We live in a hyper-connected world. With online searches and social media sharing, brands are crossing borders faster than companies can keep up. The internet has no boundaries and neither should you.
What’s more customers the world over increasingly expect personalised content relevant to them.
These trends are putting pressure on global and regional B2B marketers to rethink how they design, execute and localise their global B2B marketing programs.
Global organisation and processes
As a first step, global marketers may want to examine how their company is organised. How do global and regional HQs interact with local in-country marketers? What processes are in place in the company to deploy and localise global marketing programs? If you are a smaller company considering your first foray into markets abroad, you might want to consider what works, or doesn’t, in the global marketing arena.
Based on my experience rolling out and managing global B2B marketing programs for large enterprise clients at Wings4U, I have put together some guidelines for global marketers to consider:
- Optimise the global-local relationship. Gone are the days when corporate HQs could just roll out a global marketing program without considering the local context. It has become more essential to involve local in-country marketers in the early strategic planning stages and regularly seek their input during the program. To succeed at localisation and personalisation, you need to rely on your in-country marketers to ensure the content and channels are locally relevant. You'll need to tighten the relationship between your corporate marketing at HQ with regional and local marketers to create a winning global marketing machine.
- Get global perspective. Every global marketer should have work experience in a country abroad. If not, I strongly recommend getting this experience on your CV. Challenge yourself and immerse in a new language and culture. The more different from yours the better. Company HR policy should formally encourage flow of staff from HQ to regional and local country offices and vice versa to broaden everyone’s perspective. This will help strengthen your global-local relationships and leadership development pipeline.
- Scale by Globalising Your Processes. To create successful global B2B marketing programs, you'll need to have streamlined processes to balance local personalisation with economies of scale and brand messaging. Marketing automation tools offer an opportunity to scale quickly and manage campaigns in diverse languages from your central HQ. But you'll need to make sure your technologies sync up and share the same languages. Developing company-wide brand guidelines are also critical to effective localisation. For example, establishing content creation guidelines that stick to universal, culture-neutral messages will ensure nothing gets lost in translation. Finally, to efficiently execute complex global programs, you'll need a global task manager with processes in place like cloud-based document-sharing platforms to ensure deliverables and deadlines are met across time zones.
These are just a few insights. Learn more by downloading our ebook on deploying successful global B2B marketing programs.