The Globalisation of Marketing – the Power of Purpose
This article, written by Kate Makuen, Head of Communications and Marketing, was originally featured in our 2018 Bridging the Gap report, which focuses on the UK communications, digital and marketing interim market. Our 2020 Bridging the Gap survey is now open – have your say today and you could win a £100 retail voucher of your choice.*
Kate is a marketing leader based in London. With experience spanning five global financial institutions, on the buy-side and sell-side, her areas of expertise include strategy, brand, content, campaigns and proposition development. She is passionate about digital transformation, diversity and innovation.
Barry Diller1, once said, that where there is differentiation there is value.
Marketing creates differentiation to scale business growth and drive change throughout organisations by enabling new ways of working. Interim marketing leaders can often bring a new perspective to an established team. Equally, permanent members of staff can challenge themselves to different frameworks. Five priorities come to mind: brand, content, technology, channel integration and people.
Brand management is essential
Balancing the need for a global approach with the imperative for local relevance is a challenge for marketing. The most successful brands combine a sense of purpose with a focus on the customer and on employees as brand ambassadors. Brand strategy encompasses not only the promise a company makes to the customer, but to its employees, shareholders, investors, rating agencies, journalists and regulators. We need to understand how to measure advocacy across the different constituencies of a brand. For customers, we have Net Promoter Score (NPS), but what do we have for other audiences? For brands to be globally consistent and believable, while locally relevant, research must be conducted by local vendors in local languages.
Content is king: marketing needs to think like a publisher
Marketing services to complex organisations requires a deep understanding of buyer behaviour and internal procurement practices. The benefits of products and services can be explained not only by the pain point or problem that the service provider is solving for the customer, but by providing a new framework or lens to view the problem. An example is response to regulation. Rather than viewing GDPR adoption as a problem that needs solving or a risk that needs mitigating, it can be construed as an opportunity to embed a universal digital platform in a business.
Embracing technology helps marketing get close to the customer while empowering staff. In many industries, companies are speaking to institutions and individuals in a B2B2C chain. Multiply that by many countries and a logical, holistic approach is challenging. This is where research, combined with sales-led customer feedback, gives marketing the ability to represent the voice of the customer in campaigns that are compliant with local regulations. Translating customer insight into campaigns using marketing automation technology connects marketing, sales and customer service to provide a unified face to the customer.
Utilising social media with non-social channels leads to a superior customer experience. Less than half of companies in a recent survey2 had a defined strategy that integrated social into their existing CX programmes. It is critical to map the entire social customer journey. Most companies are using social to achieve brand awareness; improving engagement with customers and prospects is yet to be realised. Digital transformation is often required to create the processes, or to streamline existing procedures, that make a smooth journey possible. Yet most executives do not have the digital skills required to lead such efforts and are worried about the ‘digital safety gap’ associated with social media. By getting its own house in order, marketing can digitise its operating model, adopt a unified platform and archive all activity to meet legal, compliance and audit requirements. Marketing can lead the way, as a centre for excellence, to embrace new ways of working.
Leading people is a core competency of marketing
Marketing can lead by example to discover sustainable business practices that are relevant for the entire organisation. Competitiveness can be driven by marketing in the search for innovation. Staying sharp and nimble requires not just quick thinking and agile project management techniques. Innovation flourishes where people keep an open-minded approach to learning. People are creatures of habit and often fall into the trap of inertia: we’ve always done it that way. Marketing can examine its own frameworks, its own assumptions. Advocating for continuous change and learning is a growth mindset that marketing can champion.
A global marketing team drives business growth while playing a key role in the governance of the franchise. The purpose of marketing is evolving into brand protection, cybersecurity, risk management and sustainable business practises.
“Le marketing profite a tous” - marketing benefits everyone.
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1Barry Diller is Chairman and Senior Executive of IAC and Expedia, Inc.
2Hootsuite. (2018) The Social Customer Experience (online). London: Hootsuite. Available at: https://hootsuite.com/en-gb/resources/social-customer-experience (Accessed: July 2018)