Implementing a global marketing initiative requires a carefully considered strategy that’s been agreed by key stake holders… and a lot of energy. As we wrote last month, you have to do your homework first, within your organisation and without, before you can develop your strategy. But once that’s done, and you can see that the picture looks promising, the next step is to outline your plan.
Putting together your global marketing plan
If winning support internally for your global marketing aspirations is the glue that will hold your strategy together, data is the fuel that will energise your plans.
To create a plan you need information – details of what you’re aiming to achieve internally, and why – because this will provide the focus. You’ll want to establish various facts and figures to get started, and these will include aspects such as the revenue you want to achieve, how many customers that revenue will require, and what your conversion rate is likely to be etc. You’ll also want consider in detail how your sales cycle is likely to run, as well as what peculiarities the new overseas markets have that mean you need to tailor your approach differently to the way you operate locally.
Once you have this information, you can then tie it all together and assess it against your strategic outline. Do the suggested outputs, even at this early stage, fly in the face of the key business objectives you were originally seeking to support? Is the emphasis in the right place?
Understanding how to extend your current marketing goals to going global
So let’s say you now have your global marketing strategy which has, effectively, got board approval. Plus you also now have useful data and information regarding both the markets you’re targeting and your internal objectives. The next step, then, is to check out where there may be conflict…
Some markets may require a very different focus. Is there any possibility this will cause a problem with your messaging and trigger inconsistencies? Are any departments within your business chasing a different set of objectives that may hamper your efforts?
When put like that, you can see that it always pays to look both within your organisation and without when considering your marketing goals. Garnering support from within every step of the way will pay dividends. You can then confidently plan your activities to support your goals without.
Looking beyond your nose
Once you have your support, the semblance of some plans, and some great data, it’s then time to take a deep breath and review your long term objectives. It makes sense to continue to check your plans and strategy against shifting business objectives. What are your stakeholders interested in? What goals are they pursuing, has anything shifted? You’re all in this together so ensuring that your efforts are continually supporting the top priorities of the business maintains everybody’s sanity and reduces stress levels.
One great way to achieve focus on this is to take a generic goal of the business, e.g. mitigate risks by diversifying, and add your own specific detail to it. For example, this goal might translate as: Mitigate commercial risks by diversifying in the 3 largest external markets.
Start to get SMART
And then, of course, the only way to make a marketing plan meaningful is to get SMART with your objectives. Take those more detailed generic business goals and break them down into smaller specific SMART tasks.
Set timescales. Challenge the revenue and penetration targets. Plan how to establish brand dominance and measure this. Set monthly or quarterly objectives. Remain realistic but think positive and breathe some life into your strategic thinking. You may even decide to divide the new country markets into smaller regions, or aim to tailor your efforts for each niche; whilst always maintaining brand consistency, of course. We’d caution against ‘lumping’ countries together at this stage, however, because local nuances may not be clear yet, and combining one country with another may hide some of the tweaks you need to make in the future.
And once you have your strategy in place, backed up by a plan that’s been informed by meaningful data, your next step, then, is to gather together the right people…