Written by guest blogger Elodie Levasseur, committee member of the Imperial College Business School Marketing Professional Interest Network and the Head of International Marketing for Universal Publishing Production Music (UPPM)*. Elodie oversees global marketing functions including music catalogues launch, brand strategy, content, analytics, corporate relations and supports international and local teams. Here she discusses the challenges faced when marketing to an international audience.
The complex world of global marketing
The world of global marketing is complex. It requires the creation of marketing content which is high quality so that each territory can promote locally when relevant to their market. At UPPM the International Marketing Team support and develop the UPPM brand’s marketing strategies across EMEA/US to contribute to the achievement of business goals – while at the same time ensuring content is relevant and interesting to the various international audiences.
Internal communications of marketing activities
One of the biggest challenges of marketing to a global audience is rolling out marketing campaigns across multiple territories at the same time. Maintaining the brand consistency across global markets whilst allowing local territories to have their own influence on messaging is key for a maximum impact globally and locally.
Communicating to local teams and understanding their needs is very important to the success of global campaigns. Local marketeers are imperative as their customers are interested in content that is shared in real time, in their language and 24/7. At UPPM the International Marketing Team is key to the process, we really innovate on the big strategic brand communications to better support local teams.
Out of 20 territories, we look after the marketing strategy and implementation of 9 of them. Many manage their local campaigns and we offer central support from design, creative content to reporting. This involves working with marketing teams and senior executives around the world and helping them coordinate translations, release schedules and dealing with regional variations.
The communication workflow between your central teams and local marketeers is very important and needs to be clear and defined. At UPPM, each week we release an enormous amount of music content that we have to share globally. That’s a lot of marketing content to be created, shared and localised. To help with global internal communication we have created an international matrix calendar, with all of our seasonal campaigns, label launch, digital releases scheduled to promote our new music available online. For a smoother communication process, we also have an online hub where all marketing content is available to territories at any time for them to use and integrate as part as their local marketing strategy.
It is important to find the balance between ‘pull and push’ content strategy. Local territories will ask for local content support (‘Pull’), but centrally you will have new global content (‘Push’). To find this balance at UPPM we use a framework to push for the localisation and translation of any campaigns we create and get a continuous loop of progress and feedback from deployment. The mantra of ‘act global think local’ remains a key point for any global marketeer.
Driving internal engagement on marketing campaigns at the highest level possible is an ongoing work in progress – you need to consider the different levels of digital understanding of our stakeholders.
Segmentation and localisation
Campaign segmentation is also part of the jigsaw for marketeers – with a need to understand not only the industry and demographics but the economic picture of the different countries.
For example, if you are planning a campaign in India at the same time they are having their presidential election, you will want to know so you can adapt your campaign to their local needs.
It is important to be sensitive to the local climate when launching a global campaign – Timing is key.
Identifying personas can be challenging in a global environment and need to be validated by each region and amended to this particular territory to reflect their relevance. Depending on the product (ready-made music for media, in this instance), we need to localise and tailor the campaign to this particular region to be relevant for the type of persona/segmentation we are going after.
An example of this, in France, the National Day is on the 14 July, celebrating the anniversary of the Bastille – in this instance it coincided with the rolling out of our ‘Tune into your festive music’ Christmas campaign. When rolling out the campaign, the French marketing team didn’t want the Christmas campaign to occupy the majority of the website. This was essential local knowledge, so it was important to run the Christmas campaign via different channels and alternative ad space on the website in France for that time period to stay relevant for that targeted region.
The best possible way to stay engaged with your global audience is to target relevant product or services to different industries/people and look at the positioning and purpose for each products or services. This way you are targeting the largest possible share of the market in terms of your customer demands.
Improving your internal communication with local stakeholders on the ground as well as localising segmentation strategies to further personalise marketing, is the recipe for success and an example of ‘acting global and thinking local’.
* A division of Universal Music Publishing Group and Universal Music Group, the world’s leading production music company. UPPM creates, produces and licenses music for use in film, television, advertising, broadcast and other media.