As we’re forever being told – the world is indeed getting smaller. This is especially true in the business world where the ‘shift’ is taking place to the emerging markets and their impressive growth rates and exponentially growing consumer markets.
A ‘one size fits all’ approach very rarely works. We are all familiar with the apocryphal stories of well known brands blundering into new markets with wildly inappropriate branding and advertising (that worked fine at home) – landing terribly in the new market because somebody either forgot to do their homework, or thought it wasn’t important.
In the marketing roles I have held within global firms I have worked hard to ensure that the output of big-ticket marketing projects are successful when delivered in disparate regions (e.g. when working on the company magazine, new websites, branding, etc). In addition, I have adapted ‘centralised’ marketing material to fit local audiences where necessary and also helped drive the development of smaller-scale local content, providing guidance and quality control.
I have loved the international marketing work I have done. Whether it’s sourcing graphic design support in India, conducting a 10,000 person mailshot in Brazil, working with UKTI to deliver a high profile event in Mexico, or speaking to a PR partner in New York – there is nothing I like better than working within a genuinely international context.
The key to successful international marketing is having a genuine interest and curiosity in other cultures – to understand them and engage with them on their own terms – and to not assume your own (home grown) way is always best; ‘empire-style’ marketing is not to be recommended. The other key consideration when working for UK-headquartered organisations is remembering that those in ‘the regions’ will often rely heavily on you as they tend to be much smaller and in need of more support.
My track record:
- Supporting the start-up of new offices in Mumbai (Indian Art tie-in event in London, brand new collateral for office), Mexico City (organising a high profile launch event at the British Embassy in partnership with UKTI) and Sao Paulo (major PR campaign to 10,000 contacts).
- Working with international businesses for the last 13 years with daily interaction with non-UK offices.