Global Marketing Is Messy, And Organizations Must Adapt

When Unilever launched its "Dirt Is Good" campaign, the company probably imagined parents like myself breathing a sigh of relief as we learned to love our children's mess. However, the tagline has a double meaning. To my mind, "Dirt Is Good" perfectly summarises the chaos that is global marketing — mess that can be as puzzling as a finger painting, and just as satisfying.

With the "Dirt Is Good" tagline, Unilever actually supported four different brands of laundry detergent: Persil, Skip, Via and Omo. To complicate matters further, these brands occupied different positions in different markets. Take Omo, for example: it's a premium brand in Brazil; a second tier brand in Australia, France, and South Africa; and no longer sold in Britain, Ireland, or New Zealand, where Unilever promotes Persil as its premium brand instead. Compare this to Marketing MBA Fantasy Land, where the perfect tagline falls out of the brand architecture, which aligns with the product offer and the product's corresponding position in the market.

Global marketing is one big mess, and the CMOs who win will be those who Create An Adaptive Global Organization, to borrow a phrase from my latest report. In other words, CMOs must create a global marketing team that uses data and customer insight to learn, adapt, and grow in real time, anywhere in the world.

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Where in the world?

Calling all tech industry marketing and strategy professionals!  We need some help with our current research on market opportunity assessement. 

"Where in the world are you?  And, how'd you get there?"

Strategists in the tech industry face a continuous stream of critical decisions in today’s complex global market. One of those is “where in the world?”  One the one hand, globalization expands the options available, making it “easier” to enter new markets.  However, those decisions aren’t always themselves easy.  To better understand how strategists are undertaking the tasks of identifying, evaluating and prioritizing technology market opportunities in new geographies, we have launched a short survey.  The survey questions include background on market presence and intended entry, data sources and factors that influence these decisions, stakeholders' involvement, and the process itself. This is where we need your help. If you are part of a team or team leader for strategic planning in global markets, we’re interested in your input.  The data gathered will be used for an upcoming report – Where in the World? Tech vendor strategists weigh opportunities (and risks) of expansion (working title). The report will also use public data and research interviews (where we'd also like your help).

Click here to take the survey

The survey should take no more than 15 minutes and participants who complete the survey will receive a complimentary copy of the completed report. Terms and conditions (the fine print): As always, we keep your individual responses confidential. 

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Examples of cloud migration delays due to global data privacy concerns

[Co-authored by Zachary Reiss-Davis]

On March 30, 2010, Yale University placed a migration to Google Apps for its email services on hold over privacy and security concerns, especially regarding a lack of transparency about in what country its data would be stored in.

Michael Fisher, a computer science professor involved in the decision, said that “People were mainly interested in technical questions like the mechanics of moving, wondering ‘Could we do it?’ ,but nobody asked the question of ‘Should we do it?’” and went on to say that the migration would “also makes the data subject to the vagaries of foreign laws and governments, and “that Google was not willing to provide ITS with a list of countries to which the University’s data could be sent, but only a list of about 15 countries to which the data would not be sent.”

This closely aligns with our January report, “As IaaS Cloud Adoption Goes Global, Tech Vendors Must Address Local Concerns” which examined security and privacy issues involved in moving data to the cloud, especially when it’s no longer clear what country your data will reside in. In this report, we offered that IaaS  providers should give “guidance on where data is located and location guarantees if necessary. Rather than merely claiming that data is in the cloud, tech vendors must be prepared to identify the location of data and provide location guarantees (at a premium) if required.” 

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