Disclaimer: This post has been written in a collaboration with Mintent who kindly offered their product demo.
A useful tool to help align your global marketing efforts
Marketing is teamwork. The most brilliant marketing concept won’t happen if the people involved – from planning to promotion – aren’t aligned. Teamwork makes dreams work! This is especially challenging when team members are based in different parts of the world. When dealing with different time zones, interests, backgrounds, and even languages, most collaboration happens through lengthy emails threads and group chats. Ideas get lost in translation. Details fall between the cracks. The best way to minimize drama and miscommunication: come together through strategy and work together using established processes and tools.
Align your content objectives with the business
First, set a crisp strategy and make sure everyone understands what you want to achieve as a team by agreeing on the key initiatives and tactics. Then, create a campaign brief as a compass for marketing peers and agencies. This helps them see the big picture and connect the dots.
Develop customer personas
Global marketing campaigns may often target different audiences in different parts of the world due to cultural differences, customization of products and packages, and other factors. You may need to create different customer personas for different parts of the world. However it doesn’t mean that you need to create one persona per country. You can find commonalities among different target audiences. Start with product value propositions and customer challenges and pain points since your products likely address similar challenges and aspirations. You can start with commonalities, but don’t forget to be sensitive to cultural differences. This requires extensive communications among team members.
Create and follow content workflows
Workflow is the backbone of a global content marketing effort. It sets clear roles, responsibilities, and deadlines. Your content automatically gets pushed through different stages of development when a proper workflow is established. Without a clear workflow process, you’ll be manually micromanaging every step. The lack of efficiency won’t scale content marketing effectively across regions. In many cases, you become the bottleneck. Here is the reality: there’s no “One Size Fits All” workflow. You need to create a workflow that works for your company, given your unique needs and communication challenges. Different stages of content creation and promotion require different workflows and different team member engagements. Agree on a process with your team members and refine it as you progress.
Set up regular collaboration meetings
Over-communication is better than under-communication in your global content marketing effort. It’s nice to meet face-to-face every quarter or at least once a year during the annual planning session. It’s also important to have bi-weekly or monthly status updates or check point meetings. You’ll be surprised how much you can talk about. Here is a list of suggested agenda topics:
- Latest campaign creative
- Product value propositions
- New tools for social, content creation etc.
- Budget discussion
- Product roadmap
- Customer insights
- Sales updates
- Lead gen efforts
- Management priorities
- Latest content pieces
- Social media posts
- Events, media, SEO, PR updates
I hosted weekly collaboration calls for 2 years at Intel. I’ve never ran out of productive topics. There is always something useful that can be discussed or shared.
Invest in tools that help you create and collaborate
Earlier this year, Gartner released a report on content marketing platforms. As noted in the report, “Content marketing platforms are software solutions that support the practice of content marketing. Solutions include capabilities to engage in ideation, editorial planning, collaboration and workflow, creative, editing and collaboration tools to create and publish rich, interactive content, curation filters, content analytics and more. Many content marketing platform vendors complement their software with optional services.” If your global marketing team is creating dozens, if not hundreds of pieces of content per quarter, and still using emails and spreadsheets to get things done – you might consider removing that headache using a content marketing platform.
I saw a demo of the Mintent content marketing platform. Certain features may be interesting to global marketing teams that want to create and collaborate on content marketing using one platform.
1. It centralizes customer personas.
2. It lets you create sub calendars for different groups or regions, which can then be viewed on a global or unified calendar.
3. It automates your workflow, so people are notified when content is pushed to their stage.
4. Its draft editor allows people to send comments or share documents – leading to realtime collaboration, quicker revisions, and fewer emails
5. It integrates with WordPress, social media, and other sales and marketing automation tools, allowing you to fuel your content marketing ecosystem from one platform.
6. It’s easier to publish content, and then track its success through built-in analytics tools.
Global content marketing is hard. With strategy alignment and the right tools and workflow, it will certainly be a whole lot easier. The company offers a free trial, or you can download an ebook examining potential problems in your content marketing workflow and how to fix them. Check it out.