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CMOs must build a cohesive team culture, embrace local diversity and consider key elements such as legal regulations and technology in order to build a consistent global brand that resonates locally, according to new research.
The study, The CMO Solution Guide for Global Brand Leaders, Transcending the Geographic Divide, which was produced by The CMO Club and Oracle Marketing Cloud, reveals insights and examples from leading CMOs across companies including Dow Chemical, Pearson, AON Corporation, The Patron Spirits Company, and Vencorex.
The study aims to help senior marketers navigate the complex global landscape whether building a global brand or marketing a brand, globally, according to The CMO Club CEO, Pete Krainik.
“Building a global brand can be so complex in managing not only the overall marketing strategy, but how you manage a global team,” he said. “This guide helps provide go-to-approaches for what’s needed to develop a well-rounded global brand strategy, as well as how to motivate a global team to build the foundation for a more cohesive culture and brand.”
In the report, leading marketers share six common elements that all begin with the same first step - developing a cohesive team culture - as well as outline key ingredients needed to create a successful global brand.
“There used to be a time when a given brand that was based in a given country only had to deal with the challenges of marketing their brand in that country. Of course, those days are long since gone, for essentially every company today is global in one way or another,” the report authors found.
“There is no difference between marketing a global brand and marketing a brand globally. There is simply no one-size-fits-all when it comes to marketing in today’s world, especially for those brands who truly are global, meaning they not only market in many countries, but they also have dedicated marketing teams across the globe, too. Bringing together so many disparate cultures and languages and delivering a cohesive and consistent brand message can seem like a herculean challenge. And, in many ways, it is just that.”
For companies with a global brand or that have aspirations to become one, the report suggested CMOs consider six key questions:
- How do you articulate and create a global brand image and presence across different languages and cultures?
- How do you deal with the many varying laws and regulations when it comes to things such as email, privacy and data?
- How does your technology platform not only handle all the different laws and regulations – but also adapt as needed?
- How do you instill in your internal teams a cohesive culture that connects and transcends geographic and sociological differences?
- How do you balance marketing competencies to benefit your global team while simultaneously enabling local team’s needs to be met?
- How do you empower your team around the world to build relationships with customers in different geographic regions/countries?
Once questions and answers are formulated, CMOs are urged to develop a cohesive culture that catalyses teamwork; pilot country-specific legal rules and regulations; build a rock-solid technology platform; and architect both local and global scale.
The report also revealed how global brand leaders need to infuse their team with a cohesive culture that connects and transcends geographic differences.
“It’s this culture that is the driving force for so many potential successes that the organisation can achieve. While many people talk about culture as if it is some fluffy concept, it’s so much more,” the report said.
“A strong culture bolsters a company’s brand, especially through what employees and customers broadcast on social media about how they love where they work and how they love the products or services.
“A strong culture is also a means of executing the company’s strategy on a global and local level. When there are clear guidelines and a set of shared values, employees will want to follow and emulate those, thereby achieving the strategy that has been set out by leadership. Everyone will also be on the same page, furthering the ability of the strategy to be effective.”
Among the key ingredients that define a cohesive global culture for a marketing organisation identified in the report are:
- A desire to win, where good could always be better, and where aspirations never end.
- Energy focused on customers, community, and competition.
- Employees that think like owners by taking personal responsibility for business performance and doing the right thing for the company.
- A team of doers who are focused on getting it done and taking care of those things that make the company better.
- An environment where people can be themselves, reach their full potential, and recognise the importance of diversity in team contributions.
- A passion to go beyond the adequate or the goal and reach for things that take the company to the next level.