Who cares about a global marketing strategy, or central brand guidelines, or a cohesive language…right? Well, when your brand looks different the world over, then it becomes a problem. Different marketing strategies will apply to different regions across the globe, but the general language and message should be the same. The brand should look the same, the customer facing material should look the same, and most certainly the answer to “who are we?” should be consistent.
When you line up all the collateral, no matter in what language, it should look like it comes from one source, even if the internal information is specifically tailored to a specific market or region. Below are my suggestions on where to start:
- Gather the global marketing managers together and talk about what’s being done where
- Understand what’s working, and what’s not, where and why
- Discuss having a cohesive marketing plan
- Begin to update your brand guidelines that include the information gathered above
- Ensure that the brand guidelines address issues such as:
- The look of the web, collateral, advertising, etc
It’s a long process but it’s absolutely something that is needed, especially if you are trying to build out your brand and are having issues with brand awareness in any of the global regions.
I also know that I’m not *the* expert, I’m just one gal with an opinion and someone who’s seen things done both ways. So, here are some additional resources for your perusal:
A global marketing strategy is one component of a global strategy. To be effective, it must incorporate all functional aspects of a business – from finance to operations to R&D…Don’t think for a moment that you can minimize country-to-country differences! Embrace them and develop your strategy in such a way as to complement the differences.
Unlike Craigslist, Airbnb has a fun, more user-friendly website that showcases the brand’s transparent, trusting personality. The website is now available in 21 languages with consistent information, style, and personality to appeal to like-minded users across cultures.
Global marketing can indeed work, drive synergies and economies of scale whilst preserving specific local needs and cultural considerations.
However, as with most marketing approaches, the key to success is a balanced approach. Not all marketing activities can or should be driven from the centre.