For those of you considering entering the Russian market and for those of you already there, time targeting should always be on your mind but even more so in the next three weeks. Currently Russia has nine different time zones that impact transportation, business interaction, and scheduled advertising.
Three years ago Russia stopped turning back their clocks during the winter in order to stay on a permanent “summer time” schedule. Many Russians complained that this reduced the minimal sunlight they already saw during the winter months.
This past July 2014, Russian parliament voted to reinstate “standard time,” which adds two more time zones. Russia will set their clocks back one hour on October 26, 2014. However, come March 2015, Russia will not set their clocks ahead one hour and remain on the standard time while most of us spring forward an hour.
Moreover, the regions that want to stay on “summer time,” which is Russia’s current system will re-create two additional time zones in Russia. The Kumchatka and Chukotka regions will be nine hours ahead of Moscow and the area around the Volga River will be one hour ahead of Moscow.
What does this mean for your business in Russia?
1. This means that the time difference between Moscow and the West will be reduced by one hour. Moscow will change from being UTC +4 to UTC+3.
2. Since Russia will return to 11 time zones, these two new time zones should be considered for a few aspects of your business. These changes should be applied to any multinational products that have any dependence on time. The new time zones should also be considered for any time targeting or scheduled advertising.
These small adjustments have an important impact on your business schedule, so plan accordingly now for the coming change.