Is your marketing ready to go ‘glocal’?

In today’s world you don’t have to travel to conquer the world. All you need is a computer and the world is at your feet. Local businesses are just as capable to go global as large multinationals.” In today’s digitized business ecosystem, the local business can convert into a successful venture with customers and operations all over the world, and the global business can grow into a larger-reaching enterprise with efficient logistics and a strong brand”, says consultingfirm Frost & Sullivan in their whitepaper on ‘Glocal Marketing’.

To a business with an engaging product, geographic boundaries are no longer an obstacle in identifying and reaching prospects and closing sales. Increasing global access to the Internet; online social media networks; and multiple device types such as smartphones, tablets, and gaming consoles, are offering customers new means to collect information and make purchases, and providing companies large and small with more developed channels to bring their product to market. Yet the benefits of these technological advancements afford the globalizing company with unique marketing challenges and unforeseen process pitfalls. Marketers must be prepared to address increased workflow complexity, campaign management across multiple borders and channels, and variations in multicultural communication.

In some cases, tried-and-true offline marketing channels such as billboards, print ads and TV commercials will be important tools, but in most cases, Web 2.0 or 3.0 and other digital technologies will be indispensable in marketing to the global prospect and driving monetization. Web-based marketing channels, including targeted or personalized display ads, product suggestions, landing pages, and social and geosocial media, can reach diverse populations and convert them into qualified leads or customers, while software or Web applications support the company’s global logistics and workflow.

If used appropriately, these tools afford the company many cost and efficiency advantages. But they may also come at a price. The channel that works in one country may not appeal to another. It’s for the global marketer to select the right medium with the right fit for the environment or product, and navigate the complexity of multichannel integration, campaign management, and results tracking.

Therefor, Frost & Sullivan says, local marketing is more important than ever. Interfacing with languages, social norms, and political influences it may not understand, a business’s Web-based marketing efforts can quickly derail when a local culture doesn’t find its widely broadcasted global message relevant or worthy of engaging.

On the other hand, going global has it’s own advantages. A brand that changes it’s messaging from country to country may seem insincere and misses out on presenting a strong brand with a defined personality. It also benefits from cost-savings in marketing operations, and combines marketingchannels in a unique and powerful way. Yet these assets cannot be taken advantage of with a fragmented presence.

So, companies need to go ‘glocal’ and take the best of both worlds, says Frost & Sullivan. ‘Glocal’ marketing—global unity with local sensitivity—is the best way for a brand to meet its objectives and its customers’ needs. Glocal marketing needs a well-thought-out strategy and skillful execution to be relevant and interesting. Frost & Sullivan presents two ways a brand can do just that.

  1. Understand What Matters to Locals and Create Relevant Marketing Content
    For a brand to have a strong impact in multiple regions, it must recognize the broad range of cultural values and motivations across geographies, even when its prospects may share similar needs or desires.
    The brand must understand what matters to which customer group or set of prospects worldwide and then create the perfect product framing. It must position the product correctly in the middle of the right message. And then it must be relevant and intriguing enough to pull people in. High-yield marketing is no longer about blasting a message; it’s about building a community around your product.
    Glocal marketing, then, is not just carefully delivering a message to people in select areas around the world; it’s using inbound marketing to attract people into a global affinity, to experience the product in an engaged and connected context.
  2. Identify the Appropriate Channel(s) to Meet Regional Media Preferences 
    After identifying the different needs and motivations its global customers may have and cultivating a relevant message, the next piece of the glocal brand’s communication strategy is selecting the communication channel that most makes sense to its various communities. In one country newspapers may still be the right channel, in others social media may be.

Single platform

So, glocal marketing is highly complex and really challenging. The only way order can be brought to this chaos is through using a single, unified platform. Being able to assemble this ever-changing information in a dynamic way helps the glocal company be nimble and eliminate many manual redundancies that have grown out of a stunted legacy workflow.This becomes especially important as different global regions have different needs, requirements,and regulations.

Glocal presence requires a universal brand message with relevant regional variations. This requires a flexible framework, a marketing automation platform that provides the building blocks but not the exact local level blueprint.

And it calls for the ability for regional marketers to be empowered to make relevant adjustments. There is simply no way a single team in one country or a few upper-level managers scattered across different geographies can understand the social and emotional implications of multiple products described through a variety of channels all over the globe.

What one culture or community appreciates, another may find confusing. A funny ad may seem lighthearted in one context and offensive in another. And a currency quoted in one e-commerce engine may disorient the customer abroad. Further, an automated system may mean marketing collateral becomes stale or redundant.

In-region approval processes mean local marketers can constantly fine-tune the details of their campaigns, keep an eye on how their audience or customer base is reacting to a campaign in real time and augment or kill it immediately, and it allows a team spread across multiple regions to effectively communicate and coordinate workflow.


This paper was published before on Frost & Sullivan


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