Every marketer faces different challenges, and global brands have their own set of unique difficulties when marketing in 2022. These challenges range from staffing problems and lack of clarity in global communication to not having the expertise to deal with the fast-paced and ever-changing digital marketing spaces.
While running advertising and marketing campaigns in-house can be effective (and cost-effective), there comes a time when the help of an external marketing agency can help take brands to the next level. If you are a marketer who is finding it overwhelming to handle everything on your own, it may be time to make a change.
Below are four challenges global brands face commonly, and how an external marketing agency can help mitigate them.
Challenge 1: Weak global communication between regional teams
One of the biggest crutches global brands must overcome is weak global communication and workflow between markets and departments. Even if it is smooth sailing within a regional team, there is often difficulty aligning on an international level and understanding each market’s needs. This is wholly natural, as people are only trained to be experts in the markets they represent.
To overcome this problem, it is important for stakeholders to be transparent across regional teams about expectations, cultural differences, and each market’s needs. Beyond that, it is often also a good idea to have an international marketing agency jump in to close the gap between departments by overseeing a particular area across all regions.
For example, when there is great content for the English team being produced which requires translation into other languages. There is often confusion or frustration over who should produce the translation or who will manage the project in the first place. An international agency with translation capabilities solves this problem. Not only will they have content experts that can provide the translation, but they can also oversee content across markets.
The same is managing certain advertising platforms. For example, an external advertising agency may take charge of all PPC activities run by a global brand, across multiple markets. This ensures there is communication between regions when keywords are selected. And advert performance can be analysed in context instead of in fragments, improving and aligning brand messaging in the long term.
Challenge 2: Not understanding local laws and needs when advertising
Managing the marketing of successful global brands in every industry requires a strong understanding of local laws in the regions. This is true of beauty and cosmetic brands. It is true of investment banks and brokers, and it is true of companies in the tech space.
Even though digital marketing may appear similar in all regions, they may not be entirely alike. There may be certain words that are banned when advertising in one country. While another country has strict regulations on certain services and products (most notably in the financial world, compliance complications arise frequently).
On top of just understanding the local laws surrounding advertising, different markets respond differently to the same advertising strategy. For example, a certain advert format in one country may yield higher conversion rates and impressions. Such as radio advertising in North America as many residents drive to work. However, this may not work so well in Scandinavian countries where many commuters go to work by bike or public transport.
Understanding local laws and needs when advertising is one of the biggest challenges that companies face. Without a dedicated research team for each market, it becomes impossible to produce advertisements that can reach and resonate with their target audience.
One of the best ways to overcome this challenge is to hire an international advertising agency with experts in your target markets. This way, you will have local teams on the ground that understand the behavioural patterns of the consumers you are trying to reach, native speakers that can grasp the finer points of a culture. And you can avoid any advertising blunders born of ignorance.
Challenge 3: Being outpaced by technology
Not every global brand is going to have a marketing and advertising department in-house, especially those that are still expanding. Even those that do have their own marketing team may not have all the resources they need, in terms of staff or expertise.
Global brands may find it a challenge to keep up with the ever-changing digital marketing space. In the fast-paced environment, platform guidelines are being updated every so often and new tools are introduced every half year. An in-house marketer who may have been familiar with the tech six months ago may find it difficult to figure out why a strategy is not working anymore, six months later.
Not keeping up with the digital marketing scene extends beyond being outrun by tech. In the past few years, we have seen the rise of influencer marketing. It has become so prolific that companies are now allocating a significant portion of their total budgets just for this strategy. For in-house teams, playing catch-up with digital marketing trends and strategies can be overwhelming.
This challenge can be solved by a company bringing in an external marketing agency to assist with their branding and advertising needs. With the resources of a full agency and partnerships with advertising platforms and search engines. External marketers are often privy to digital updates and guidelines as they are launched. It can save your internal team a lot of headaches and research down the line.
Challenge 4: Difficulty proving ROI of campaigns
It has always been a challenge demonstrating Return on Investment (ROI) of campaigns for in-house marketing teams. ROI not only helps marketers understand whether their global campaigns have been effective. But they are also the biggest justifier of budget allocation. Therefore, there is huge importance in recording the right metrics and showcasing them properly.
However, campaign progress tracking proves to be a challenge for many marketers. There is difficulty in tracking every single marketing activity. And there is often a lack of clarity in cross-department communication between the marketing and sales teams. On top of that, the digital marketing space is changing so that leads and sales are no longer the only metrics worth tracking. These days, marketing wins also consist of downloads, impressions, clicks, and online engagements.
An in-house marketer that may be an expert in traditional marketing may very well not be an expert in social media and search engine marketing, and reasonably so. This is especially true of global brands that have always engaged in offline marketing. This change in environment can be jarring, while the need to demonstrate ROI presses on against their backs.
This challenge can be solve, once more, by collaborating with a digital marketing agency. They will have the tools, resources, and staff to track your campaign progress. This does not mean they have to take over an in-house marketer’s job. Rather, labour can be divided, with the in-house marketer looking into company statistics. While the external agency does broader market research, tracking, and reporting.
Companies regardless of size are always looking for avenues to growth. And over the past few years, the digital landscape has changed significantly. From ever-evolving platform guidelines to shifting local laws and regulations, many marketers have had to jump through countless hoops. Global brands that find it challenging to keep up can stay ahead of the competition. By partnering with an external agency to formulate sharper strategies that can weather the changing patterns of marketing platforms.