The phrase “Think Globally, Act Locally” has been used in many contexts – town planning, environment, and business. How about using it to describe your marketing strategy?
While by no means an English major, having worked at a text mining company, I’ll admit to being pretty interested in semantics. It is fascinating to see new words creep into our vocabulary, especially our marketing vocabulary.
Ever hear of the term “glocal?” It is the combination of “global” and “local.” Wikipedia tells me that it is “a term used by several companies (notably Sony Corporation and other major Japanese multinationals) in their advertising and branding strategies in the 1980s and 1990s.” Well if it was popular in the 80’s and 90’s, I am officially declaring the term en vogue again – this time in the context of your marketing strategy and your marketing platform.
It all started back in April when I was preparing for a talk at the Forrester Marketing Forum. Unica’s customer IHG was speaking about their use of Unica’s marketing platform. There it was on the slide as one of their 5 new frontiers for their marketing – glocal.
I’ll admit that the first time I saw the word I figured it was a typo. Once I realized it wasn’t, the concept immediately resonated with me. IHG is enabling franchisees to leverage corporate marketing in ways that are customized for their specific hotel and customer base. Recently, I’ve heard from half a dozen other customers about their plans to glocalize their marketing strategies.
This makes so much sense. Local teams—field marketers, branches, stores, and local agents—have valuable “on-the-ground” customer knowledge that can make local marketing efforts more customer-centric and effective. If you don’t enable them they are going to create their own marketing collateral and campaigns without you. These campaigns are likely going to be off brand, won’t have strong copy, might include margin-eroding coupons or promotions, and will ignore corporate contact fatigue rules.
Marketing platforms, like Unica, often include solutions specifically designed to extend the marketing capabilities at headquarters to local marketers. Unica’s Distributed Marketing can enable local personnel to initiate and run their own campaigns, opt-in their customers to corporate campaigns, or tweak campaigns to local conditions, all while enforcing rules, approval processes, and best practices as specified by headquarters.
For those of you interested in learning more about glocal marketing, I would recommend two resources: first, an excellent piece by Suresh Vittal at Forrester “How Technology Supports Distributed Marketing Organizations” (requires subscription); second, a less vendor neutral view—more information about Unica’s own “Distributed Marketing” solution.
What about you? Is your company ready to start thinking globally, but acting locally? Are you going glocal?
Or are there other new words creeping into your vocabulary to describe your marketing strategy?