They say no two paths are alike, and this rings true of the consumer journey. As both consumers and technology evolve, global brands are tasked with localizing many different assets on and offline.
As these physical and digital touchpoints require adequacy at a local level, being conscious of language and culture while maintaining brand consistency can be taxing. Where do you begin?
Sergio Restrepo, Vice President of Digital Marketing Services, addressed this topic in a recent webinar on the future of global agencies and specialized vendor alignment. He will show you how to plan a global localization strategy, and how to evolve your organization and teams into a true hub and spoke model.
Deciding the Translation Type for Assets
In order to be global-ready, all of your creative assets will require certain levels of translation, which vary in complexity and type. The spectrum of resources needed also varies in terms of technology and in-market resources, such as linguists.
So, how can your organization execute at a global level while maintaining messaging, costs, and efficiency?
First, let’s identify the five most common pain points.
Content limitation often occurs when you need to create or reuse content at the global level. Most companies struggle with the 3 primary pain points: brand consistency, poor campaign management, and lack of governance. Lack of clarity in any of these areas inevitably leads to increased costs as well as reduced relevance of creative messaging on a local level.
Before you take any action to fix any of these points, you will need to design organizations to work around them. These organizational models are made up of strategic partners, specialist service providers, and general service providers that offer commodity services.
Developing and Managing an Effective Organizational Model
Restrepo outlined the evolution of organizational models from early stages of globalization through achieving a true hub and spoke model, a feat that has yet to be reached by most market leaders.
The dispersed model is still very common in global market leaders struggling to control costs, and like anything else, has its ups and downs. While this model has a fast campaign cycle, it requires a huge level of effort, resulting in very high costs, especially when multiplied by many regions. Meanwhile, corporate governance, brand consistency, and campaign consistency all remain very low.
The more evolved dispersed model is the Center of Excellence (COE). This model is also very common among market leaders, and is often in response to the increasing importance of digital global marketing. This team is normally located within a company’s global HQ, and still relies heavily on hundreds of global vendors. Nonetheless, the COE is necessary for advancing to a true hub and spoke model.
The hub and spoke model is focused more on large-scale globalization. You still have a level of centralizations, considered the “hub”, or strategist, while actual execution is left to the “spokes”, made up of trusted global partners. This model allows for some key functions or capabilities to remain centralized, while local divisions or functions develop their own capabilities that link to the center.
From there, you can evolve into a multiple hub and spoke model. This model is very similar to hub and spoke, but applied to multiple divisions or units.
What’s the Catch?
A true hub and spoke model requires a high level of trust in your partners, as you need to allow all partners to interact with each other to ensure a smooth process with consistent messaging. Most organizations are currently missing the collaboration aspect, which results in less efficiency. You have only adapted a true hub and spoke model when your partners are able to collaborate and coordinate independently.
Eventually, you will emerge into a honey comb model, which integrates all different capabilities within diff departments. Very few companies have reached this level as the most evolved are just now moving into the hub and spoke model.
In the end, Restrepo concludes, we can only hope that one day all of this investment and evolution will lead to a much more simplified rollout of global marketing campaigns. Technology, matched with the right organizational design and trusted partners with proper teams could eventually lead these intricate global campaign strategies to simply, business as usual.
This is a recap of the “Challenges of Large Scale Localization and Globalization Efforts” webinar that originally aired on February 28, 2017. Watch below: