Local vs. Global in Content Marketing: Where Is the Right Balance?

Local vs. Global in Content Marketing: Where Is the Right Balance?

It’s not a straightforward question to answer. Actually, the global vs. local approach to content marketing has dramatically changed over the last 10 years.

When I started working in marketing more than a decade ago my perception was that local marketing teams in international companies were defining their marketing strategies based on the business priorities of their country or region. Very often these priorities were different, creating huge misalignments on the marketing positioning of these companies across the globe. Not an ideal situation.

Some years ago global companies identified that as an issue, put processes in place, and even hired new global marketing roles, to ensure a consistent global marketing strategy to represent their global brand. It sounded like a good idea at that time, but shortly after we saw the consequences.

These new global marketing teams were in charge of defining the global marketing strategy and ensuring that this was cascaded at the country level. But very often they did so without taking into consideration their markets’ individual differences. And the local marketing teams did not feel accountable for the success of the strategies.

The result was that many global organizations created content marketing campaigns and programs that were not relevant for most of their countries. The jump from local to global was too quick and too big. So where is the right balance?

Having a clearly defined global vision and a global strategy is mandatory to succeed in today’s globalized marketplace, but it’s not enough. It requires local adaptation in order to resonate in each target market while still keeping global brand consistency.

McDonald’s is a great example of a global brand that is getting it right. With a very strong global positioning, they have been able to bring a local flavor to each of their target markets, not just by localizing their marketing strategy, but also their product offering. Their menu includes macaroons in France, McSpaghetti in Philippines or McArabia in the Middle East. But still, their “I’m loving it!” slogan resonates across every market consistently.

I strongly believe that the ‘Think Global, Act Local’ mantra is the foundation for success in global content marketing.

Today, many global organizations are struggling to find the right balance. To help them on this journey, I recommend four key steps that international marketing teams should follow when creating content marketing campaigns in this article.

The right localization partner can help ensure your globalization goals are met in every target market.



By Alicia Camacho