Challenges in Global Marketing Environment

What are the biggest challenges that global marketers are facing today? It’s of real significance if one can work in the complex world of global marketing environment.

Bigger brand names have more links in the chain. Many Big Global brands for ex: Colgate, Disney etc. have historically struggled with rolling out marketing campaigns across multiple markets/territories. In today’s world we have technology and communication tools and hence greater is the expectation for relevant, local execution. Internal co-ordination of different campaigns across business units and regions remains a key challenge for global marketers.

Campaign models must have key ingredients such as adoptability and adaptability. But question remains the same that is how to achieve the results. Some brands choose a decentralized model whereby local markets still hold a lot of autonomy. Other brands prefer a more centralized approach and give little or no leeway to local markets. For ex: when Chinese do business, they like to have centralized approach (Disney case).

Importance of Local Market

The creative concept that aligns in one territory may fall flat in another for any number of reasons. Adapting an idea to suit diverse cultures while remaining true to the key messages behind the campaign remains a major challenge for global brands.

Conveying these creative, intellectual and emotional elements safely across different markets is one mighty task. But our digital media -with all the technical, channel options available – makes the scenario even more complex.

Driving local consumer at the highest possible level is an ongoing work in progress. It is not astonishing to me when considering the different levels of marketing maturity, legal and cultural issues across the globe.

How marketers can measure and improve

Measuring ROI is a challenge for all marketers especially for global marketers as they need to report on campaign performance in different regions, with large budgets at stake. Lastly global marketers are judged on the performance of their campaigns, how ROI can be achieved.

It’s clear that key performance areas (KPA) from the beginning is essential for balanced outcome. Yet, at the same time, global marketers have to be flexible regarding the interpretation of data which comes from several different environments that can make it meaningful and comprehensive. Delivering consistent results across plethora of channels and geographies remains a challenge, particularly when there is requirement for short-term results.

If a marketing campaign does not perform well, a deep dissection needs to be carried out so that lessons can be learnt and measures can be taken to improve the future campaign.


Another challenge is to strive for global campaign consistency, at the same time to have focus on local market. The crux of acting on global platform while thinking on local market aspect remains a central tenet for global marketing directors.

Localisation is the big idea for different markets worldwide. But the methodology for doing so is somewhat polarised. Whichever route people are taking, it’s clear that focus on local market and smart implementation are firmly on the agenda while devising marketing campaign. Whether you carry out your global campaign in-house, or trust a partner agency to adapt a campaign, it’s important to put as much effort in the implementation of the campaign, as you would in the creative development.

Customer wants and needs

Global marketers need to align their campaigns to cater diverse cultural and social needs. It’s just part of the puzzle that marketers need to bring together. But target messages should reach on global scale in order to requires a deep understanding of how industries, geography and demographics will react to the messages.

Brand affinity and consumer behaviour are affected further by the strength of country’s economy which is another aspect of complexity.

Exhaustive market research is required to validate not only the creative idea but also the tactics deployed to bring the brand message to market. Research and Testing is a crucial step towards global campaign success.

Digital, Social and Technological Outcome

Integration of social elements into a wider campaign remains a key for many global marketers. Reliable report about the impact of social awareness and sales remains murky despite the voluminous data. Such report is sometimes hard to align with the more traditional ROI indicators from advertising or direct marketing.

Technology has made global marketers’ lives a lot easier. Yet there is risk to it. It should be made of creative ideas, following a strategic and operational vision. Digital Asset remains a tactical challenge. It’s also important to know which assets are being used, which are needed, and which assets can no longer be used due to expired usage rights. Technology can facilitate the validation process by using cloud validation tools which allow local and global marketers to review market performance. Before switching to any new technology, it is always recommended that carrying out a trial to ensure the technology works because what may work for one brand, may prove difficult for another.