How to get your ideas approved by global

Geoffrey Pickens (pictured), segment director of men’s and shave prep for APAC at Energizer Personal Care, said one hurdle he had to face when coming up with a content marketing strategy for the Energizer shaver personal care division in China, was having to convince his Western counterparts of some of his creative ideas.

Speaking at Marketing’s Content 360 conference, he said that most of the time, the response to new ideas (from global) would be one which was positive, but then he would be quickly shut down by being told it would not work in the Western market.

A survey by CEB and Russell Reynolds Associates highlighted the trend of local and regional leaders feeling unheard by global executives. (Read also: Why Asia-based senior executives are more likely to quit, and Aiming for a regional role? Know what you are getting into)

However, he insisted that having a localised strategy in marketing is key for any creative ideas’ success. He added, “often regional and global creative ideas fail because of a lack of local input”.

He explained that when his brand of shavers kicked off its marketing agenda to use a Bruce Lee impersonator named “Smooth Lee” to reach the youths, the idea was met with some resistance from the other markets thinking it was not adaptable enough.

However, over the past three years, the idea has been recreated in eight countries. Brand awareness for the master brand spiked from 15% to 35% and sales increased more than 21%.

“For content marketing to effectively work, all it takes is one brilliant creative idea,” he said.

“This idea has to reflect the overall essence of the master brand personality and link back to the brand DNA. The master brand personality, or tone of voice, is how we say what we say. It is our attitude and is built from the words and images we use to convey who we are. This helps to create a distinct look and feel for our brand and helps consumers to recognise us.”

He also added 91% of global consumers would switch brands for the same price and quality if they felt that a brand supported a purpose beyond a business goal. Hence, brands need to actively listen to what the consumers’ bigger problems are and create great creative ideas focused on making their lives better.

“Evolve from simply storytelling to story-doing by listening to your consumers’ bigger issues. Help make life easier for your consumers and be authentic and real in the process.”

All these will ultimately serve to bring your brand to life.

Kris LeBoutillier, digital content director of AP at Visa, added that having a global strategy trickle down to a regional level and then finally adapted to a local one drives deeper insights and generates closer conversations with those on the ground.

What content creators have to remember is that content marketing is both editorial and marketing. While it is an arena that allows for more creativity and play, content created cannot, hence, simply go off tangent.

“The content ultimately needs to be a part of the overall brand strategy,” he said.