It’s a challenge to work in a B2B regional marketing office. Out of sight often means out of mind, and it can feel like your needs aren’t understood and your work isn’t appreciated. Global offices are equally frustrated when regional offices don’t make use of the resources provided to them. Do any of these opposing statements sound familiar?
It’s an uneasy détente. Global and regional marketing need each other to be effective. Global needs regional’s insights and feet on the ground, and regional needs global’s resources and infrastructure. But they also strain against each other because their working styles are different. Global’s greater size often requires more rigid, bureaucratic processes, while smaller regional outposts are nimbler but may lack oversight.
During the many years I worked in global marketing organizations at different companies, I often observed that regions felt unable to change this dynamic. Conscious of their lesser organizational power and typically going all out just to keep up with the daily workload, they saw the dysfunction as inevitable even as it drained productivity and morale for everyone.
It doesn’t have to be this way. You can’t change global, but you can change the way you work with them and achieve a much more productive, enjoyable partnership. The key is to understand where they’re coming from and take some simple steps to help them understand your value and trust your operations.
Before And After Improving Global-Local Content Collaboration
- From uncomfortable chaos to trusted partnership. Global marketers often worry about the quality of regional content, and the rules and regulations they put in place can be onerous for smaller offices. I considered naming this element “compliance,” but compliance is bloodless. Trust is personal, and it’s what you need to build and maintain with your global stakeholders. Demonstrating compliance in key areas earns you more freedom to innovate in other areas.
- From siloed reporting to integrated insights. Global marketing is usually much louder than regional marketing. Use that to your advantage. When you show how your work relates to the global strategy, you benefit from the awareness and understanding that they’ve already created and give executives the impression of a well-oiled machine.
- From unknown regional employee to credible expert. Regional marketing has something that global wants: local insights. In the Forrester Analytics 2020 Business Technographics Global Marketing Survey, 1,900 marketing decision-makers rated “Driving decision-making with customer insights” as their biggest challenge with marketing programs. You are the voice of the customer and the voice of the customer-facing roles in your region. Sharing generously can make you very popular, but you need a framework to turn random observations into usable data.
- From disconnected content to complementary, connected content. Regional content should complement and complete the global content strategy with locally relevant material, and templates and processes should enable and showcase that complementarity. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. In the same survey, marketing decision-makers said that their top three content-marketing challenges were understanding customers’ content preferences, creating engaging content for the right audiences, and increasing content usage by sales.
- From complaints and criticism to proactive problem-solving. A common cause of tension between global and regional marketing is localization strategy and quality. Regional often feels that neither quality nor quantity is up to par, while global teams often feel like they hear nothing but criticism. The key to moving beyond this unhappy cycle is to get more detailed and specific — turning complaints into actionable, measurable requests.
If you want to learn more about these techniques for transforming your relationship with your global counterparts, join me for my upcoming webinar, “Top 5 B2B Global-Local Content Collaboration Challenges — And How To Solve Them.”