This post is by Jeremy Taylor, Business Director at TrinityP3 UK and Managing Partner of CONNECT2 Community Engagement Ltd, the UK’s leading community engagement experts.
TrinityP3 in the UK was invited to attend the ‘New Age of Global Marketing’ conference run by the Global Marketers’ Club in London.
The Club is a new venture set up by Kevin Freedman, CEO of Freedman International, who has a focus on raising the standards of international marketing.
The conference was packed with global marketing attendees from client and supplier companies. The venue was the fascinating and beautiful Ennismore Sessions House in Clerkenwell, a very historic building with a history as a courthouse stretching back to Dickensian times.
Kevin used the Dickens connection to set the tone for the meeting, using a quote from Dickens to summarise the current state of global marketing “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. The best of times because of the sheer number of opportunities that new marketing channels are opening up; the worst of times because of the challenges these are throwing up for marketing departments and suppliers alike.
Best practice in harnessing and controlling them across multiple markets was the theme of the day.
Kevin acted as moderator for three panel sessions during the morning, focussing on the evolvement of media channels; global v. local campaign planning and management; and tales from the world’s most challenging markets.
How Media Channels are evolving on a global scale
The first session gave us some snapshots of media trends across the world.
Brian Curtin, who runs Fitbit’s marketing in the EMEA area, confirmed that the definitive move from off-line to on-line was still gathering pace, and approaching maturity in some territories (although print remains important in some cultures). His advice was to avoid the traditions of the ‘media mix’ and instead focus on the customer, who needs to be followed with consistent messaging across all points of the buying journey.
This strategy throws up challenges in measuring media effectiveness, which the panel felt have not been well tackled yet.
Suzanne Perry, OMD’s Head of Planning in EMEA, threw 5G into the mix as the next big change initiator. Be aware of the advance of Virtual Reality enabled by this new technology, and also look out in the not too distant future for the arrival of the Smart City where brands will form part of the infrastructure…
Global v. Local – Planning and Managing Global Campaigns
Simon Francis from Flock led the discussion here. He painted a picture of the global quest for hyper-personalisation, which is having to develop to meet consumer expectations.
Part of this journey is the development of ‘hyper-localisation’, a necessary step up from the individual experience. The challenge for marketing teams here – the need to reflect local culture fights against the preferred industry solution of globally led integrated campaigns.
The compromise for the moment seems to be global consistency provided by a centre of excellence, with an increasing role for technology in adapting campaign ideas for local consumption and cultural variances in message and media. Ruth Collett from Oracle provided working examples of success in this approach, through a large team of global marketers working with local implementation teams and agency support.
The panel’s experience also showed the importance of good Process, especially in the prioritisation of projects. They perceived a trend globally to attach equal importance to every marketing project, so each one works to the same tight deadlines and the same tight budgets. Better prioritisation, allowing for the eventual impact of the work, needs to drive better allocation of creativity to the areas where it will have most impact.
The most challenging markets
The panel session featuring the creative experience of Harry Shaw from Grey Group EMEA and Joe Edwards from FIBA led to a general agreement that the world is divided into two main parts for all marketing purposes. There is the Rest of the World, and then there is China.
China presents unique challenges, found nowhere else. Language, cultural issues, technology, specialist media and above all legislative requirements all combine to make it almost impossible to simply adapt global campaigns for the Chinese market. It is becoming necessary to create something specific for China every time.
This general rule is not to distract from the need for vigilance in all markets to avoid the horror stories that arise from trying to impose global solutions into local cultures where no amount of shoe-horning can make them fit.
Again, good processes ride to the rescue here with the need for global marketing teams to talk about projects early on in the development process, and continue to do so at all stages. Timings allowing, some might add.
Global Marketers Club
Kevin Freedman pointed out the lack of training for global marketing currently available, with the result that valuable lessons have to be re-learned the painful way every time a new venture gets off the ground.
The Global Marketers Club is a new venture which will provide a centre of excellence for discussion, shared experience and training for anybody involved in this challenging field of marketing.
TrinityP3 is looking forward to sharing insights from the Global Marketing Club and being part of the journey!
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