Staying nimble in the age of the global matrix

We've seen it happen a thousand times before: a marketer gets excited about an emerging field like customer analytics or social media marketing, develops a sensible plan of action, and then runs face-first into reality, which looks something like this:

  • "HQ has already signed off on my budgets for this year; this will have to wait until next"
  • "Maybe if I can get Peter, Paul and Mary to agree to this at the regional marketing love-in, we can work together to convince global to consider it in the future"
  • "I heard the trial in North America is going well; but by the time the roll-out progresses through Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa, a year will pass"
  • "Stuff it; let's just do our own thing; HQ can worry about process and efficiency later"

In other words, adaptive brand marketing is hard for any company — but especially for multinational enterprises. But the world does wait for your next global conference call. Customers keep buying and talking and changing their behaviour, as do your competitors. MNCs have no choice other than to stay nimble in the age of the global matrix, which is the topic I'll speak about at Forrester's Marketing Forum 2010 in Los Angeles in April. See you there.