Digital PR on a global scale: Centralised versus de-centralised Content Marketing
- Centralised Content Strategy
- The planning, development and subsequent distribution of content through any form of media, created by a national, international or global head office.
- De-centralised Content Strategy
- The planning, development and subsequent distribution of content through any form of media, created independently by local satellite offices rather than a company’s head office.
Day-to-day working on enterprise campaigns can be tricky enough – but have you ever considered the logistics behind organising a press release for a company like Microsoft? With customers varying from the home user all the way to other corporations like Acer, obviously a single campaign cannot cater for both. Imagine a hypothetical scenario in which Microsoft is announcing the next version of its operating system and wants to target the individual home user – there are still hundreds of variables.
It has to cater to the 11% of people around the world who still use windows XP; it wants to tempt the ever-growing community of Mac users to switch sides (again); and it needs to give people using Windows 7 and Windows 8 a reason to want to upgrade.
Is there an argument for centralising Digital PR?
Microsoft’s OS is available in 107 of the world’s 200+ mainstream languages, in almost every country, culture and time zone. So translation is a good place to start – but will one campaign created in the ivory towers of Silicon Valley really appeal to each and every one of the individuals/companies they are targeting?
The cultural divide in an operation this big is so enormous that before you even consider differing by country, you have to consider the average economics of the people in any given pocket of the world. People located in some economic locales may be more interested in hearing about value for money than others; business users may want to know what other software they can make redundant. First world powers may be interested in big specs, whereas emerging economies might be more concerned about running the OS on a less powerful machine.
Country-specific cultural issues are all too easy to overlook when the people pushing the press release out have never experienced anything other than California. For example, if Apple does no marketing for its products in South American countries and Microsoft were to release some press stating : “Our new OS is better than the Macbook Air’s OS” people from that country would then would be more aware of the competitor’s product.
Image Source: Pingdom.com
Although this is a rare scenario, you could potentially be doing your competitor’s advertising for them without realising it, all simply because you didn’t have the input from your South American office.
An even simpler example is paid search advertising. You can’t assume that Google is king everywhere (although, it almost is). If your products are being pushed out in any of the following countries for example, Google is not the leading search engine: Baidu has a 76% market share in China, Yahoo Japan (an entirely different entity from the Yahoo! Corporation we’re familiar with) has a 56% share of the Japanese market, Russia’s Market is controlled by Yandex (62%) and 45% of users from the Czech Republic use Seznam. Having input from the country could stop you advertising through an unused medium. The same goes for social – Facebook doesn’t own every market.
Decentralisation is not only important on a global scale
Although hypothetically, it does look like simply throwing money at advertising is not always the way to go. Even if you are a UK-focused business, you could choose to have a variety of differing local radio ads rather than a single voice for your business that is aired nationwide. Even subtle suggestions such as a TV advert using a northern accent probably has some research behind it, maybe their main customer base is from the north or it could be a new market that they are trying to break into.
So, how can we get around this?
Pushing content and information out on a global scale is something that a wide variety of businesses will have to contend with; even if you don’t have an international office, it doesn’t mean you don’t have an international customer base. The options vary and you will need to do some research in order to understand your market and consumer base.
Usually, top line press releases such as the announcement of a new product or service are fine to push from a centralised main office; as long as you stick to facts and figures about what it has to offer.
When you start to join in on the more creative marketing campaigns, I would always recommend to get input from the local organisations that are collaborating with you on the project. This doesn’t mean that the mission statement can’t come from the central office, but the manner in which you push it out through different countries, cultures and languages need to be overseen by someone who has experienced them first hand. Let’s face it, if some jokes can’t be translated; your complex marketing idea might have to have more than a translator on the case.