Thursday, 31st May 2012
Ann Marie Plankey
If you're planning your marketing on a regional basis, you might be missing out on valuable opportunities at the global level. We often hear from sponsors that they want a digital mailing list that reaches one country or continent... but is that truly serving their goals?
It's a big world-wide web out there... and one of the delights of digital publishing is the ability to reach subscribers, buyers and readers, regardless of geography.
But that's also one of the biggest challenges. Organisations large and small struggle to define and develop a marketing strategy that is not bounded by geography.
In large companies, marketing departments and budgets are often organised by geographic region, with one office (and budget) addressing the needs of EMEA, another working on North America and still another on Asia-Pacific.
In smaller companies, leaders often decide to focus on a single geography -- "We're only working on the United Kingdom this year," is a common orientation.
Geography mattered more in an analogue world, even in marketing. When we had to print brochures and affix postage, we needed to pick a geographic area for the mailing to control costs and create a manageable result.
In a digital world, those limitations no longer exist and are in fact meaningless. Anyone anywhere can find your website; the cost of sending 10,000 brochures is only negligibly different to the cost of sending 1,000.
Why would you not want to take advantage of the economies of scale?
Marketing ≠ sales
One reason for the resistance amongst many organisations for thinking globally with their marketing is that, on a practical level, they still need to address sales on a geographic basis.
Sales relationships require personal connections, and those are best created in person. Even telephone and/or email connections benefit from sales people being in relative proximity to their customers: They understand the expectations and norms of their customers' culture. And if you're up against time zone shifts of more than 4 hours, it can be very difficult to schedule productive meetings.
But the assumption that the geographic requirements of sales create a geographic framework for marketing does not serve a business well. It may feel easier to design the marketing programme around that assumption, but it is limiting and even old-fashioned in a global age.
The trick is to untangle marketing from sales at the strategic level: Marketing should still always be in the service of sales. At the same time, marketing needs to assume global reach, then feed results to sales on a geographic basis.
In a series of short articles, we'll bust some of the myths about narrowing your marketing (even if you need to focus your sales territories). We'll use our experiences of working with FreePint Sponsors to make the most of global marketing opportunities, even when they need to devote sales attention to particular countries or regions.
You'll see a number of common themes across all these examples:
Go global... now!
If you're ready to get a more global perspective on your marketing, we're here to help. Request a 30-minute free consultation on creating a measurable global marketing project to test for yourself how a global approach yields results.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your free consultation.
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