Modern manufacturing makes use of the mass customisation approach. Parts from in-house teams and suppliers can be combined in a variety of ways to produce a finished product that meets a specific customer’s need. This approach carries some risk, however: When parts are delivered late or with defects, customer orders are delayed.
Global campaigns are a form of mass customisation for B2B organisations, holding the promise of scale, consistency, and efficiency in reaching target audiences. But when it comes to planning, creating, and using global campaign content, it’s rare to find anyone — from the intended audience to the B2B organisation — who is consistently happy with how things are going.
A key factor is that the majority of B2B marketing organisations centralise content strategy, localisation, and translation activities. As a result, many regional or local teams receive content they feel can’t be used in their market. From the local marketer’s perspective, there’s uncertainty about when the content will be delivered. The local team may need to further customise assets or build surrounding content (e.g., landing pages, email copy, social posts) on short notice before those global assets can be used. They may also have to create net-new, locally originated content to fill gaps to support local market requirements. This results in delayed time-to-market and reactive efforts. This is not what teams expect when the intent is to have ready-made parts available for a global campaign.
So what can you do as a regional marketer to get the content you need?
The following questions can help you start meaningful conversations with your organisation’s global campaign team on content strategy, localisation, and translation. These topics explore ways to improve visibility and measurement of campaign content while focusing on audience needs.
What Does Your Local Audience Prefer?
Your local knowledge is power. Any discussions about campaign content — from assets that can be repurposed to what new content will be created — should have audience requirements at the centre. You can provide important guidance about local market dynamics, how personas in the buying group work together, and local audience content and language preferences. You’re also well suited to provide early feedback on campaign content based on your understanding of local trends, culture, and language.
Action item: Ask how your global campaigns will prioritise audiences, geographies, and languages both globally and locally. By highlighting the need to focus content decisions on audience requirements, you can then offer insights about your local audience and their needs.
How Can We Improve Our Collaboration?
Unplanned or last-minute work on campaign content often comes from a lack of visibility and communication. Although working across time zones comes up in any global effort, a more pervasive challenge is using a global, shared content calendar and content inventory. As a result, many regional marketing teams create content because they aren’t sure what assets are coming or when they will be available. They often don’t know what content exists globally or can’t find existing assets in repositories. Beyond participating in global campaign interlock sessions and reviewing initial content plans, everyone needs a day-to-day source of truth for what is in progress and what is available.
Action item: Ask how your organisation can develop a global, shared content calendar and inventory if they aren’t available today. If these exist in some form, offer constructive feedback so they can be used more effectively. For example, educate global teams on tags that would help local teams find content more easily. Share your team’s own inventory of locally created or translated content with the global campaign team. It’s possible that these are not yet in a global content inventory and would be a welcome addition — as well as an opportunity to improve collaboration efforts.
How Can We Identify What’s Working?
For many B2B organisations, content performance insights are limited. Global campaign measurement dashboards may not offer enough detail to inform future messaging and content decisions. You may have perspective, though, about what content is driving traffic or engaging audiences in your region. Even if it’s content outside the global campaign, the global campaign team will benefit from your insights.
Action item: Ask the global campaign team for support in building or refining content measurement dashboards, and share your perspective about content that resonates in your market. Whenever you can identify patterns and provide local insights, the global campaign team will benefit from learning and iterating on things that have been working.
Bottom line: Don’t go rogue locally because you’re not getting what you need from global campaign teams. Instead, be an active voice in the global campaign content strategy process. By doing so, you’ll help drive better content strategy decisions that benefit the entire marketing organisation and its audiences. You’ll also be more likely to get the content you need.
In my upcoming webinar, Best Practices For Building Global Campaign Content With Local Relevance, I’ll cover more advice on driving campaign content strategy alignment between global and local teams. I hope to see you there!