Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Austria without Mozart or Sacher

The first stop of a brief trip through Europe in Vienna showed me once more that marketing wisdoms, challenges, and relevant strategies continue to differ strongly from country to country. It seems that smaller countries like Austria with approximately 8 million inhabitants remain in a different stage of our marketing disciplines:

  • The media fragmentation is still not as wide spread as in larger countries like UK or the US. It is still possible to reach 50% of the national consumer audience with one newspaper or one TV channel
  • Austrian Marketers have not yet shifted as many marketing dollars to Online Marketing as countries like UK where brands spend more money on interactive solutions than on television. Currently only 3% of Austrian marketing spend is being invested Online.
  • Geographic marketing intelligence and clustering is not as relevant as in larger countries due to a much more homogenous and less diverse geographic composition.

Some of the Austrian marketers that I met mentioned that their country continues to lag by 3-5 years in comparison to the more marketing pioneers countries like the US or UK (excluding mobile marketing). But smaller countries like Austria remain hotbeds for very creative solutions that deserve strongly our attention.

US headquartered marketing services firms and US centric brands can’t forget that any marketing solution needs to incorporate country specifics, especially in a more diverse and difficult to assess global landscape where countries can be on different marketing maturity cycles. India might lag in a lot of areas but its consumers are more centered and dependent on mobile than the US consumer, Austria might be slow on the Media Fragmentation curve but it has some very innovative retail solutions and customer relationship programs that are world class.

The world might be flat but there are still a lot of different colors and shapes of flatness.


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