I’ve written a few articles on the global marketing subject before, this article includes a bit of repetition however it’s aimed at a company with a prescense in 4 or more countries, that want to start out with digital marketing activities but feel unsure of where to start and where to invest and how to prioritize a large batch of markets.
These are my key take aways from helping global brands who has never done any digital marketing activities to more experiences brands, this advice is suitable for both B2B and B2C to manage global marketing activities.
Data – first of all you need to ensure that you have your analytics account in order. That you have goals and events set-up so you can track activities. You should also have one account where you can access all markets analytics accounts within it. And DO NOT set-up a separate analytics account for a campaign site, if you need a campaign site at all, ensure its located within your main domain and that your one and only analytics account is set-up to track it.
Pilot campaigns – if your company is new to digital marketing and don’t know where to start you can do a pilot campaign:
- Choose one or more activities – such as paid search, youtube ads and paid social for example.
- Choose 3 or 5 markets which has significant differences, such as size of the country, potential (growth), technological maturity etc (I do recommend to do this per region e.g 3 countries in APAC, Europe etc – but start in one region first). Ensure you have an uneven number of markets. Or you could do a pilot in each region.
- Run your campaign and evaluate the performance – what conclusions can you draw from this?
CRM – If you dont have one, get one. This will help you understand your customer, as well as be able to target them better. Your CRM will help you cut costs for marketing by enabling you to build custom audiences, find look-a-likes (or twins), re-target existing customers with speific messages and more.
How to prioritise – Managing a company who are active in over 80 markets can feel overwhelming. However it’s easy to segment markets in terms of where you need to focus first. To help you prioritise ask your sales departments for help and map out:
- Market size
- Current sales revenue
- Potential in the market (is demand increasing?)
- Competition (high, medium, low?)
- Technological maturity
- No of services your company offers in that market
- Brand awareness/recognition
Always focus externally – since your online presence should focus on your customer and not your internal structure. If you don’t have someone who is responsible for marketing in a specific market with huge potential for growth – then get the numbers, do your homework and talk to your board to invest in someone who can help you tap in to the potential in a region.
Do this with all your markets, then find a framework which you divide markets either into A, B, C etc, depending on what you prioritise the most, let’s say it’s sales revenue and potential in the market. Using this method its quite easy to find which markets to prioritise and plan actions for accordingly.
You need to find an effective way of working on a large scale. Here are a few ideas:
Batch translate – then market adapt. English, French and German is spoken in more countries then England, France and Germany in Europe, Therefore batch translating using an agency, will help you save time – then market adapt.
Find global agencies with local offices if possible – this helps you to ease your workload in this process as well as helping you reduce prices for any digital marketing specialist that you need help from. Set-up one global agreement and get better hourly rates as well as enable the local markets to have local support and help. Also useful in terms of market adapting any creative material such as banners and copy if necessary if you cant do it inhouse.
Create frameworks from your global head quarter for: KPI’s, how to work with SEO, buying media, create landing pages, follow up and reporting etc. This ensures a set standard is met and that your digital marketing investments really pays off.
Reporting model – you need to find an easy way to get information to you – rather then having to ask for it, potentially 80 times. Set-up a template with what you need to know from the local markets and have them fill in this on a weekly or monthly basis. Perosnally I would use Google Docs to avoid infomation getting stuck in inboxes.
One account to rule them all – whether it’s paid search or analytics you should have one account which holds all the markets within it. This way you have all the data in one place and it’s easier to keep track of, benchmark markets against each other etc. Also this is the way you still regain control of a global presences and activities.
FAQ – use either wiki, Google Docs or your intranet to have one go to place for frequently asked questions, supporting documentation, checklist – make it as easy as possible to access and update – this reduces the amount of questions from the local markets which will come your way.
Educating and activating markets – starting out with something which may be new, you need to both educate and activate. This can be done by creating an market activation program containing education on what is to be done, the purpose of and the desired effect/goal. The level of knowledge may vary so you need to offer a webinar or similar to help the markets increase their knowledge.
Find local ambassadors and create incentives – there are always people within your organisation which are passionate about marketing, find these and encourage them to be your ambassadors. Incentives is another way to help increase the speed of a change, highlight, reward and show gratitude towards markets who achieve results in adapting to the new way of working.
Communication – have a plan, this is what is going to happen, when, what is then required of them to make it happen and how. If they need assistance who do they talk to etc.
Marked adaption – is always necessary. Not just from a language point of view, but also the creative material, specific local laws or similar. Down to platforms/channels. In Asia Baidu is the most common search engine, in Russia you have Yandex. In Asia it’s more common with “social search” e.g people ask their social network to provide answers to their questions rather then a search engine. And so forth. Both platforms/channels and behaviour are local. So pin down platforms/channels, languages, behaviour and technology per country together with your local offices. (They know their markets the best)
Tools and technology – use technology to your advantage. From a CMS platform which assist in the roll-out of new content in different langauages, to using Slack for market communication and knowledge sharing to Google Docs or similar for documentation.
Follow-up – Following up on a vast amount of markets is easily done by simplifying what you need to know. Use a spreadsheet and track markets progress to get a quick overview of which markets who has what activity in place.
Want a nifty spreadsheet with all the countries in the world in alphabetical order with some example activities which you can customise? then download my market logging template over here. (you are welcome 😉 )
Use a KPI framework – to define success with the user journey as the base to be able to evaluate the entire process for the customer, view your website performance from a holistic perspective to find it’s strenghts and wekanessess to content gaps.
In Google Analytics you can set up dashboards – If you don’t need a more advanced dashboard you can set-up a dashboard with a few highlights from each markets in your global view. Help the markets by creating one on their level, with the most relevant metrics for them to keep track of in one view.
Share knowledge between markets and regions – encourage knowledgesharing from what worked to what didn’t, to solutions to challanges. Don’t spend time reinventing the wheel when you can join forces.
How to be in control
To recap, to be in control of a large number of markets you need to automise as much as possible:.
- Forget reports – build dashboards.
- Make information central and easily accessible
- Inform, educate and have a conversation with your local markets – they know what works, what the local flavour and maturity is.
- Templates enables you to quickly act, spread and roll-out banners, content, campaign structures etc
- Always one master account holding the markets within it
- Share knowledge and work effectively together leverage you against your competitors in the fast paced digital marketing landscape.
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