Rapid digital acceleration, major shifts in consumer behaviour, more content across more and more channels… the new era of global marketing has well and truly arrived. But, while the game has changed, the same rules still apply. It’s all about listening and learning in order to deliver an authentic message to audiences. Of course, when you add local markets into the mix, things get a little trickier.
So, we invited senior global marketers from leading brands to help us ponder the challenge of getting it right locally, and to shed some light on what ‘global marketing next’ means to them.
Here are a few of our key learnings:
Global marketing next in a nutshell
- The future of global marketing is about investing heavily into diversity, inclusion and belonging, looking at your internal and external talent.
- The challenge of global marketing will continue to be about local relevance. How can brands understand the needs of customers in-market as the world continues to shift so quickly?
- For tech brands, rapid digital acceleration has led to hyper-growth. The present and future challenge will be responding to this growth. The global, collaborative element will be especially tricky – pulling teams together from all around the world, building relationships and trust while working remotely and collaborating effectively to deliver impactful marketing campaigns.
- A vital part of global marketing next is finding a way to marry content creators with brands in a truly engaging and authentic way. Brands need to move away from the #InfluencerAd model as consumers see it as a creative sellout.
- Global marketers should embrace the opportunities presented by audio marketing. Podcasts are easy to make, highly accessible and provide brands with a unique way to share their story. The podcast market is also opening up to more cultures and more voices, so it’s a key global opportunity.
- The role of brand and consumer has now reversed. Brands can no longer preach to their audience. Brands must listen to their audience, catering their messaging and delivering content that resonates.
Digital isn’t first, second or third. It’s just part of the mix
- Digital is integral to new era marketing, but it’s not about digital first, second or third. Digital is now part of the mix and global marketers should use a holistic blend of channels relevant to their brand.
- Global media strategy should be determined by the best path for engaging in conversation with customers, whether that be IRL, print, OOH, digital, etc.
- Different brands will require different media strategies, depending on their audiences. For many, TV still has a huge role to play.
- Traditional IRL marketing allows brands to translate their message into different touch points for audiences. In that way, IRL is a great way to cut through the noise. As a result, events will make a comeback following the current pandemic.
- In the short term, the challenge is taking unique IRL experiences and delivering them to audiences digitally.
- A way to do this is by reacting to what’s happening locally. For example, a podcast platform brand might look at the wave of new creators in Mexico and Brazil and try to cater to those audiences through digital experiences.
- Fundamentally, digital marketing is about data-driven experience. It needs to be attributable and you need to look at the cost of acquisition over time.
- If marketers want to test and create content that’s more authentic, they need to work on how they use data. Global marketers have access to a huge amount of data. But now the focus should be on leveraging that data effectively and responsibly.
Looking beyond buzzwords to achieve authenticity
- Brands must know their place. Opportunities will always arise, but brands must remember what role they play in people’s lives. Experimentation, testing and adapting is important but only if it’s relevant to the brand’s role.
- Brands should get up and close and personal with not only their customers, but also with those who interact with the brand – employees, external partners etc. Ask questions: what are the issues? How can we help? What can we do better?
- People have strong BS meters. Global marketers are the gatekeepers of content, so they must have a really high bar for what’s being put out into the world.
- Content shouldn’t be driven solely by vanity metrics or business goals. It’s about leaning into the conversations taking place within the audience.
- Marketers need to move away from authenticity as a buzzword and actually understand what authenticity means for their brand – it must become a value they bring into the way they are conducting their work.
Humility and flexibility - the keys to getting it right locally
- Brands mustn’t do things just for the sake of global brand consistency. One size doesn’t fit all, local nuances and cultural differences need to be taken into account otherwise marketing becomes too homogenised.
- Global marketers need to work with people from different backgrounds, across different markets. There needs to be a relationship of trust between global and local teams, thus allowing local knowledge to inform marketing decisions.
- When trying to achieve local authenticity, marketers must show humility. Of course, with global to local content, everyone thinks their approach is right. But being humble, stepping back and assessing all the ideas objectively is the only way to find the right one.
- Global teams need to know up front where they’re willing to make compromises in order to create content that works locally.
- All global marketers have internal bias. As a single person, they can’t decide on what’s going to resonate locally. Global marketers must always aspire to expand their worldview, stepping into the shoes of different audiences around the world.
- Sometimes local teams buy into the bigger global production piece because global have the budget to produce amazing creative. But, global creative often lacks the necessary local nuances. Marketers have to ask themselves what local audiences expect to see visually and tonally.
- Global marketers must do their homework. Research the markets, test the content and keep improving it to find out how to be a key player in local conversations.
- Global marketing requires a flexible approach – what works for one campaign might not work for the next. Brands need to build flexibility into how they work so they can adapt to a fast-changing global context.
At Freedman, we do things differently. We’re an independent agency meaning we’re fast, flexible and affordable. Most importantly, we’re not tied down by bureaucracy. It’s not about the ‘big creative idea’, it’s about the ‘global creative idea’ that resonates with audiences at a local level.
We’re data-driven, using local insights to continually optimise our clients’ local content across every screen, everywhere. And when it comes to the complexity of modern global marketing – more formats, more channels, more markets – we’ve got it covered with our vast network of in-market talent, our scalable production services and our dedicated client teams. We know that the new era of global marketing has arrived, and we’re ready for it.