How EMEA Marketing Managers can effectively localise global marketing campaigns
Localising global marketing campaigns
As more organisations want to target new markets and reach new customers, EMEA Marketing Managers are faced with localisation challenges. The prospect of a global brand may sound exciting, but the practicalities of adapting it for a local market can be time-consuming and fraught with difficulties.
The ability to effectively localise marketing campaigns and strategy is essential for business growth and profitability. For many EMEA Marketing Managers, it can often feel that much of their time is spent trying to fit a square peg of a global brand campaign into a round role of their local market needs. With shrinking marketing budgets and the need for consolidation, how can EMEA Marketing Managers effectively roll out global campaigns at a local level without compromising the message or brand? In this post, I want to share with you six considerations for adopting a unified local marketing campaign.
1. Internal collaboration
A critical element that makes global marketing work on a local level is the relationship between global and in-market teams. Spend time on internal ‘sell-in’ to help your global counterparts understand the local audience – the issues they face, and what content resonates most with them.
Clarify what is driven globally and what is managed locally. Some campaigns lend themselves to being led at a global or central level, whilst other more tactical campaigns such as PR, events and social media initiatives are best managed locally.
Determine how budget is allocated, both globally and locally. For example, the cost of asset creation might be managed centrally, but the execution of the campaign might be allocated against the local budget. Determining budgetary responsibilities from the outset will help to invest the budget in the most effective way.
3. Lead times
Collaborate with global managers to ensure that sufficient time has been allowed for translation and validation before it can be rolled-out locally. This is particularly important if the campaign is to be synchronised across all countries.
4. Identify cultural differences
Succeeding in a local market doesn’t mean simply translating the language. Key messages need to be refined, and considerations need to be given to the local landscape, cultural sensitivities, and the needs and characteristics of the local target audience.
There are behavioral issues to consider too for local markets. Each country has its own cultural standards of being, thinking, and acting, and these cultural differences strongly influence workplace values and business communication. What may be considered perfectly acceptable and natural in the workplace of one country can be considered confusing or even offensive in another country. Hofstede’s Five Dimensions of Culture examines the similarities and differences in cultures in more detail to help you understand how behaviour should be considered when communicating in different countries.
5. Determine translation requirements
The target market and the context of the global campaign will determine whether translation or transcreation is required. Transcreation looks beyond just the content, and includes choice of imagery, colours and layout of collateral to ensure it meets the needs of your local audience. For example, many Asian cultures tend to prefer more interactive and colourful websites – so videos and motion graphics are commonly used in those cultures. In contrast, Scandinavian and Northern European customers prefer minimalist designs.
Be sure to enlist the help of native speaking linguists who are familiar with your industry to ensure the messages hit home with your target audience. Avoid messages and jargon that have been written purely for the originating market, especially when using humour and colloquialisms, as these can easily get lost in translation. Creating simple, active-voice sentences work best for local adaptation.
6. Agree what assets need to be localised
Assets which are customer facing may need to be adapted for localisation, whilst internal assets such as sales enablement material can stay centralised.
The most successful localised campaigns are those where EMEA Marketing Managers have collaborated at a global level, adapted the campaign according to their audience, whilst at the same time ensuring that global initiatives do not restrict personalisation, innovation and differentiation. This process is invaluable in order for global initiatives to fit the needs of each market and create a tailored experience for the local audience.