Frontline Marketing

Marketers Are Struggling With Localizing Campaigns

magnifying glass hovering above target audience

Chief marketing officers have indicated major industry challenges when it comes to adapting and serving local audiences with timely, localized content and campaigns, and too few are investing in the necessary tools, teams and processes needed to deliver tailored quality creative.

According to a joint study from CMO Council and HH Global, a meager 33 percent of respondents said that their companies were advanced or doing well in adapting brand content for different markets, partners and geographies.

Thirty-four percent of respondents, however, said they were at least improving, and just 20 percent are satisfied with their creative delivery process and marketing supply chain effectiveness.

The report, titled “The Age of the Adaptive Marketer,” polled 150 senior marketing executives from global industries that demand an omnichannel presence in Q2.

“At a time when the customer has higher expectations than ever for relevance and personalization of content and brand interaction, marketing organizations will need to step up their game when it comes to brand content adaptation to address geographic, cultural, customer and other differences,” said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council. “Past research has shown that adaptation of marketing strategies and content can be a major enabler of sales and brand success. Yet most companies have a long way to go in order to get it right.”

Executives who were surveyed also indicated the top five process challenges they face:

  1. Shortening turnaround times
  2. Ensuring quality and uniformity with brand guidelines
  3. End-to-end workflow management
  4. Delivering creative on time and measuring the creative appeal
  5. Impact of content

“The findings—that marketers are struggling with finding efficient ways to adapt creative content for local markets at scale—expose a gap in the market that is quantitatively consistent with our qualitative experiences,” said Robert MacMillan, group CEO at HH Global. “We have seen marketers trying to expand into new regional markets with localized content, but, as demonstrated in the research, they have neither the time nor processes and tools to execute at scale.”

The study also found that brands are not taking the necessary steps to advance their capacity to adapt and modify branded content.

  • 18 percent have completed a formal assessment of their creative delivery process and marketing supply chain effectiveness
  • 24 percent say they have begun one
  • 20 percent use online approval and proofing systems to accelerate modifications
  • 49 percent of respondents say they spend less than 5 percent of their marketing budget for creative adaptation and cross-cultural localization

The full report can be downloaded here.