Watch now: The panel discussion in full on how to master multi-market communications in EMEA and beyond, in partnership with Action Global Communications.
Are you looking to enter and navigate new markets in EMEA and beyond? From managing local intricacies to effectively executing integrated communications in those markets, delivering a winning approach can be tough.
PRWeek convened with three experts to discuss best practice for CMOs and comms leaders. Danny Rogers, editor-in-chief of PRWeek UK & EMEA, chaired the discussion, and was joined by panellists Amanda Chick, senior account director of the International Client Hub at Action Global Communications, Tara Tyan, regional head of marketing at Saxo Bank MENA, and Scott Armstrong, editor-in-chief, Arabian Business.
When looking to implement communications in multiple markets, knowing where to get started is the biggest challenge. “Be focused on what you want to achieve, understand your overarching business objectives and how your communications or marketing objectives align with the wider picture” is what Amanda Chick from Action Global Communications advises clients looking to set up a global communications structure.
Here are five key takeaways from the discussion to help you get started...
1. Tier your markets
Identifying your key markets is a good place to start, as Chick explained: “One way of approaching a multi-market account can be to look at your priority markets and tier them according to where you have the most resources”.
At Saxo Bank Mena, Tara Tyan acknowledged how overwhelming it can be having 11 countries under your region – after all, where do you allocate your budget and focus? Tiering countries was the first step for them too: “It’s important to have a physical presence and start building your brand awareness in that top tier country, grow the other markets one at a time, and then expand”.
2. Customisation, customisation, customisation
In Tyan’s experience, localisation and customisation are some of the most important challenges to tackle. Campaign visuals that differentiate a campaign from one geography to another are vital, as well as adapting your wording - not just to the local language but also to the local culture.
“If you’ve got data that applies to a particular region, surface that as soon as possible”, advised Scott Armstrong from Arabian Business. He also emphasised how important it is to “know your market” - for example, if you’re doing a campaign around Ramadan, you need to be aware that in Oman they say ‘Ramadan Mubarek’, whereas in the UAE they say ‘Ramadan Kareem’, so you need to tweak your wording on press releases and other communications accordingly.
Chick reiterated that local data makes the crucial difference between a campaign landing or not landing and that “some sort of local intelligence, data, insight or angle for a multimarket campaign” is essential.
Action Global Communications acts as a central point of contact for clients so they don’t have to speak to numerous different agencies. They have agencies in local markets, as eyes and ears on the ground, and can take a global strategy and make it work in local markets.
3. Be present to stay present
Saxo Bank has different offices throughout the world. They previously prepared campaign messages on a global level and pushed them to different regions but this was problematic.
Tyan explained: “We now include all the regional heads of marketing in the process of building a campaign from the start so we can all voice our opinions, explain local intricacies and really drive the message from local to global, rather than the other way around.”
As a consumer of multimarket campaigns, Armstrong also insisted you need to speak to the local voices because they know who the influencers are, otherwise you could miss opportunities to land coverage.
4. Multicultural, multi-channel
With so many advertisers and so many messages hammered at the audience, how do you stand out and drive the message home? Tyan swears by taking an omnichannel approach: “You need to be sending the same message and talking about the same values, across all the different channels – email comms, press releases, online campaigns, PPC, radio – if you’re not consistent, you won’t be understood by the audience.”
Armstrong said you need to create different types of content to deliver your campaign, beyond the press release – such as social media, videos and webinars.
5. Authenticity cuts through
“Influencer marketing has become essential to the marketing mix”, said Tyan. “You’re banking on someone else’s following to drive your message. And that’s the beauty of it because, all of a sudden, an influencer does one post with your link and you see a spike like no other in numbers of visits to your website. The numbers don’t lie.”
Armstrong believes there is a place for influencers at the table now, alongside traditional journalists: “We are seeing, particularly post pandemic, authentic voices are what cut through most and land with audiences – these can be stories in journalism or indeed influencers.”
Chick explained how Action Global Communications works closely with clients to help them find their authentic stories: “There’s no longer anywhere to hide from authenticity. When you get the opportunity to work with people who really believe what they’re saying, it cuts through so much better”.