September 4, 2020 Peter Bakker

The transformation of “Global vs Local” Content Marketing

As the pressures on “strategic autonomy” increases all around us, do we need to revisit the “think Global act Local” approach to our Content Marketing efforts? IMMedia’s MD Peter Bakker says a digital re-think is needed on how we produce, distribute and customise our efforts — and maximise its returns.

Despite the digital tsunami brought on by Covid-19, marketing budgets are under scrutiny now, more than ever before. While the Content Marketing industry is still expected to grow during 2020, the level of growth has been severely dampened by the devastating economic effect of the Covid crisis.

How to deliver a seamless flow of content across different markets?

Even before the current crisis, an element of tension between the global and local marketing teams/departments is expected, but so long as the overall brand messaging remains consistent and this tension is channelled through the right mix of dependencies, it will help drive your content efforts in the right direction.

In our constant efforts to optimise the performance of our global and local marketing efforts we occasionally lose focus by submerging ourselves in the nitty gritty of local campaigns or, alternatively, with the “laissez faire” attitude of mirroring the global one. In order to maintain and motivative global and local marketing teams it is essential to establish clear metrics that are achievable and easily understood.

Another essential element of creating a seamless cross-border marketing function is arming teams with the right tools. The use of central or common technology tools enables transparency and shareability of success and/or failures. Overall ease of usability and clarity on metrics all helps to ensure minimum inter-departmental friction and optimum performance.

Tips on streamlining content operations 

At IMMedia Content we support our clients to remain active on both a Global and Local level, we help develop a measurable set of metrics and streamline all of the content operations and analysis using our cloud-based content platform IMMediate

With the new digital norm empowered by the new generations, the role of the Marketing function is becoming more and more important as these consumers expect all interaction and transactions to be binary and not over the counter.

Nevertheless, some of the old principles still stand:

  1. Think “Glocal”: like McDonald’s for instance; while they keep their overarching branding consistent, they bring local flavours to different markets by creating regional/local specialities
  2. Creativity is culture bound: concepts, words and images (particularly emotive ones) provoke different reactions in target audiences
  3. Language matters: this may seem obvious but you’d be surprised by the number of global brands that fail to invest in the quality of local content they deliver
  4. Know the local rules: make sure you understand the local rules and regulations (and content preferences)

The role of data in creating speed, agility and relevance to local audiences

The binary world also provides marketers with so much rich data that allows — if interpreted accurately — for greater speed to market and agility across markets. Content data preferences across markets for example enable marketers to localise a global subject with a local flavour. Measuring content performance in a more refined manner — such as the engagement index (EI) that the IMMediate platform offers — also allows marketers to identify trends and preferences around content topic, format and messaging intent.

There is no right or wrong set-up of the cross-border marketing functions; a brand can run a very successful Content Marketing campaign with a centralised or local marketing model. The key is communication, understanding local audience preferences, competitor activity, and the ability to track and share performance in each market. It is worth investing in the right set of tools and the help of an external agency to help strike the balance between local and global.

Managing a global Content Marketing campaign is simple, but juggling local regulations with cultural considerations and communication with multiple stakeholders is what makes global marketers become marketing heroes.

Interested in how we can help in creating content for your local, regional and global markets? Contact us to set up a call.