Communicating With The Europeans

By Peter Owen, Managing Director, ISIS Communications

Freight transportation differs across the globe in character. This much is self-evident. The geographical length and complexity of moves vary from region to region, as do the commodities carried and modal mix that is employed. Market sizes and degree of sophistication, buying patterns, infrastructure efficiency and cost profiles all have their different characteristics depending on the country or continent in which the transport and logistics professional is operating. So yes, Europe contrasts significantly in many ways with North America.

As communicators and marketers within the freight community however, we have one big advantage when practicing our art internationally: human nature is universally consistent. The people with whom we wish to communicate are pretty similar wherever they reside. The motivation to succeed, to create efficiencies, to do a good job for their customer whoever that might be, remains a constant. And so is the understanding that without knowledge you are at a very real disadvantage in achieving that success.

Our audiences, whether they are located in Leipzig or Los Angeles, whether they are fans of the Ravens or Real Madrid, whether they read the Journal of Commerce or Nieuwsblad Transport, have hunger for knowledge. Be it news, comment by respected analysts, data on trade or the latest moves by their competitors all ears are tuned to the sounds that lead to success. The skills, methods, techniques and channels with which we are all familiar as disseminators of this knowledge, either about our own products and services or about industry trends and issues, are as effective abroad as at home.

But we need knowledge ourselves in order to create the most effective programme or campaign; the most favourable mix of these communication techniques and channels to appeal to the regional audience we are targeting. Of course this is where an understanding of the differences that separate us, and not just a proficiency in the skills that unite us, are crucial.

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