As marketing becomes increasingly global, it’s becoming more challenging to reach customers worldwide while still delivering a local, personalized experience. This is especially true for global manufacturing brands that have locations all over the world. Brands are now navigating through culture, language, and compliance differences that are inevitable across geographic regions. How can manufacturing marketers successfully translate their global brands into localized markets? Here are the main components needed to develop a global-to-local marketing strategy.
Although one of the main components of creating a local brand is customization geared toward the specific region, maintaining overall brand consistency is crucial to ensure that your brand’s reputation is held to its highest standards. You worked hard to build a global brand—don’t risk losing what you’ve built by allowing individual locations to create marketing material or collateral without an approval process.
Create a brand style guide and put processes in place to ensure that every location is only using or creating material that stays within the guidelines. Although you want to give each location the freedom to be creative and create its own unique marketing content, you still need to ensure that what each location is promoting falls within your set rules, values, and overall brand management.
You’re going to have multiple teams in multiple locations with a lot of moving parts. How can you keep it all together? Start by creating one main global team that essentially acts as the voice of your global brand. From there, assign your global team to individual markets. They will act as the liaisons between the global brand and will help ensure that everything the local marketing teams create follows the guidelines set by the global brand.
Global & Local Goals
A big part of being successful in bringing your brand local is setting both global and local goals. What is it going to take from each market to hit your global goals? And what local goals are realistic for each market? There are so many factors to consider here, so work with each location to set realistic goals and KPIs that are tailored specifically to each market. Once you have individual goals, you can set global goals based on the numbers you’ve gathered. Goals are vital in any business, but when you’re managing a large conglomerate, setting SMART goals should be top priority across the board.
None of the above-mentioned aspects of bringing your global brand local will work without communication, but communication is often an afterthought—or not really thought of at all as something to work on and strive to be better at on a daily basis. It is vital for all of your teams to communicate and to have a process of communication so everyone knows who to go to with their needs.
Make sure you’re communicating from start to finish on local marketing campaigns, and make sure your global marketing campaigns include concise directions and instructions that are clearly communicated so that everyone is on the same page. One of the best ways to ensure documents are kept up-to-date is to use a file sharing service like Google Drive, where all documents are kept in one place and are continuously updated in real time. That way, employees aren’t reverting back to an old email that may be out-of-date with outdated information.
Local Marketing Strategies
Once you have your global strategy laid out and are ready to employ it to local markets, the last piece of the puzzle is strategizing for each specific location and determining whether or not your global campaigns should be deployed in specific markets. Each market and webpage will need to be optimized for local SEO (think: local keywords, ensuring your address is accurate and up to date across all platforms, and so on).
Next comes your marketing strategy. Have your local teams do research on personas specific to your local market. How do they consume content? What terms are they searching for? Do they prefer to communicate via email or phone? The answers will be different depending on what market you’re researching, and they will help shape what tactics you deploy locally.
Bringing your global manufacturing brand local is no easy feat, and it’s not a “one and done” project. You will constantly be shifting gears and you’ll quickly realize that what works in one market will not work in another. Sometimes, one campaign will work in several markets when you thought it would only work in one. The key here is to be open, communicative, and agile, and with a lot of effort and perseverance, you’ll be able to bring your global brand, local.
About the author
Mallory Fetchu was formerly a Marketing Consultant at SmartBug with several years of experience creating and executing a full marketing strategy for a B2B packaging company. She is thrilled to take her knowledge of inbound marketing and help companies succeed online! Read more articles by Mallory Fetchu.