Collaborate, conspire and integrate from day one
The journey starts with identifying key people on both the agency and client sides that will be required to make the trip as smooth and as insightful as possible. Gaining involvement by people with responsibility for all areas of brand experience will create greater ownership of the plan and ensure relevancy to all areas of the business. Buy-in is critical.
2. Invest in research
I can't emphasize enough how important research is before launching a global campaign. The U.S. is actually lagging behind other parts of the world in 3G adoption, smartphone penetration, high-speed Internet connectivity, etc. So, do test ... and realize the rest of the world is very different from the U.S.
3. Understand your clients and customers
As with any category, there are always groups of target customers that can have interest in and desire for a product or service. It is important to identify a core group of consumers whose needs and values match those of the brand you are promoting. Fish where the fish are.
4. Build the brand architecture
Once you fully understand your customer, you need to fully understand the brand. Develop and validate a competitive global brand positioning accompanied by a set of brand values and personality. What is key to building the brand architecture for your local market is to understand how that positioning and those values translate to your local customers and clients.
"Brand architecture is the organizing tool that dictates how you go to market"
5. Interrogate and scrutinize the competition
Now that you understand your customers and your brand, dissect the competition. Track press releases, annual reports ... know them, own them.
6. Review the business environment
Understand and review trends as they relate to technology, media and legislation that may have an impact on your customers or how you can market your products. These can provide opportunities to communicate your brand in new and different ways that can enhance your brand values.
7. Develop key strategies and set objectives
You should always use the global brand positioning as a filter to evaluate whether everything you are doing locally in contributing to what you want the brand to stand for globally. In this way, you remain focused in your efforts to build both your brand and your business in every market.
"Brand strategy should direct all facets of the company; it links the business strategy to customers' needs/expectations"
8. What are we going to say?
Having a strong understanding of a customer, a brand and our competitor, you now need to identify what message or messages you want to communicate to your customer to change their current perception of your brand to the perception which you desire.
It is important to review all areas of brand experience to ensure that the message can always be supported in a real and meaningful manner.
9. Where and how do we want to communicate?
Having now determined what is the most compelling message you want to communicate to your customer, it is time to work on how to execute that message both creatively and through media (online and off). When the agency presents work, it should be evaluated against the agreed criteria in the brief and also against the overall global brand objectives.
10. Create employee brand engagement
Employee brand engagement is the creation of intellectual connection and emotional commitment between employees and their brand in order to motivate and direct behaviour change so that their words, actions and intentions are aligned to the brand. It is so important in today's crowded marketing environment that the brand acts as the "central organizing thought" to drive business performance.
The aim for a worldwide campaign is for a balance of global brand consistency and authenticity, e.g., values, etc., with local market relevance, flexibility and precise target marketing of segments with the correct marketing mix and budget.
Finally, the core objectives of a global campaign should not change but there may be market developments that require changes in strategy and execution. There must be flexibility within any plan to accommodate those changes. In other words, planning is a continual process.