Usually, it is those marketers and salespeople working at a local level that know their target customers better than anyone else. They appreciate what’s important to customers on the ground.
They appreciate what’s important to customers on the ground. They also know what type of messaging is most likely to work – and what is likely to fall flat. So when it comes to projecting a locally compelling picture of your products or services, these field marketers deserve to have a central role.
This is where the practice of localization comes into play: in other words, adapting your core marketing campaigns to reflect the different priorities, attitudes, cultural differences and preferences that may exist in a particular market. If anyone is going to ‘tweak’ your central message, then field marketers are most definitely the people for the job!
But this approach isn’t without its potential pitfalls. After all, in areas as diverse as health & beauty through to enterprise tech, global brands build their identity through universally applicable and instantly recognizable messaging and presentation. If localized brand adaptation is done in the wrong way, there is a danger of this central message becoming subject to erosion.
Here’s a closer look at the risks associated with brand erosion for field marketers – and at what you can do to avoid them.
Marketers with too much leeway
Sales staff in your local branches suddenly find themselves fielding queries about possible discounts. Customers have noticed that one of your locally based competitors has just slashed its prices and are querying whether you will be doing the same.
In response to this, local marketers decide to launch a time-limited discount offer alongside your global campaign. On the face of it, this local promotion appears to be successful in boosting sales. Dig a little deeper, however, and other customers are confused. After all, on a global basis, you position yourself on the basis of quality and excellent customer service. This local twist on your national campaign has a distinct ‘bargain basement’ feel that goes against the grain. This is a classic example of field marketers tweaking your campaign in response to what’s happening locally – but doing it in a way that sends mixed messages to your customer base.
When looking at templating and brand portal tools, it’s worth focusing on those solutions that enable content adaptation – but only according to predetermined parameters and rules set by you.
Agencies with limited guidance
Marketers in branch offices may have an excellent idea of what they want to say in their local versions of global campaigns, but they lack the in-house resources to produce everything themselves. The natural solution is to approach a design agency to get localized versions created.The agency may be provided with a broad brief to create something that is going to resonate with the target audience while sticking to the central message. However, if that agency isn’t fully appraised on all of the critical elements of the global brand, essential parts of it could become distorted. Which is the most up-to-date logo? What images are to be used – and under what conditions? Which of the various strap-lines and banner ad headlines must always stay the same – and which can be varied?
To overcome these difficulties, you need a platform that enables field marketers to adapt global campaigns to achieve maximum local relevance – but to do it in a way that ensures that you stay in control of the message. That’s why, when looking at templating and brand portal tools, it’s worth focusing on those solutions that enable content adaptation – but only according to predetermined parameters and rules set by you.