7 Rules For Successfully Managing Global Marketing Teams
Companies with global operations know they must have a solid, consistent marketing strategy. To make sure their marketing teams operate efficiently, Hunt Mortgage Group marketing director Brent Feigenbaum says these companies need to follow a few basic principles and track key indicators.
Brent recently wrote a report containing seven rules that will encourage the best practices across different regions and create more compelling global marketing campaigns, all while being inclusive and adaptive to regional markets’ requirements that are a must for business that want to branch out.
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1. Create A Community
Always keep everyone involved. Hold regular video/teleconference calls to ensure everyone feels part of a larger team and that they're accomplishments are recognized. If your marketing staff is getting too large, also hold smaller, more focused meetings for specific disciplines, such as for your public relations and communications staff to share updates, current initiatives and global programs.
By fostering a collaborative cross-regional marketing team, Brent says you can develop strong working bonds as your staff becomes part of a shared effort. And by putting successful initiatives in the spotlight, you not only share the best information, but you encourage a little competition as well.
2. Get Out There
Successful global management means means getting out to local offices—especially foreign ones. Marketing leaders should tour offices at least once a year. When you meet with colleagues in the field, you'll get a better understanding of their work environment, circumstances and challenges, which could help you see new ways to uncover untapped opportunities. And by listening to local business executives and learning their marketing challenges, you can try to manage roadblocks that other teams have been encountering.
3. Get Personal
Meet face-to-face with your team.
Brent says teams should host an annual meeting allowing all members of the global marketing teams to meet in a personal setting where human dynamics take over and relationships are forged.
With tight budgets and demanding work schedules, interacting on a personal level is invaluable. But if that's not an option, make sure to reach out through emails and calls to congratulate the team on work accomplishments, but also personal achievements. Remember events like graduations and births that define employees as individuals.
4. Recognize Differences
Gain input from all regional branches before launching a global marketing initiative. The input you receive will help you understand the regional and cultural differences in the areas you serve, and that knowledge should shape the end product and, in doing so, create stronger results with global applications.
5. Keep Consistent
While keeping cultural differences in mind, you should strive for consistency in your marketing programs.
Regional offices may insist their marketing approaches should be unique, but this claim has as much to do with control as it does with personal preferences. Remember, a unified global brand strategy creates better brand awareness and stronger global identity.
6. Let The Best Team Win
There are two basic approaches when hiring agencies to support your marketing and communications campaigns—hire a global company and use it to coordinate efforts worldwide, orfind the best team for the region and take on the coordination in-house.
While each approach has particular benefits, Brent writes that the second may often be better. An agency is only as good as its team and if you pick the best local team for each region, rather than having a universal selection process, you won't have to manage a weak team in a particular region. Plus, the cost factors involved with hiring multiple agencies can be very similar to working with a full global one.
7. Admit Knowledge Gaps
Leading a global marketing team isn't a job for a know-it-all. Strong leaders admit when they don't have all the answers; seek help from your regional teams and be open to input.
Brent says 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."
By seeking their input, he adds, you can build a functioning team where everyone plays a role, makes contributions and feels valued.