Made In Germany: Success Or Failure In Binary Options Marketing
Published 16th October 2015
The German market is becoming more and more popular in the expansion plans of binary brokers. While this can easily be explained by the high purchasing power of the German clientele, it is also a result of the considerable conversion rates this market can yield – when approached properly. The German marketplace is notoriously underestimated, as people tend to look at Germany alone, without bearing in mind that the German-speaking space also consists of Switzerland and Austria, the significance of which is often ignored, perhaps because they appear very small on the map next to their “bigger brother”. Yet, brokers and marketers would be well advised to look at the German-speaking space as one region, the so-called DACH region, especially because the “smaller brothers” offer significant potential for binary options and financial products. A quick look at the stats reveals why the DACH region is so attractive. Together, the three jurisdictions domicile just shy of 100 million people, and over 90% of all households have an Internet connection, making practically everybody in the DACH area accessible to marketers. That’s a sizable playing field, which looks even more appealing given the incredible uplift the mobile internet has experienced in recent years, making mobile applications an increasingly important piece of the product offering in these markets.
Essential to successfully serving a market is a robust understanding of people’s culture and mentality. Particularly in the German market, we often come across brokers that do not bother to sufficiently inform themselves in this regard, and who have little if any understanding of this market’s history or the social and cultural context within which they attempt to run their business. Marketing messages are merely translated from other languages, and then the marketer “prays” for the best. Personally, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for such efforts to produce results. Attempting to resonate with consumers in specific markets requires broader knowledge and deeper skill sets; mere translation by itself is simply unlikely to cut it. Professional localisation – by definition a far more holistic undertaking than translation – is required when you are trying to establish yourself in a new market. Having spoken with leading advertising agencies, we found there’s consensus that successful market entry is achieved with offerings that look and feel like they have been conceived for and designed in the locale in question, with what they term “local flavour”. Local flavour is arguably the single most influential criterion in the decision making of consumers. In other words, a marketing proposition which is immensely successful in the UK may fail miserably in Germany, turning an otherwise strong product into an unsellable one, reason being that consumers in the DACH region approach things from an entirely different angle. Due to being historically conditioned, they tend to be far more skeptical towards advertising claims.This stems from the excessive, exaggerated and often false claims that German advertisers were making throughout the final decade of the last century, the 1990s, which eroded consumer trust in their messaging. Therefore, one shouldn’t be surprised when consumers fail to respond to generic “50%-more-of-this,” or “the-absolute best-in-that”-type slogans. Consumers have already been inundated with too many such messages, resulting in widespread disenchantment with advertisers and marketers. So the mantra to bear in mind is, When in Rome, do as the Romans. The German mentality is far more receptive to facts and truthful statements, rather than to fabricated absurdities, no matter how eloquently composed. German hearts and minds can be reached once trust has been earned and established, just like in real life, or as an old professor of mine used to say: “Market as you wanna be marketed to”. Simple, right?
The usual suspects
Affiliates as well as brokers in our vertical have an inclination towards intrusive and quite pushy sales strategies. The desire is a quick return and steady conversions, inspired by and proportionate to the aggressiveness of the messages. The necessary preparation outlined above, of development of trust between marketer and consumer, is typically neglected. And that is where the difficulty starts. The easiest thing for a marketer to adhere to is the endless “mantra of bonus”, however they should first stop and ask themselves the following questions regarding this approach:
- Am I really going to reach people with mere “funny-money”?
- And if so, what kind of people are these?
- Will I be able to maintain attention and build momentum with these customers?
- Can this vehicle help me build solid relationships with my prospects and customers or will they start to distrust my brand once the initial dust has settled? In other words, do not kid yourselves!
As in any business, it takes strict and well-conceived communication strategies to produce success, Sadly, few brokers and affiliates go to great pains to develop such strategies these days, despite proper state-of-the-art design in communication being the necessary groundwork for true, i.e. quantifiable, success. So it is hardly surprising that customer trust is low to nonexistent. If, for example, a website is not presented properly, many users rightly will not overcome inhibitions at leaving their data on there, let alone their money. Even small changes, such as insightful and easyto-understand links would help. A crucial factor is also the call to action. It must be upbeat, clear and unambiguously written and presented. A click prompt cannot be expected to serve its purpose if users do not understand, see, or notice it as such. This, of course, also extends to the quality of the content itself. In an era where entertainment waits around every corner and behind every other link, there is just too much competition for ill-conceived or overly convoluted advertising messages to succeed. A key strength of binary options when it comes to marketing the product is that they are easy to understand, even by laymen. One would however have a hard time finding that very concept (of simplicity) in the mainstream German binary promotions aimed at raising awareness among potential customers. Instead, complicated diagrams combine with (pseudo-) technical jargon in an apparently bizarre bid to deter future customers, leaving them thoroughly confused as opposed to tempting them to sign up.
Furthermore, when every affiliate or introducing broker website features pretty much the same plethora of advertisements, it is no longer easy for the player to differentiate between these, regardless how well-structured and plausible the presentation of the message. Therefore as a marketer, you also need to provide that special something. Since YouTube, Facebook et al are just a click away and user attention spans have shrunk dramatically, you also have to deal with the challenge of how to best provide interesting, entertaining and relevant content that will create the kind of trust with customers that you can build a real, sustainable business on. Less than a handful of brokers have succeeded in establishing binary options in the German market over the last years – one should not blame the product for that. Explaining a financial product, simple as it may be, is far more complex a task than, for instance, pitching a strawberry smoothie. Personally, I am finding it hard to accept the excuses that are offered time and time again, and have a hunch that these may be nothing but the muffled confessions of people that lack the passion, understanding or skills needed to successfully market the product in Germany.
“Brokers and marketers would be well advised to look at the German-speaking space as one region, because Switzerland and Austria offer significant potential for binary options and financial products.”
“A key strength of binary options is that they are easy to understand, even by laymen. One would however have a hard time finding that very concept (of simplicity) in the mainstream German binary promotions aimed at raising awareness among potential customers.”
“Less than a handful of brokers have succeeded in establishing binary options in the German market over the last years – one should not blame the product for that.”