” for International Search Marketing
To be successful in International Search Marketing, you must understand the seasonality in your target markets. Without this knowledge, you are likely to use what works for your home market in foreign countries, which is destined to failure. Being aware of the global calendar, or the calendar for each target country is one of the important aspects in understanding the nuances of your target market.
The seasonal differences impact on the interests and the demand. If you are targeting countries in Southern hemisphere such as Australia and South Africa, you need to remember that it’s winter there, when you are pushing swimsuits in US. For customers in the Central America, the need for a heavy coat and a jacket may not come up very often. Even in the same country, like in US, the type of winter coat in Vermont and Arizona would be very different. I remember how I was unprepared for my first winter in Bend, Oregon after spending 10 years in Southern California.
Different Holidays and Celebrations
Each country has a different set of holidays and celebrations that create business opportunities. For example, the Valentine’s Day in Japan is quite different from the rest of the world. In most countries, where Valentine’s Day is celebrated, the businesses focus more onto the gift giving from men to women. But in Japan, only women purchase gifts for men for February 14th. It’s not for their husband or boyfriend, either. They purchase a small gift for bosses, co-workers, friends, etc. In return, men purchase gifts for women for March 14th, on the White Day.
Knowing these dates helps you plan ahead to prepare campaigns for each occasion, which are important for your business. The differences and the uniqueness of the holidays and celebrations also means that you would need additional keyword research for each country and create ad copies incorporating different offers and the nuances.
Having the right budget allocation can get trickier than you might expect. If your campaign budget has the same amount for each month or each quarter, it is difficult to accommodate those high demand months and seasonality. Rather than to divide the annual campaign budget by 12 or 4, allocate the appropriate budget for each month within your annual budget. Having the same amount allocated each month may give your agency steadily cash flow, but your customers don’t care. They buy when they need it.
It’s helpful if you create a global calendar showing important dates and seasons for each of your target market. You can use it to plan the seasonal campaigns.
You can easily obtain the national holiday lists on Internet. The celebrations, events, and travel seasons are trickier ones. If you are lucky enough to have offices or partners in the local market, ask them to help you create the list by providing the unique demand for each market.
* Updated my article originally published on ClickZ in 2015.