PR Week recently published an article that delved into how large businesses organised their global communications programmes.
The conclusion after gathering insight from a number of in-house and agency sources was that there isn’t necessarily a best practice, rather a list of ways in which this can be done. This is a fair reflection of the reality of global comms; there isn’t a one size fits all solution and it very much depends on what you are trying to achieve. It also isn’t the case that multi-territory campaigns always require pots of cash to implement. Many clients are taking advantage of media globalisation and realise that by choosing the right media, creating engaging content, and carefully controlling messaging, you can be very frugal in your approach.
Liberty works with a number of clients on global campaigns. One of our multi-territory clients is a global contract manufacturer in the high tech space for whom we’re helping to extend its marketing beyond the US and into Europe, directly supporting sales activity. The campaign is centrally managed out of the UK and includes developing digital assets and then using global digital media outlets to engage and take audiences on a journey through to sales. Regionalisation is handled centrally, and because messaging is sales focused, on-the-ground sales teams will feed into approvals and amendments, through our global client in San Francisco.
Similar to this, but in consumer marketing, was the recent launch of the new Range Rover Sport in New York. This a great example of a centrally managed global campaign without local territory support. Hiring a global icon to front the launch – Daniel Craig, aka James Bond – and the controlled use of global media distribution channels via Richard Young, an iconic society photographer in his own right, meant that this story was always going to cross borders. So no need for regional offices to curate the content; it was a media juggernaut that had to be managed centrally.
Where local offices can be very effective is on-going marketing and PR support where there is a clear benefit. Regional press offices, for example, that simply must be on the ground to recognise locally-specific issues and cultural differences, particularly where politics is involved. Another is media buying, either at a country by country level or wider regional level, such as APAC, where relationships and volume can make a big difference to placement and buying power.
Because there will never be a one size fits all global model, the most sensible happy medium for marketing agencies that work on global business is to take the central hub approach covering off key regions; that way you’re never too far away from being able to tailor your approach from campaign to campaign and client to client.