When it comes to marketing, size matters. Or does it? If you can’t beat the big guys with big budgets, it still pays dividends to think like them.
Among the most intricate marketing feats tackled by mammoth brands are sweeping international product launches. International launches pose unique challenges in the cross-device era — challenges that call for unique solutions. Smaller brands can extract exemplars of consumer-centric, data-driven campaign planning by using the “big guys” execution as a template.
With the recent conclusion of CES, it only feels right to look to the consumer electronics industry, where products are commonly unleashed on a global scale, simultaneously in several countries. Let’s take, for example, the rollout of the Samsung S9 — a massive launch that covered an entire calendar year and reportedly involved record-setting placements in several markets, with a focus on premium video. The tech giant expertly coordinated an unprecedented same-day release of the device across the planet, leading to massive gains.
The detailed mentality behind this masterful planning is one that smaller brands can embrace to realize more localized success.
The first step is to break out the finer points of product launches, including coordinating consistent messaging, developing a consistent visual identity, generating dynamic creative, developing consolidated plans to access diverse advertising inventory pools and setting up actionable measurement protocols. Once these individual elements are pinned down, marketers can achieve the necessary integration of creative, data and technology and measure across internal and external systems.
Much like the cultural nuances that exist across global markets, cultural gradation can be seen across smaller national regions. That’s why it’s important to focus on unifying messages to build brand awareness, recognition, sentiment and trust across markets.
In an increasingly interconnected marketplace, where traditional borders are transcended by the ease of information transference, large brands are becoming less concerned about localization and more about how to build their brand through consistent and recognizable messaging and visual identity across digital, social and mobile channels.
Especially for brands that don’t have the resources to conduct extensive research in every market, it’s better to work toward a single creative idea that has the versatility to scale across many markets, devices and channels. Then brands can leverage dynamic creative to make the necessary changes to personalize these holistic campaigns at a one-to-one level.
Once messaging is settled, brands must consider how they will develop, reach and engage their target audience. Ideal consumer personas may vary across markets, which is why it’s critical to leverage technology that can access data points across regions and buy advertising inventory based on these diverse signals.
To personalize creative and engage consumers across channels, brands must work with platforms that can ingest the necessary data points to recognize consumers across channels, feed in additional data points about their buyer behavior and activate that data to make efficient and effective advertising placements. This also requires that a platform have access to a sizable pool of inventory to scale campaigns across markets. In addition, platforms really need to have the advertising background to offer managed services that can help a brand carry out more scalable, data-driven campaigns.
When all is said and done, product launches can take years to plan, organize, develop and execute. But any launch can flop if a brand can’t collect, analyze and act on learnings in real time. What’s more, brands must be able to activate these learnings across different markets, rather than operating in silos.
While it’s important to recognize the insights that local creative teams can provide, a platform that can centralize learnings and quickly identify mass opportunities to increase efficiency and effectiveness can give a brand the flexibility to make changes based on the most actionable observations.
These details point to the need for not only a coordinated approach at the brand level, but also the need to work with a marketing partner that brings all these aspects to bear in a single solution.
In addition to the benefits of integration — centralized data, dynamic creative, streamlined access to supply and consolidated measurement — a single-solution provider eliminates costly middlemen. For a brand trying to replicate the detailed approach of a multinational force, the additional costs of a piecemeal solution is a significant opportunity cost. Ideally, the right partner enables a brand to pull together creative, data and measurement cohesively to deliver speed and consistency across markets, making sure even a smaller brand still has the ability to cast a bigger shadow.
Building a proper support team, when the time is right, will keep you sane, will make your company successful and make you successful. It won’t be easy. But when the time is right, it might be the most important hire you make.
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