An open conversation with top global marketers

After days of gloriously blue skies, a drizzly fog descended over London just in time for our latest Global Marketers’ Club event at the Gherkin. The view from the 38th floor was fairly limited but the conversation was anything but. Between tucking into delicious fruit, pastries and avocado on toast (of course), we delved into the global marketing challenges affecting our industry today. From over-confident global campaigns to edgy local campaigns, from brand boards to creative hubs, from the resurgence of cinema to the opportunity of audio – we discussed it all.

So, get your head out of the clouds (sorry, we couldn’t resist) and take a look at some of the key takeaways from the morning…

Global vs local

  • Global overconfidence can be an issue. Instead of being transactional, the relationship between global, regional and local teams needs to be conversational.
  • Strong insights need to be the driving force behind local campaigns to avoid damaging the brand in local markets.
  • Allowing for more objectivity, an insight-led approach can also help communications between global and local teams.
  • The rise of neo-nationalism is a challenge for global brands when it comes to running diverse campaigns as many regions are becoming more inward-looking and are rejecting the notion of a global brand entity. Ultimately, diversity is not about local or regional market preferences, it’s about what the brand believes in.
  • Setting up a brand board, across global and local teams, is a great way to discuss insights and data to reduce ambiguity between markets.

Creative & content

  • Content should have a consistent global look and feel but a localised tone of voice.
  • Brands are finding that more emotional campaigns based on telling people’s stories are achieving great results.
  • Brands should avoid the on-going “sales-push” content and provide customers with useful content to build a brand community.
  • Brands should consider local culture but not at the expense of creativity. It’s crucial to listen to local markets but creative teams shouldn’t be afraid to say no.
  • One method to help with global and local creative strategy is to form a global creative centre of excellence, where local creative teams report to the global creative team.

Channels & media

  • Too much content can be an issue, especially when brands are just producing for the purpose of producing and pumping across all channels without any real strategy.
  • Different brands require different channels. For some, a very limited budget and social strategy works. For others, a bigger budget and more traditional channels are required.
  • Most brands are not built through TV advertising but need TV to scale.
  • Cinema is having a resurgence and can be a great platform for reaching captive audiences.
  • Although PR can be a great tool, especially for brand growth, the results are not guaranteed and a huge amount of orchestration is required.
  • There’s a great opportunity in the audio space because the experience is more intimate and the platforms are so personalised.

Targeting audiences & measuring performance

  • The test and learn method leads to success, some of the marketers’ most successful campaigns started as a test.
  • Using employees as a test audience can be extremely effective (and cost efficient).
  • Marketers should focus more on retention. CRM can dumb down your retention piece when it comes to marketing; brands need to be doing more than sending out an email every now and then.
  • With the controversy around data, consumers have lost trust in technology. Attitudes towards technology also vary across the globe. For example, in Italy, Amazon is far less prevalent as human interaction is preferred over digital.
  • Google’s decision to cut 3rd party cookies will seriously affect marketers. Customer databases will need to be properly structured and brands will need to take a more creative approach to gathering data. Social platforms will become even more powerful as they’ll be the new data hubs.

We hope you enjoyed the roundup of our event! If you’d like to discuss any of these topics or challenges in further, please feel free to get in touch. Equally, our new guide ‘Trends 2020: Marketing Trends with a Global Reach’ should help prepare you for the year ahead in global marketing and is available to download here.