How to Scale up a Multinational Marketing Team

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Every business operating at a global or even multi-national scale runs into challenges with their marketing data. Maintaining data governance that allows for centralized lead storage without limiting local teams can be quite a challenge. Unfortunately, too few organizations give enough attention to the biggest source of their data governance issues: Data Collection.

While there are many ways you can organize data across your marketing stack and improve data hygiene, the most important improvements begin with the capturing of leads and collection of lead data.

Creating web forms and landing pages may seem like a simple task until you factor in the ever-growing needs of local marketing teams. These demands must be met while still allowing the data collected by those teams to integrate seamlessly with your CRM, CMS and marketing automation platforms. Whether you’re using Eloqua, Marketo, HubSpot or any other Marketing Automation platform, failing to integrate this data through proper form governance causes major issues that limit your ability to leverage marketing automation, generate accurate analytics and efficiently run your business.

Regional Marketing Data Collection Challenges

When managing a global marketing operation, each region will have its own particular requirements for lead generation and data collection. If these variances are not supported by global form governance, your marketing technology stack will have inconsistent and unusable data. Analytics will be inaccurate and Lead Scoring inefficient.

Lead generation forms collecting data for email nurturing, sales outreach and other marketing activities is just one instance where this issue shows up. For example, marketers in Germany need to specify gender so they can segment the contacts and properly address them in future communications. Another example could be the format that a phone number is stored. In the United Kingdom, a user would potentially be required to insert their phone number, including the international dialing code +44, followed by the remaining numbers. Whereas in other countries the entire phone number is fewer digits or can actually change once the international dialing code is added.

Beyond form governance, overall marketing data management will vary by region. GDPR is a clear example of how regulation imposes a difference in forms and data collection depending on the location of the user rather than the region of the website.

No matter what variances each region is working with, data needs to be collected in a standardized manner. Otherwise, when it’s time to analyze the data, marketing analytics will be incomplete and inaccurate, entailing a lot of manual work in order to re-align the data.

How Companies Attempt to Manage Marketing Data Governance

Scaling up your global marketing requires a global effort and integrated agreements across all of your marketing solutions. Unfortunately, most marketing teams lack the technical and human bandwidth to do this. After a lack of human resources, too much time spent cleansing and vetting data is the second biggest challenge organizations face in data management. It also isn’t a priority for the main marketing team.

For those that have identified this problem, here are the possible solutions most companies attempt:

Centralized Global Marketing Data Team

Many companies create a centralized global team that owns the technology and provides the local marketing teams with templates and services to help with their execution and delivery. This solution prioritizes the entire company’s data governance and marketing initiatives.

This solution poses a few challenges:

  • Local demands are not always met: A team with a centralized focus will often ignore local needs due to budget or differing priorities. Marketing headquarters is also more likely to prioritize and support the more familiar and established countries than regions that represent only a fraction of the company’s revenue stream.
  • Reduced agility for local marketing: With execution queues and communication latency, local marketing teams have to wait for any new initiatives to be supported. This reduces their ability to respond quickly to new opportunities.
  • Disorganized solutions management: With the need to manage global marketing data and operations, centralized teams will most likely have one team in charge of marketing automation, another in charge of your website and CMS, and so on. Local teams would need to talk to several teams to get a field changed. Even with seamless communication, you would need to run a software project for every change needed on any form as opposed to a single, common integration. In response, many local marketing teams use workarounds or leverage solutions outside the global marketing stack, leading to further dissonance.

Independent Local Marketing Teams

Enterprise companies may have independent MarTech teams in the regions to execute the needs of each one. This ensures local marketing teams receive the support they need and are able to make changes and launch new data initiatives quickly.

This solution too is far from perfect:

  • Not scalable: You can’t afford to have a tech team in every region acting as simple support - especially when some regions are bringing in significantly less revenue than others.
  • Work duplication: Without centralized management, every region ends up building something that was already done in another region.
  • No data governance: Allowing every region to apply its own practices without a global data governance strategy means none of your regional data will be able to integrate and you will not have a clear idea of your global marketing.
  • Never truly autonomous: Even with local teams to support marketing, there is always a need for a central support team for larger technology projects and issues.

The Solution: Global Governance with Local Enablement

In order to effectively market at a global scale, your company needs a global data governance strategy that provides local enablement. By creating a flexible form governance system, regions have some liberty and business flexibility to customize forms and marketing to their regional needs without jeopardizing data hygiene.

The goal of your global marketing teams should be to provide regional teams with a marketing solution they can only customize within specific parameters set by you - similar to the experience of driving a car. It is important for the driver to have the power to adjust the seat and steering wheel to his specific needs, but they should not try to adjust the engine or the internal systems that make the machine run smoothly.

This advantage of being able to focus on marketing without worrying about forms means onboarding new countries is simple, data hygiene is maintained and there is process uniformity across all of your local marketing teams.

Harvard Business Review lists the Perception of Power as a key factor in running successful global teams. By empowering regional teams to run campaigns independently, you not only streamline your marketing operation, but also remove organizational friction.

GatedContent.com is designed to simplify form standardization and governance at scale. As your company scales globally and expands into new regions, your local teams will need to have the ability to customize forms and marketing for their market. Using a standardized solution like GatedContent.com gives them the power to make local changes, while allowing the global marketing team to maintain strong governance and analytics.

Ensuring your forms are set up properly is critical to the success of utilizing your marketing data. To learn more about how to best set up your forms, download The Ultimate Guide to Progressive Profiling.

Greg Dorban

Article by Greg Dorban

Head of Marketing, GatedContent.com

With a remit to help global businesses scale their reach and top of the funnel enquiries, Greg is able to link together inbound strategy, conversion rate optimization and tech platforms to create high performing prospect acquisition programs.