“Why don’t we just cut the marketing budget?” Wait, what?! As a marketer, that was my immediate reaction when I read John Staple’s recent blog with this headline. However, after reading Staple’s list of common misconceptions about B2B marketing, I recognized that the goal of his post is to shine a much-needed light on the role of marketing in an organization’s revenue stream, and provide strategies to help marketers overcome these misconceptions within their organization.
According to a recent survey by Marketo and the Economist Intelligence Unit, “marketers believe they will no longer be viewed as a cost center in three to five years—rather they will be seen as a source of revenue.” I readily agree, and feel strongly that in order to change corporate’s perception of how important a globally focused marketing strategy is to an organization’s revenue growth, marketers need to point to statistics that show the value of making global marketing and localization a company priority:
Getting stakeholders on board with global marketing:
• By 2025, the number of global consumers in emerging economies will reach 4.2 billion, and annual consumption in emerging global markets will increase to $30 trillion.
• The global revenue opportunity available to companies using online communications rose to $44.6 trillion in 2012, and only a third of that amount is available to companies that communicate only in their native English language.
• Fortune 500 companies that deliver content in native languages to keep up with or gain an edge over their competitors are twice as likely to see increased profits and 1.25 times more likely to generate increased earnings per share.
It’s true, marketers need to implement their own internal campaigns to change the perception of their department’s “worthiness” and get sales, operations and finance on board with their strategy for the sake of the company’s overall success. And this is even more critical when you market globally and need to get stakeholders, both at headquarters and in the various regions, aligned with your global marketing strategy. After all, if they don’t understand the value your globalization efforts produce; they won’t see the benefits of all the hard work your teams put in to content localization.
Global marketing is not easy; in fact, without a smartly optimized process, it’s downright daunting. The amount of work it takes to create and deliver campaigns in your headquarters’ language now has to be replicated for all of the languages of your target markets.
As Staple points out in his blog, “Misalignment often starts with the lack of a complete strategy.” This holds true for global marketing as well. Without a marketing operations strategy that incorporates input from corporate as well as the regional teams, you’ll end up with silos and regions that take matters into their own hands (i.e., create their own localized materials), and will end up with inconsistent brand messaging, or worse.
So, look at how you can optimize your processes to streamline what you’re already doing to make it run more efficiently. You may actually find that the efficiencies will decrease your marketing spend, giving you more flexibility to do more and get increased results. Marketing technology is a critical component to today’s marketing organization, and I’ve personally witnessed the time and cost savings the right technology can have on a team’s ability to grow lead gen, fill the pipeline and positively impact revenue growth. That’s a step in the right direction.