Brand Building

The 5 Key Facets of Global Marketing: A Proven Prescription for Effective “GLOCAL” Marketing Operations

It’s a fact that today’s brand teams must operate in a truly global marketplace. However, in our experience, few marketing teams have the combination of experience, skills, and infrastructure to leverage global reach while maximizing local impact. For many bio-pharma organizations, global marketing is constrained by:

  • A combination of disparate global and regional/local marketing platforms
  • Near-term/quick fix solutions
  • Legacy vendors who do not collaborate
  • Diverse processes that are focused on priorities of local markets
  • Content that is inaccessible and/or inappropriate for local markets
  • Mismatched skillsets, language challenges, and limited headcount
  • Lack of digital marketing know-how

Faced with these seemingly intractable challenges, Global Marketing and IT leaders struggle to maintain balance between the need for standardization and the flexibility to deliver solutions that meet local market needs.

Meanwhile, marketing teams are challenged to deliver micro-targeted, continuously optimized digital experiences at a fraction of last decade’s total-cost-of-ownership (TCO). Maintaining brand and core message consistency, and regulatory compliance across global markets, adds further complexities. Attempts for centralized, global headquarter-driven command-and-control type of marketing organization structures have shown limited or no success.

Faced with this complex business environment, a standards-based but adaptable, scalable, and efficient “GLOCAL” Marketing Operation is absolutely critical for success. Here is our proven prescription for effective GLOCAL Marketing Operations, based on our decade-long experience working with top-20 global bio-pharma companies and comprised of the following foundational elements. Keep these facets in mind when facing the reality of your global marketing challenges!

New breed of digital platforms and tools are flexible, cloud-based, and support ease of integration with open industry standards-based APIs
* Shift from CapEx to OpEx. Low TCO and offers pay-as-you-go model as well as rapid impact and ROI
* Supports digital value chain—from data and insights to experience delivery platforms, devices, engaging contents, channels, conversions, and customer advocacy

Global playbooks and standards
* “Controlled” local adaptations
* Stringent Med-Reg-Legal compliance
* Efficient promotional approval workflows and system of record

Hub and spoke organization structure
* Collaborative
* Accountable for local performance while ensuring compliance with global methods and standards

A trusted digital services partner who has strategic vision and ability to execute across global markets, not just the developed geographies
* Digital-savvy talent pool
* Committed to deliver VALUE, not just cost-effectiveness
* Flexible and highly customer-oriented team who can adapt to changing customer environment and respond to business needs

Content strategy
* Sharing andreuse. Create once—use anywhere
* Multichannel, multidevice
* Regional/local market content kits

With these 5 key facets in mind, it may be worthwhile to take a fresh look at your current marketing operations, and benchmark against industry peers. It is likely that some of the elements may require major shifts in organization design, processes, and IT platforms and some may need only tactical adaptation to achieve quick wins, depending on organization context and regional/local market dynamics. We would love to hear your views and how you balance between global and local.

In summary:. Organizations need to focus on the key facets of their global marketing challenges—the 5 foundational elements in their marketing operations design and IT strategy. A standards-based but adaptable “GLOCAL” marketing operation and balance between global and regional/local priorities is critical for success and sustainable efficiencies across global markets.

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Prasad Adavadkar
Prasad Adavadkar is a Digital Marketing evangelist and Client Engagement Director at Cognizant Life Sciences Digital/Cadient. He helps progressive bio-pharma and medical devices brands achieve business results through digital strategy, digital agency services, marketing operations & platform-as-a-service solutions. As a trusted client partner and collaborator, his passion is to spark, co-innovate, pilot and scale digital business transformation ideas and initiatives. He may be reached at or (+1) 201.923.6405.

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