A recent report from Uberall, “Creating a Successful Global Local Brand,” tackles a key question facing enterprise businesses. How to translate a recognition of the importance of customer experience into actual best-in-class CX at the local level? And, in the process, become successful global-local brands.
We’ve seen multiple reports, from Uberall, SOCi, and other sources, that make the case for localization and delivering a localized customer experience as critical success factors for brands. So what does localized mean? Essentially, it means communicating to local customers in ways that feel authentic and local. For example, when a store manager responding to a negative review versus a generic response from corporate headquarters.
And in making this case, the reports usually cite data showing how search queries with local intent have grown exponentially. Or how responsiveness to reviews is critical to driving conversions. And so on. One this report’s unique features is its detailed prescription for how brands can execute a localization strategy. To do this, Uberall interviewed marketers at leading brands, industry experts, and others to distill a set of best practices.
The report’s findings and prescriptions are fairly detailed. But we’ll boil them down to a few core findings. At least as best we can.
The report documents some common dilemmas marketers face in trying to tackle the vexing problem of doing localized marketing at scale. And in a manner that keeps brands safe. Here are some of them.
- Should local marketing efforts be controlled at the global level?
- How much control over tools and processes should a brand relinquish to the regional level?
- Should brands allow local control over reviews?
- And how do organizations convince individual location operators to update location information and answer reviews?
There are some obvious tradeoffs inherent to each of these questions. For example, giving local operators control over reviews makes it more likely that reviews get responded to in an authentic way. But a loss of control could embarrass the brand if a local operator responds inappropriately.
The report also outlines practices that seem to correlate with overcoming the localized marketing challenge. Here are just a few of them, paraphrased.
- Identify the key stakeholders that need to be involved at the global/regional level.
- Rely on a single external tool for listings and reputation management. And assign someone to own the implementation and operation of the tool.
- Keep ownership of the tool’s cost at the global level.
- Having fewer stakeholders is better.
- Organizations must a “single source of truth” data management system.
- Make it simple for key local players. The easier the process, the more likely the buy-in.
- Choose a local ‘ambassador’ to take charge of information updates and replying to reviews.
‘Not All Smooth Sailing’
So we recently chatted with the report’s author, Uberall Senior Market Insight Expert Bradley Fagan. We asked Brad what went into producing the report. We also wanted to hear his views on what the report tells us about where brands are in the localization process.
What’s one overarching conclusion you walk away with from this report?
“While it appears that senior marketers from global brands have started to become aware of the value of putting the customer experience first in their brand strategy, it also appears that the ‘how’ of it all is still a mystery to many.”
What were the report’s key inputs?
“This report has been more than three months in the making. It involves interviews with over 20 experts in the field of location marketing. Including brands like McDonald’s Germany, Yves Rocher, IDKids, and BP. After having conversations with customers, partners, and experts I was able to distill hours of operational insights into a report that outlines a blueprint for creating a successful global brand strategy for effective local management.”
What is the biggest challenge companies face in becoming a truly global-local brand?
“It’s not all smooth sailing though. While many of our global brands noted that they were able to successfully implement processes and tools for updating local information quickly, managing reviews and social pages were seen as a more difficult task. The question became, ‘Is it better to give up personalization in favor of control and ease by owning the topic of reputation at the brand level?’ Or taking the harder road of empowering owners/operators to reply, making the process more personal and more insightful. But also more difficult’ ”
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