Global Brand Project – What Local Marketers Want


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This post was first published on where I am a pro blogger for my passion, the Global Brand Project

What Local Businesses Want from Global Marketing

My last post depicted the inherent conflict between global and local marketers. It asked the question what benefits do local marketers see from having a global marketing team in their business. This post suggests the key business areas where local marketers want support from global resources.

The language choice is deliberate. Notwithstanding the natural friction between local and global teams, I believe there are areas where most local teams would welcome and invite support from global marketing.

The want help with:

  • Strategy
  • Insights
  • Innovation
  • Best practices

Global marketers who understand how to deliver on these needs, create high-energy co-operation with marketers working together to build global power brands. For every brand driven by a visionary leader who has identified and successfully communicated a universal truth behind which the whole business has rallied, there are 20 other brand leaders facing resistance from local managers to that global vision. Addressing local markets needs breaks down this resistance.

Local management teams often complain that global marketers do not listen to their needs. The result: they fail to engage each other on areas of common ground – choosing instead to look for issues and challenges between them.

When global teams focus on these four areas, they create a valuable ‘reason to be’ with the local markets.

Strategy: The global team is privileged. They have oversight of the whole business so can compare, contrast and benchmark the performance of one market against the other, see the movement in category trends or predict future market developments in emerging markets. Setting and aligning the strategy should be a priority task of the global team. It lets the global team demonstrate they understand the business reality faced by their colleagues and engage them in discussion.

Insights: Power brands are driven by a universal truth or insight. Identifying, refining and then exploiting insights is hard strategic work. Few local marketers have time for this. They are focused on day to day execution of their marketing plan. Local markets expect the global team to be able to step into the consumer’s shoes and see what really motivates her. Local markets need global to divine these previously unknown, overlooked or under-appreciated attitudes & behaviors which can then be exploited. A great example of this is the way that Special K connects with consumers’ wishes for a convenient way to manage their weight

Innovation: New product development drives brand growth. Local markets want new news to share with consumers and customers. They rarely have the resources to develop breakthrough innovation and rely on the global team to deliver relevant, competitive products that support the brand positioning or deliver on a newly identified insight. P&G has created a $1bn business behind the product developments in its Swiffer business. In many companies innovation comes in the form of new products. Communication innovation is overlooked. Local markets need both from the global team.

Sharing best practices: Knowledge sharing can be a big win for the global team. The global team is are better connected and networked than local marketers and should be able to identify which processes, initiatives actions or training that have worked well on one market could successfully migrate to another.

To each item on this list I would add metrics. Business is managed by metrics. A global team that fails to demonstrate they understand this loses credibility. A recent survey Marketing Week reported many CEOs do not think their CMO understands the commercial challenges of the business – instead concerning themselves with metrics like brand awareness and customer satisfaction. Global teams that support their proposals and initiatives with meaningful commercially relevant metrics will be seen to deliver on local market needs more effectively than those that do not.

Are you in a local marketing team?

What else do you need from the global marketing team to be able to do your job more effectively?

Is there something more important that you want from the global team that is missing here?

I look forward to your comments and input.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Richard Kohn
Results driven, inspirational innovator with extensive global experience. Blue-chip experience in FMCG, B2B & professional services. Respected for delivering actionable & game changing business solutions across all aspects of a commercial operation.


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