In our new era of global marketing, there’s a dream destination on every global marketer’s mind – a realtime, flexible global campaign that makes an impact across every channel and every market. But, in a world that moves faster than ever before, can brand campaigns actually keep up?
The answer is yes they can, with our roadmap to flexible global campaign delivery. Think of it like planning your next road trip. You’ve got to identify the potential bumps in the road, then work out a fast and fuss-free route to avoid them.
Obstacle 1: You’re global campaign planning lacks flexibility
While you might think it sounds obvious, effective and flexible global campaign planning is an essential. And that doesn’t just mean setting clear dates to follow. You need to be clever about your brand planning, ensuring that it is as flexible as possible – after all, the campaign journey often hits unexpected bumps in the road.
The new route: Plan for things to go wrong
Let’s be honest, campaigns rarely go smoothly – no matter how well versed you are in global marketing. So, when planning your global campaign delivery make sure to build room into your timeline for errors that might occur. Things are always going to crop up that’ll take you by surprise – localisation errors, clearance issues, etc. If you have a plan with built in buffer times, unexpected issues will become expected issues and won’t slow down your campaign delivery.
Another key element of campaign planning is ensuring that everyone understands their role, and what it entails. Determine roles and responsibilities early on. One way of doing this is to agree on a R.A.C.I. matrix (or responsibility assignment matrix). Once agreed upon, everyone will be able to see what they are Responsible and Accountable for, and what they should be Consulted or Informed about. That way, if issues arise, it’s clear who needs to take ownership of the situation.
When you’re working across different time zones and languages, it’s inevitable that misunderstandings occur. So, it’s absolutely vital that all teams across all regions are aligned to the same business goals. Set out your business goal for the entire company, and make sure everyone – from Beijing to Budapest – knows exactly what they are. You should also schedule regular meetings with stakeholders throughout the entire campaign process. That way, you can make sure everyone’s sticking to the plan, and that the campaign is heading in the right direction.
Obstacle 2: You’re not armed with the right tools
Think about it, if you break down on the road, having the right tools to get you up and running again is an essential. Likewise, arming yourself with the right global marketing tools is a surefire way to speed up campaign delivery, and build a flexible global campaign process.
The new route: Build a strong toolkit
So, what exactly should an effective global marketer’s toolkit contain?
An asset tracker
You’re going to be inundated with multiple assets across various markets – a digital asset management system will come in handy. Just make sure you invest in one that allows partners and agencies to easily access the system.
A timeline calendar
Make sure your timeline is accessible to everyone online, and is simple to follow.
Project management tools
Good project management tools allow for seamless collaboration and campaign management. With the right management system, you’ll be able to view and keep tabs on your campaign process and status.
Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools
You’re going to need good CAT tools to help you localise your content effectively. And it’s better to have these ready from the get-go. At the planning stage, look into translation memory and workflow, video subtitling and web CMS translation software.
Social media post management tools
If your campaign is social driven (which is more than likely nowadays), you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the right social media management tools to help ensure a smooth delivery of posts. A good social media tool will also provide an easy way to track campaign results. Sprout Social and HubSpot are great examples to explore.
Obstacle 3: You’re not prepared to scale up
Through the entire global campaign process issues often arise without warning. Sometimes, the result is a total change in direction. But sudden changes require the right resources. If you lack the creative capabilities, or are thin on the ground in certain markets, an alteration to your campaign might bring your production to a grinding halt. So, what can you do to avoid a standstill?
The new route: Ensure your production is 100% efficient
From the very beginning of your global campaign process, you need to make sure you have the scope to produce what you need. Ask yourself: have you got strong production capabilities allowing you to deliver your necessary output on time? Look at your inner workings and note if there’s anything missing within your production services. That way you can fill in the gaps by reaching out to external agencies, hiring in-house and contacting other suppliers. Remember that it’s not just about being able to scale up, it’s also about the ability to be flexible with your production. Keep this in mind when reaching out to external agencies to ensure that you set up a flexible global campaign operation.
When it comes to shooting content, you need to make sure you’re thinking cleverly about your production. At the shoot planning stage, you should always be asking: how can I get more for my money and save time later down the line? For example, if you’re organising a simple product video shoot, make sure you’re getting more than just the content you need then and there. Aim to maximise your time and marketing budget by capturing footage that can work with different messaging and be repurposed into other videos. Building a bank of spare footage goes a long way, especially if situations occur when shooting isn’t feasible.
Equally, if you’re shooting video content for a global ad, think about whether you could film alternative scenes for different markets during the same shoot, swapping in different cast members and/or settings as required. This will save you having to plan and manage a shoot for every single market.
A good global creative agency can help you make the most of your shoots, and production – ensuring you think cleverly to always stay ahead.
Obstacle 4: You’re not creating with media specifications in mind
As we mentioned previously, when it comes to global campaigns, there are so many assets being delivered to a multitude of channels. If you don’t have a handle on your assets and where they’re going, you might find yourself stuck with assets that aren’t formatted for their channels, essentially rendering them useless.
The new route: Know your channels inside and out
Make sure you understand all of the channels locally before you start producing your advertising content. To do this, enlist the help of in-market experts who can provide you with detailed analysis of what channels are trending in-market and how your competitors are using them. Use this information to build your media strategy and plan.
Once you’ve established which channels you’re using in which markets, find out the exact specifications and format requirements for each channel. It might sound obvious, but making a 20 second video for TikTok or Instagram Reels obviously isn’t going to work (you’d be surprised how many brands fall into that trap). Make sure you’re aware of any restrictions, like timing and sizing, before embarking on post-production.
As you go into post-production, make sure you list out all of your masters, then list all of the deliverables you need to be cut from those masters. Go into as much detail as possible and think about everything you need: from portrait to landscape, to image dimensions, to video length, etc. That way you can look at your list and ensure that all your deliverables meet the format requirements for your chosen channels.
Obstacle 5: You’re not learning from your mistakes
Once your one campaign is over, it might seem tempting to sit back and relax after all the chaos. Sadly, that’s the wrong approach. Now’s the time to be more proactive than ever, using your time to reflect on how the campaign went. Although it’s tempting, don’t get distracted by the next exciting campaign idea. This time is for reflection only. After all, you wouldn’t head out on the road again if you’d recently discovered your engine wasn’t up to scratch.
The new route: Take time to reflect on a more flexible global campaign process
Carry out a campaign retrospective at the end of every campaign to ensure an optimised and flexible global campaign process. This will allow you to see what worked and, most importantly, what didn’t work. Look at every aspect of your campaign – from planning to delivery – and pick apart every tiny detail. It might sound time consuming but the results are worth it. Future campaigns will come together even faster and far more efficiently, resulting in increased ROI and speed to market.
We hope this roadmap to flexible global campaign planning and delivery has given you lots to think about when mapping out your next global campaign.
Here at Freedman, our mission is to put you on the fast track to global greatness. Our solutions are catered to your challenges, helping you overcome global marketing obstacles. To get in touch with our experts, see here.