As the world becomes increasingly connected, many brands are looking for ways to reach customers in new countries and regions.
Global expansion is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and a strategy that is successful in one established country, may not work in another. It is vital that you understand the nuances in each country and tailor your partnership marketing strategy accordingly.
Any successful global expansion requires time, budget, and in-market knowledge. If your organization plans to globally expand its partnership marketing program, then it's important to carefully consider which agency you choose.
Below are five key questions you should ask when choosing a partnership marketing agency to support your global expansion.
1. Where is the agency's staff located?
While many agencies claim to be global and have global footprint, the reality is often a more limited global scope. An agency that has limited regional or cultural knowledge and does not have staff who speak the local language are far less likely to drive a successful global expansion. It is important to ask:
- Does the agency have staff on the ground in the regions you want to expand to?
- Does the agency hire in-market experts who have partnership marketing experience in-region?
- Does the agency have language speakers for the markets you want to expand into?
Acceleration Partners is a truly global partnership marketing agency, with in-market experts located across the globe:
- We currently manage programs in 40 countries
- Our global staff of 200+ is fluent in a collective 20 languages
2. How experienced and knowledgeable is the global team?
Partnership marketing is complex and nuanced; a successful global partnership program needs an experienced team, from account management to publisher development and operations. Many agencies lack the high-level expertise and experience required to effectively grow a brand's partnership marketing program globally.
At Acceleration Partners, you can be confident in the expertise of the entire team, from client services to publisher development and marketing. In fact, the average Senior Account Director at Acceleration Partners brings 7-10 years' experience to your relationship.
3. Does the agency have deep partnership expertise?
The partnership marketing industry is built on relationships. To successfully grow your program in new markets, the agency must have a global team that has established relationships with local partners and relevant experience at tailoring partnership marketing programs to regional nuances.
Communication with partners and partner optimization needs to be tailored to market nuances and preferred communication tools. Take APAC as an example, this is an incredibly diverse region, and an experienced agency will tailor partner communication to local preferences. For example, in China we communicate with partners via WeChat and in Japan communication takes place via local messaging app, LINE. Local language also plays a key role, as affiliates tend to only respond to communication in their native language.
When choosing a partnership marketing agency, consider the following:
- Do they have examples of how they tailor partner communication globally?
- Do they have examples of relationships they have with local partners in the markets you want to expand to?
4. Does the agency have experience running multi-market affiliate programs?
"Think globally. Act locally."
The concept of taking a successful, established brand and building its presence in another territory seems straightforward. But it's not a paint-by-numbers affair. To successfully expand your global partnership marketing program, you need an agency with considerable experience managing multi-market, cross-border partnership programs.
Ask your agency for examples of how they have successfully tailored partnership marketing strategies to specific market nuances and market trends.
5. Does the agency understand local regulations?
When launching in any new market it is important to be aware of local digital marketing regulations, from the GDPR to Nexus. With so many regulations, it can be difficult to stay up to date on local marketing regulations. A truly global partnership marketing agency will have in-market partnership experts who stay current on marketing regulations and adapt clients' strategies accordingly.
There are lots of factors to take into consideration when looking to work with a partnership marketing agency globally. It's vital to review your options carefully and choose the right agency, as you'll want this team to be an extension of your own and having the right support will ensure you're set up for success.