At the beginning, a global marketing strategy gives birth to a plan. That plan then reaches out to the right people. And those right people then need to know how to implement the common message through a scalable approach… with consistency. So what’s the solution? We’d say solid, effective, efficient processes, that’s what. Though our thoughts may be best illustrated with an example.
Let’s look at digital marketing…
If digital marketing is your thing, content is your king. Whether you’re going local or global, outstanding content will still be one of the key ways you engage your audience and drive them towards a purchasing decision. So what do you need to do to pull together the right processes for extending your current operation to accomplish your global plans?
Audit your current content operation
When you’re gearing up for a global marketing attack, doing an audit of your existing content is a must. Let’s face it, if you discover literature that can be used globally, and not just locally, it will put you ahead of your plans. The problem is, though, if you’ve been going for a while, finding out what and where that content actually is can be a bit …
Whether you’re planning on taking over the world and going global with your marketing, or wanting to simply hit a new ‘locale’, making the right impression takes more than just being brand consistent. There are some chunky actions you need to take…
Get thinking area specific
At the risk of teaching you to suck eggs, we feel this needs saying: Regardless of whether you’re going to be operating at a regional level, a country level, or an extensive common-language level, catering for cultural differences and population tastes matters. Not being seduced into thinking a single language makes things easier is important, therefore, from the start. True enough, implementing marketing plans in one country does open up options for then extending campaigns to other countries that speak the same lingo, but ‘normal’ marketing rules still apply. A blanket approach to more than one country is unlikely to be as effective as you’d like. Language is one thing, but legal frameworks, financial constraints, and social expectations are another.
Start tackling translation
But if you’ve straightened out your thinking on language, the next thing to tackle is the realities (and potential opportunities) springing from that decision.
Opening up new French markets, for example, …
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 …
A global marketing initiative has to be based on a sound strategy that fully supports the business objectives. It’s planning has to be informed by market data that’s specific to each location. And it MUST have the right team collaborating and driving it forward. People matter, people.
Pulling together the right team
You may have the luxury of some dedicated heads, you may not. Either way, though, you’ll want to pick your helpers carefully. We’d always recommend choosing marketing talent over language skills. Yes, it’s tempting if someone speaks German to have them overseeing the German campaigns, but actually an outside pair of hands who can speak the lingo will give you the interpreting skills you need, when you need them; the marketing excellence is much harder to find.
Also choose those with a genuine thirst for global expansion. It’s up to you how you detect this, of course. Asking the question in an interview will elicit a set of standard responses; you’ll have to read between the lines. But someone who sees the role as a step in the right direction for their career (not necessarily with an increased salary) will work with enthusiasm and be keen to grow …
Matching your global aspirations to your business priorities
Is your company thinking about expanding beyond its current market? Considering pushing past the borders you know so well and extending further afield? Most of our clients already have and we have been privy to their learnings and helped them in the journey.
The only way to have any chance of success is if a solid global marketing strategy is in place.
This month, we thought it was worth a look at the groundwork a business should do develop a global marketing plan, no better starting place than developing the right strategy.
Step 1: Clarify your business purpose
Think, how do you define success for your business? You can’t grasp how a global marketing initiative is going to make a difference, and thus set it goals, if you don’t have a clear vision of what success looks like for your organisation.
Are there geographical hotspots for your audience? Is your primary focus revenue? Are you wanting to diversify to mitigate risk?
For the initiator, yes you, getting ‘buy in’ from others across your business, helps you to know how your vision is going to make a difference to the budget holders …
First things first, consider this: 1. Revenue generation from online ads now exceeds that of newspaper, television and desktop advertising. 2. Decision makers now go online to both research and purchase for business as much as they do privately. The B2B marketer cannot afford to overlook their company’s digital presence, branding, engagement, and communications, therefore… full stop.
You might reckon we’re not telling you anything new there, but if we then introduce the term, “AI”, you might also start to wonder if your competition knows something you don’t.
Big data and AI
Canny businesses are now collecting, collating, and analysing every byte of precious data coming into their possession. Customer engagement, fleeting clicks, shares, likes, purchases… and abandoned conversations. All these interactions are tiny pieces of the huge picture B2B marketers need to be able to strategise, react, and plan.
That’s where AI comes to the fore. Big data is called that for a reason. It’s a HUGE amount of information that’s just sitting there as an amorphous virtual mass. Nobody can make proper sense of it, let alone glean new golden nuggets of information, on their own. They need computer power, intelligent algorithms, and the ability for those algorithms …
First quarter of 2019 is done and dusted, but the wheel of marketing never stops turning. So we thought we’d take a peek at what the B2B marketer should be reviewing in their strategy for the rest of the year.
Getting back to basics with branding… then boosting big time
Being able to cash in on a fad or going viral will always be a nice whirlwind in which to get caught up; nobody is going to deny that. But riding by the seat of your pants (to mix our metaphors, but you get what we mean) is not a long term strategy on which to rely. Good old-fashioned focus on getting your branding and positioning right, and then doing all that you can to ensure it appeals to your market, however, is. And never has the right messaging at the right moment mattered so much to B2B marketers. With a multitude of digital channels available 24/7, ensuring your brand values are consistently communicated is critical.
What does this mean for B2B now? B2B marketers, you need to sharpen up your branding act. Fine tune your value messages. Review every touchpoint. Ensure consistency. Engage, engage, engage.
Think variety of media… …
We’re going to put it out there. A great marketing manager is like the conductor of an orchestra. You don’t necessarily play an instrument now yourself, but you’re darned good at overseeing a symphony. You guys have worked at the coal face, yet you also understand strategy… and all those things make you one very valuable piece of kit.
Of course, the flip side to that is that you’re also one very expensive resource to be actually writing and implementing email campaigns, for example, when you could instead be driving policy to support the business’s objectives. So what gives?
Accepting the baton
It can be hard to let go of the day-to-day stuff. Entrepreneurs, business owners, and marketing managers often struggle to do so. It can feel as though other people either simply don’t understand the nuances of the company messaging or don’t have the passion to get things just right. Nobody can do everything, however, and nobody should.
The problem is the ultimate goal of most businesses is growth, and success on that score is dependent on strategic players driving it forward all the time. These key individuals should be creating new products, developing services, scaling the business successfully …
Successful marketing needs many talents, always has done. But in this day of multi-channel overload, one can feel a bit like a rabbit in headlights. B2C marketing learned to manage all the strands a while ago, but B2B has little option but to catch up now. Consumers have got used to highly personalised and tailored contact, and those consumers are also business buyers during the working day. They’ve become accustomed to being empowered through pertinent choice, and that’s now filtering into their day job decisions too. Non-personalised mass communication is a thing of the past for the eager digital B2B marketer. So if you’d like to put yourself ahead of the curve, read on……
The frequently used buzz word of digital transformation would be one way of summarising how marketing has evolved and changed over the last decade.
People say that life is not about the destination, it’s about the journey. So here are some stats and facts from our story…
In 2017, there were 5.7 million SMEs in the UK, which represents 99% of all businesses. Amazingly enough, only 4 in every 100 companies reach 10 years! So in the 10th year of running our company, we thought it was time to reflect on our journey and how things have changed over time……
What inspired you to start virtualROI?
In a nutshell, we felt we could offer the same great service as a big agency without all the unnecessary overheads that come with that. We’d worked together already and knew we operated efficiently and successfully as a team. Of course, the decision to start up on our own was made one night at the pub, because all the best decisions are… but it had been brewing for a while.…