I had lunch this week with a longtime client/associate who and unbeknownst to me his partner in Europe who somehow is also our client. They have been operating a successful business in Europe for more than ten years. We have had some minor engagements with firms in Europe but have not made it a mission. Well they have an office in Cannes and both my wife and I speak pretty good French (ok she is better than me) and the thought of doing business in a place as beautiful as the south of France is mega-intriguing.
After enjoying a very nice lunch meeting with them I left energized and motivated that what we have to offer would translate (no joke!) very well across the EU. And I also think there is much we can learn and bring back from our friends across the pond to our clients here in the U.S. The time for cross-continental collaboration (CCC of a different kind!) has arrived and my opinion is that cultural differences make marketing in the EU even more challenging than the U.S. The practice of developing messages targeted to a particular country keeps marketers sharp in a different way than segmenting messages to multicultural groups within a country like here in the States.
And there are some amazing agencies, super smart people and savvy marketers to learn from in the EU. I just want our team to have the chance to get better, learn more and help our clients and friends all at the same time.
So I am pledging here to develop our European presence. Guess I will have to get over there soon to check it out. Though Cannes has much nicer weather in June than it does in February….But call me on this if I don’t follow through!