How to Successfully Manage Global Marketing Teams
Companies with global operations need to understand that it is essential to have a strong, consistent marketing strategy if they wish to be successful. If these companies want to achieve their goals, they need to follow a few basic principles and track key indicators. To ensure that their marketing teams operate efficiently, Hunt Mortgage Group marketing director Brent Feigenbaum offers his take on what companies need to do to achieve success.
Brent recently explained seven rules he believes will encourage the best practices across different regions and help establish more compelling global marketing campaigns.
1. ESTABLISH A COMMUNITY
One key to success is to always keep everyone involved and informed. It is important to hold regular video and teleconference calls to ensure everyone feels connected to a larger team. Highlight individual accomplishments to encourage more productivity and reward. If you feel as though your marketing team is becoming too large, hold smaller, more focused meetings for specific departments, such as for your public relations and digital communications branch.
By fostering a collaborative cross-regional marketing staff, Brent believes this will help develop stronger working bonds as your staff becomes part of a shared effort.
2. GO OUT AND MAKE YOUR PRESENCE KNOWN
Successful global management means visiting local offices—especially foreign ones. Marketing leaders should tour offices at least once a year. When you meet with colleagues in their country, you will achieve better understanding of their work environment, and the challenges they face. This could help you obtain a fresh perspective that can help you uncover possible overlooked opportunities. Furthermore, by listening to local business executives and learning about their marketing challenges, you might be able to circumvent roadblocks that other teams have been encountering in similar foreign markets.
3. GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
You should always try to make time to meet face-to-face with your team. Brent suggests if possible, teams should try to come together for an annual meeting. This allows all members of the global marketing teams to meet in a personal setting. By hosting this annual meeting, human dynamics will take over and meaningful relationships can be forged.
Although budgets may be tight and work schedules are demanding, interacting on a personal level is invaluable. If, however, that is not an option, it is important to reach out through videochat, emails and calls to congratulate the team on work accomplishments, but also personal achievements. You should always make a conscious effort to remember events like graduations and births that define employees as individuals.
4. OBSERVE AND UNDERSTAND DIFFERENCES
It is imperative that you gain and consider input from all regional branches before launching a global marketing campaign. This knowledge is truly invaluable because the input you receive will aid you in understanding the regional and cultural differences in the areas you serve. In turn, this will produce a greater end result because the knowledge you obtain will help create more meaningful results.
5. CONSISTENCY IS KEY
While keeping cultural differences in mind, you should aim for as much consistency as possible in your marketing initiatives. While regional offices may believe that their marketing approaches should be unique, in reality this claim has as much to do with control as it does with personal preferences. It is important to remember that a unified global brand strategy will create better brand awareness and a stronger global identity.
6. FIND THE BEST TEAM
There are two basic, yet different approaches you can take when hiring agencies to support your marketing and communication initiatives. Firstly, you can employ a global company and use them to coordinate your efforts worldwide. If you feel this approach will not help you to reach your goals, then you can instead, find the best team for that particular region and take on the coordination in-house.
Although each approach has advantages and disadvantages, Brent believes that the second approach may often be better. An agency is only as good as its team and if you pick the best local team for each region, you won’t have to manage a weak team in a different region. Furthermore, there are significant cost factors to consider when hiring multiple agencies that can be very similar to working with a full global one.
7. UTILIZE COLLECTIVE KNOWLEDGE
Leading a global marketing team isn’t a job for a single person who cannot admit when they need assistance and other’s expertise. Strong leaders need to seek solutions from others when they don’t possess all of the answers. Doing so will allow you to seek help from your regional teams and be open to input that you may have overlooked.
Brent believes that your teams live and experience your business with different markets, competitors and clients. “Their work and life experiences are invaluable to building a truly global initiative.” When you actively seek their input, then you can build a successful team where everyone has a role, actively contributes and feels as though they are valued.