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M&M’s Blog goes behind the headlines to offer a running commentary on the business dynamics within the international media and marketing industry. The M&M editorial team joins forces with industry experts and local market heroes to balance a bird’s eye view of global trends with the importance of local insight.

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Four steps to make your marketing campaign go global in style


Brilliant global marketing campaigns succeed when brands understand the crucial role of implementation, writes Kevin Freedman, chief executive of Freedman International.

Marketers love to create and set the strategy in motion but when the time comes to deliver the strategy globally, the results can get ugly.

The complexity of making the big idea work across multiple markets and languages makes some people believe that the very concept of global marketing is a misnomer and it’s not practical to deliver multilingual brand campaigns.

But the big ideas can be rolled out in style across borders if you spend as much time planning how to implement your campaign as on the creative side.

Full focus on implementation as a central part of your marketing strategy will cut your costs and needless stress while keeping the campaign on schedule. Eighty/twenty is a great rule when you’re doing strategy but with implementation it’s got to be 100%.

With these four steps, you can be confident that your global campaign will fly:

Create once, implement globally

Managing marketing collateral, and making sure local teams have all they need takes knowledge, skills and patience. You’ll need to collaborate with them closely, combining ‘on the ground’ knowledge and global understanding, to tailor campaigns that fit different territories.

You should adapt and localise creative assets centrally and apply in-market Quality Assurance (QA) and testing. The process must ensure that the campaign messages really say what you want them to say in every language required, not just in the home market.

Successful localisation marries art and science, blending the best cultural insights and understanding of people with the right technology and processes.

At the same time, you should have a global creative brief that all marketing teams can work from to avoid massive reworking in market. And you should understand the creative toolkit needs for each market; be open to developing toolkits that work for larger, medium and smaller markets.

Smart localisation will deliver better results, protect your brand globally, and save you money, time, and stress for stakeholders.

Check the teams

Successful implementation depends on having the right blend of people so it’s important to check that your teams have the right balance and make any changes needed.

The best campaign ideas can become unintelligible when they cross cultural or language divides because local teams may not have a firm understanding of the culture where the big idea was generated.

To overcome any resistance to the campaign concept, work with local teams to define the best ways to collaborate creatively within a global plan that has the creative concept as a guide. This way, you should also avoid costly, time-consuming reworking in different markets.

At the heart of the teams, you should have forward-thinking and agile project managers, headed by an experienced and knowledgeable ‘Implementation Captain’ to deliver the most effective management and communication.

They will maintain consistency while facilitating the flow of knowledge between translators, validators, developers, client stakeholders and creative agencies. With their guidance, everyone will know their campaign goals and tasks, following clear sign-off processes and methods for resolving issues.

Be clear on budgets

If you want the marketing teams to deliver effectively and confidently, sort out the budget details at an early stage to make sure your people know where the money is coming from and who has ownership and allocation rights. With this knowledge, regions will not need to guess campaign budgets, which can lead to wasteful creative production.

Choose the best tools

Make sure you choose the right global marketing tools and technology.

Prioritise a single, secure and robust Digital Asset Management system, accessible to both partners and agencies, will ensure correct assets are available.

Also invest in an inclusive campaign management and collaboration platform to efficiently manage the complete campaign process and status, flagging any issues early and ensuring project tracking against every deliverable for every market.

Other tools like translation memory and workflow, video subtitling and web-based CMS translation software will also help you implement global campaigns effectively.

Creative implementation

The four steps for implementation should smooth the path to successful global campaigns:

  • Create once, implement globally
  • Check the teams
  • Be clear on budgets
  • Choose best tools

There is an undeniable ROI from spending as much time planning how to deliver a brilliant campaign across many markets and territories as on the initial creative concept. Through implementation planning, costs are kept under control and campaign delivery is definitely less stressful, not least because there’s results you can measure.

Kevin Freedman, chief executive, Freedman International



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