International Marketing Communications

Managing International Marketing Communications

During the past 20 years, I have been working with many companies on the analysis of their Marketing and Communication efforts. Companies involved were: Canon Europe, Nestlé, Symantec, IMD Lausanne, L'Oréal, Yamaha, and much more. All these companies came to the agencies I worked for. They came with the request to support them in the effort to create catchy campaigns that attract the potential customer. Together with my project teams we coordinated these campaigns to run all over Europe. Teams have been small in size with 10-15 people to large EMEA wide teams with more than 50 people. I can therefore safely say,  I have the experience to know how to get international marketing running from the ground up. 

Running your team effectively

One part of doing your communications on an international level is running your teams and partners to get it all done in-time and on budget. The other part is, sitting down and thinking about strategy. what are you actually doing, where your are, and where you want to go? For this you need experienced people knowing what to look for.

Currently Digital Marketing is the magic word. Many companies think that without any real effort clients will come through digital channels running to them. Digital Marketing is a great tool. It is a vital part of the whole Marketing Mix and as such must be applied with care. What do we want to achieve with these tools? Where does our target group gets its information on purchase decisions? Therefore, it is vital that you think before you do and invest a lot of money in a tool that might not work for you. Hence, purely focusing on traditional or digital marketing would most likely leave out part of your target group. Information on your target group, their current knowledge of your products and your brand is a vital part to making these decisions

A good Marketing Manager will be able to make a great team for you. A team that has the capabilities to integrate the different available tools successfully. This person needs to have experience with and know all available tools. Tools that can be used in the right way for connecting to the target group. Additionally, on an International level this person should have the background and know-how to get an insight in markets and evaluate what tools can be used best. Too often I see that marcom plans are copy pasted from local plans. Therefore, discounting any subtle changes in culture, languages, religions, and local customs.

Multiple points of contact strategy

During all these years the only true strategy I have seen is that of MPC or Recency, developed by McCann Erickson. The goal is to create multiple points of contact with your target group. This can be through using traditional tools such as in-store, tv, print and digital. It is about the connection with your target on a multitude of levels and for this you need to know how to apply all marketing tools available to the Marketeer. By automatically dismissing one or the other you will not maximise the reach of your campaigns and the return on your investment.

Some basic truths are: when your brand and products are unknown; nobody will look for your e-store or website online. When the target group does not yet know that there is a solution for his problem or he does not know there is a better way; looking for this person only online will be useless as you will not meet him.

In short, there are no magical tools or gurus. Marketing is a thought through long-term approach to try and reach your target on many levels and occasions with information that is appealing to the person now or in the near future. Building a brand is a personal relation with your target and it is therefore never short-term or ad hoc, it is continuous.