Every Regional Marketer Should Know These 3 Winning Plays

April 13, 2016

Anyone who’s been in a regional marketing role knows that it’s far more than “just marketing.” Negotiator, translator, boardroom cheerleader – these are just a few of the positions that regional marketers have to occupy. To be successful, they have to score against a range of moving goalposts, set by both global teams and their local stakeholders. How do Asia’s best regional marketers keep themselves and their teams on the front foot?

To find out, we interviewed six top regional marketers from across Asia Pacific, asking them about their game plan for everything from global approvals to local-language translations. Their distilled insights will be shared in a webinar, "Secrets to Success for Regional Marketing," which takes place on Thursday, April 14, at 9:30 a.m. IST, 12:00 p.m. SGT, and 2:00 p.m. AEST. 

You can also read their full insights in The Regional Marketer’s Playbook, a compact e-book containing advice about leadership, strategy, and skills development that’s relevant for regional marketers of any experience level. Here are three of the winning plays that you’ll find in the playbook:

1. Take a trip to global headquarters – every quarter

One of the biggest challenges regional marketers can face is autonomy, or a lack thereof. When global marketing leads force regional campaigns to be run a certain way – without attention to local nuances or cultural differences – the result are usually less than inspiring. How to avoid getting straitjacketed by the edicts from global marketing? Engage in open dialogue and earn their trust – something that can only done by frequent, in-person contact.

“You have to physically visit global HQ to build the rapport and pick up on how things really work,” says Edward Bray, Head of Marketing for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Asia-Pacific. SHARE THIS

2. Don’t create your own channels unless you have to

There’s an appeal to creating a new blog, social media page, or content calendar for every country. However too much localisation can dilute the message – or even miss your customers entirely. Avoid the “build it and they’ll come” myth by using data and personas about your audiences to work out what channels they already frequent. Then take your global content and adjust it based on your insights so that it resonates with local customer pain-points or questions.

“Content is absolutely critical…it’s never a question of when or what we localise. It just has to be done,” says Paula Parkes, Director of Marketing, Digital Marketing Business, Adobe Asia Pacific. SHARE THIS

3. Hire adaptable specialists

A critical mass of specialist skills – particularly in areas like content, visual communication, and analytics – can be invaluable for efficiently supporting local executions throughout the region. However, the best regional marketers are also highly versatile problem solvers, who often tackle challenges by blending knowledge from two or more disciplines. Look for entrepreneurial marketers who dissect their failures and have a hunger to score on business outcomes.

“We don’t need activity-based marketers at a regional level, we need people who can receive a business problem and come up with practical solutions,” says Ryan Bonnici, Marketing Director at Hubspot Asia-Pacific. SHARE THIS

When you take up a regional marketing role, you’re entering the field of a fast-paced team sport where agility, cultural awareness and humility will make or break your game. Download The Regional Marketer’s Playbook for more tips on how to become your organisation’s MVP or find your marketing A-Team.