Going global: A winning strategy for worldwide campaigns

Welcome to the Keel insights

When it comes to creating campaigns on a global scale, there are several considerations that must be factored in to ensure you have the right strategy for success. Using a clear set of principles from the outset will ensure that you’re getting every part of your communication ecosystem working hard for you. And if you’re operating from a central team, these will help you to get buy-in from local markets and ensure you achieve the consistency and reach you need.

Having delivered global campaigns for businesses of all kinds, we have a few key starting points to help brands achieve the best value, results, and engagement from audiences all over the globe. Here we breakdown some of the key areas businesses should focus on

Stay true to your brand identity

This might seem like an obvious one, but all too often we come across brands that either don’t have a global brand voice – resulting in their messaging and tone being fragmented and inconsistent across different markets – or their global brand voice isn’t working for their regions, resulting in local markets pushing back and ‘going rogue’ to make it work for them.

Businesses shouldn’t be afraid of setting a global brand voice – there will always be nuances to consider in different territories, but those can easily be accounted for. However, if your markets consistently struggle with that voice or identity, it might not be right and could be time to consider updating it. Once this is established, you will find that campaigns are far easier to roll out on a global scale.

Define who it is you’re talking to

Understanding your audience is the key to success for any brand or campaign, but we know that audiences across different markets can have very different needs. If you’re aiming for a consistent global campaign, in these cases, we look for the unifying experience your brand or product can speak to or add value to. Like our work with Medela, where we were targeting women who are pregnant or in the first few months of parenting. Their unifying experience – the human story that brought women from China to Europe to North America together – was the physical and emotional tension felt during those early stages of breastfeeding. By focussing on a key central emotional insight, we were able to make a campaign that felt universal, but deeply relatable. Local markets requested the assets the moment it was launched, because they believed the campaign resonated with mums globally and elevated a support product to a new level within the business. All 85 individual assets created for this campaign across the customer journey, are live globally.

By identifying a unifying experience, you can create a springboard for communications that can bring audiences together and your campaign will translate across borders. Where possible, prioritise this over any physical or circumstantial experience – you’ll often find more global common ground in an emotional truth.

Consistency versus flexibility

As we’ve already established, it’s important to stay true to your global brand identity and find that human story that will unite your audiences. Throughout this process though, we should be considering what the local markets need to ensure the campaign feels authentic and resonates with them. We use our experience to find ways to accommodate a wide set of needs. Things like being as representative as possible when casting and working closely with sophisticated translation teams to ensure that the central thought is being communicated effectively and meaningfully in a particular market language, are just a couple of the ways we can ensure local audiences are fully considered.

That said we always work in a level of flexibility so that campaigns can be activated effectively at a local level. After all, the local teams will know their audiences and their channels best. We always advocate brands to give enough direction so that a strong connection to the central theme remains but allow local teams the freedom to add or tweak messaging to ensure it lands best within their territory.

Tips for global success

When we work with a central team that’s looking to launch a campaign across multiple markets, here’s a few of our key considerations for success:
  • Don’t just drop off a package of assets – engage with your markets and help them understand the purpose of the campaign
  • Ensure ‘the why’ is represented at every stage of the insight
  • Make local markets aware of what’s coming and when – they are likely to have intricate calendars that will need lots of forward planning
  • Share insight early and often to help to explain why the campaign is the way it is
  • Always offer to present to local teams to ensure they understand the work, can ask questions, and feel properly represented by the campaign
  • Measure uptake and ask for feedback – this will help you to optimise campaigns and market relationships going forward
Finally, we always recommend that the central team has a sponsor or advocate for the work that is on hand to answer any questions – this is a great way to avoid local teams misinterpreting messaging or feeling compelled to make their own decisions on how it should play out in their markets. If you’re looking to establish your global brand identity or launch a global campaign, get in touch and see how we can help you achieve success.