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Is your marketing strategy “glocally” relevant?

GCL | 31 March 2021


Glocal? No, that’s not a typo. Glocalisation is defined as:


“A combination of the words "globalisation" and "localisation." The term is used to describe a product or service that is developed and distributed globally but is also adjusted to accommodate the user or consumer in a local market.”


To better understand this definition, let’s take a quick look at a brand that demonstrates a very clear understanding of it: McDonald’s.

McDonald’s, traditionally known for its beef burgers, has more than 34 000 stores in 118 countries worldwide. One of those countries is India, which some of you might already know is a predominantly Hindu country. In Hinduism, the cow is considered sacred. This means that McDonald’s burgers and their 100% beef patties are 100% off the menu. But this hasn’t stopped McDonald’s from opening over 400 stores in the country. How have they achieved this?  

McDonalds removed their beef options from their menu and introduced Hindu-friendly options, including the Paneer Salsa Wrap, the Aloo Tikka Burger and the Chicken Maharajah Wrap. While the menu may be different, they took steps to ensure the company’s core values of hot, quality fast food were not compromised.

But how do you approach building a “glocally” relevant marketing strategy that works for your business?

How to develop an impactful glocal strategy

B2B Marketing, a research and training organisation, found that ‘localising the brand’ was an issue that many marketers had when engaging in the global space. They shared the following advice to help your overcome this challenge:

  1. Empowering local teams

    Do you have a team that understands the region you’re expanding into? It's critical that you have expertise on the local dialects, culture and values so you can develop messaging that resonates with your audience, or at the very least, that doesn't offend them! To achieve this you need partners who understand the market.

    These partners will also need access to any necessary information at a moments notice, so setting up systems that provide this is critical, particularly if you're working across timezones. Failure to provide these individuals with the information they need could result in lost opportunities.

    It's also important that your content allows for an extra degree of flexibility. While certain branding elements may need to be fixed, culturally relevant changes need to be factored into decision making.

    Finally, verified data about the local market will be necessary to drive decision making. After all, just because a campaign or message worked in one region, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work elsewhere.

  2. Connecting local teams with the global framework

    While local relevance is important, this must be done in a way that doesn't negatively affect your brand. This requires coordination between your teams, and a process that drives people in a common direction.

    A shared vision is possible with the implementation of brand guidelines, global strategy and global process. The brand guidelines is a set of rules of what you can and can't do with the brand. The global strategy will ensure that your teams across the world have a shared vision. Finally, the global process will ensure processes within different teams can connect.

  3. Balance tech and touch

    While technology connects your people across the world, all it does is bring them closer together. Your people still need to properly execute your marketing strategy on the ground for it to succeed. Technology merely provides them with the support to achieve this.

    There are three factors you should keep in mind when implementing technology to address a problem.

    - The first is a tech strategy, which needs input from key stakeholders to ensure that this strategy works for all your teams.

    - The second is a system of record. Whether this is marketing automation, project management or digital asset management tools, you need to find technology that suits your needs.

    - Third is tool integration. Instead of trying to navigate disconnected systems, integrating your technology can dramatically impact the productivity of your teams.

Go glocal with GCL

GCL is a B2B marketing and lead generation business with over 30 years experience in international telemarketing. We understand the importance of aligning to the needs of the local market without compromising your brand.

To discover more about how GCL's telemarketing and lead generation services can help you break into new markets, be sure to check out our ebook, Guide to Global Business, or contact us today.

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