Pan-European campaigns need to be local

April 8, 2011

Quick thought. I’ve just reviewed an audit on an issue in three European countries for a client. Can’t give the details, but here’s the gist:

  • One country is broadly pro and the other two are anti.
  • In the pro country, however, media and blogosphere, which are both very active, are not aligned: the blogosphere is pro because of reason X, media because of reason Y.
  • In the two anti countries, one country is virulently anti (media, blogosphere, academia, politicians, government bodies) even though it is only minimally affected by the issue. And the reason it’s anti is not even on the radar in the pro country.
  • The other anti country is less anti, but as with the pro country, media and the blogosphere are not aligned: the blogosphere is very anti while media is fairly balanced. And as opposed to the other countries, industry has a significant voice.

OK clearly without the details, this might not sound too enthralling, but the point I’m trying to make is this: pan-European campaigns exist and can be a success if planned and executed well, but only the overarching framework can be uniform. Everything from research and monitoring through to message and channel selection has to be done at a more local level. And local might not even mean national: micro-targeting of groups within countries needs to take place, and the groups may be determined by local geography or demography.

So in short, when thinking pan-European, think overarching goals, but then break down the campaign into multiple sub-campaigns. And feel free to set the campaign goals centrally and retain some control, but avoid local groundwork and ongoing intelligence at your peril.

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