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Jun 25, 2001

Global Marketers Fascinated by Internet ... But Not Quite Ready to Advertise Online Yet

SUMMARY: In the past six weeks, more than 100,000 copies of Martin Lindstrom's new book, 'Clicks, Bricks and Brands' have been sold outside the US. And 97.2% of buyers are clicking through to his Web site as well. However, three online advertising experts tell us that despite the fact that marketers outside the US are deeply interested in the Internet, they aren't buying online ads yet.
In the past six weeks since it launched, 110,000 marketers in 32 countries outside North America have purchased the hard cover edition of Martin Lindstrom's latest book, "Clicks, Bricks and Brands." The book, which retails for about 25 British Pounds, includes page-by-page topical URL links to a special reader Web site, which will be updated on a regular basis. So far an astonishing 97.2% of buyers have registered as members on that site -- plus Lindstrom told us he's getting killer pass-along, "For every person buying the book, there are 2.5 persons trying to get access to the Web site using the same password."

To put this achievement in perspective, it's taken Nua Internet Surveys, arguably the largest globally read Internet marketing-related publisher, six years to reach the same readership outside North America.

Lindstrom achieved this feat by working with four public relations experts (one for each global region) to place literally hundreds of stories and interviews about him in a wide variety of high-circulation business press. He also worked with "psychology experts" to create different book cover art to appeal to different regions. Plus, it must be noted that he wasn't starting scratch. He already had an opt-in list of about 15,000 fans who had bought previous books and seen his syndicated marketing columns in their local press.

Book sales so far have broken down to:
#1 - Australia
#2 - UK
#3 - Scandinavian countries
#4 - Germany
#7 - Japan
#11 - Hong Kong
#30 - Israel
#62 - Saudi Arabia

However, just because executives outside North America are buying books about integrating their online and offline marketing, doesn't mean they are actually ready to do so. Doug Stevenson, CEO of the UK's Vibrant Media (and former head of ecommerce for AOL Europe) told us, "It's easier to sell online advertising to an American owned company. They get it faster." Douglas Wilson, who's been a leading Internet marketer in New Zealand since 1995, says, "America is the home of marketing. We're generally 12-18 months behind the US and the dot-bombs have slowed this further." Currently Wilson's biggest emarketing clients, including a major pharmaceutical trying to reach New Zealand's doctors, are mainly American-owned companies.

Sam Michel, Publisher, who operates several of Europe's most popular email discussion groups for Internet marketers and IT professionals, agrees that interest is high but online ad spending is low. "Our average member messages per day have risen," He says, "but the only people advertising on European lists are American-owned companies. They understand it better."

Our summary: while North American marketers are often willing to try something new, marketers elsewhere tend to take their time, and generally only do business with companies they've heard of over a number of years. Now is the time for online ad players, who intend to be global winners, to start general educational programs in other countries. So, when these marketers are at last ready to go online, your company is the one they automatically turn to. It's a longer-term play than many Americans are used to, but ultimately it will pay off for you.

Useful links related to this article

Martin Lindstrom

Vibrant Media

eResponse, Douglas Wilson's agency
See Also:

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