Global, Yet Local
Candice OdhamsSeptember 26, 2014
As one does in airports, I recently found myself wandering around aimlessly and looking for something to occupy the time. I saw an advertisement for a company that promoted itself as relevant at the global, as well as local levels. Their slogan caught my eye and I realised how apt this way of thinking has become to our business.
When I think of our global clients, their philosophy is very much aligned to this slogan. Marketing a global company requires strong central coordination and direction, but this would amount to nothing without pervasive local market knowledge. The term ‘market’ probably misappropriates the meaning in this context, since it’s the country, the people and the culture that we need to grasp in order to know each market inside out – not just socio-demographic profiles and media consumption habits.
We at Xaxis certainly believe in the value of having local experts on the ground in as many countries as possible. In fact, we now have over 700 employees in 33 countries. One of my favourite calendar events is our annual Global Management Conference, where we have the opportunity to get together and learn more about each market - even if just to compare notes on football!
Each of our markets builds the Xaxis offering in a way that best suits their local needs, but equally utilises the resource and guidance of our central team. We find that most of our product innovation evolves from a local market idea and then permeates into other local markets to create a best-fit model in each case. Xaxis Sync is a perfect example and our Dutch colleagues are very proud to be the originating market for this product. This local approach creates wonderfully relevant and diverse products, data, ad formats and publisher relationships.
Notwithstanding my previous notion, global consistency within products, campaigns, measurement and verification is something that Xaxis strives for at every available opportunity, although this should not be to the detriment of local creativity, or local client priorities. There is a balance here that we need to address. For example, why use a single verification tool across all markets rather than applying the most accurate solution in each market? Global consistency is a good thing for Xaxis and our clients, but excessive product standardisation and process dilute the vibrancy and effectiveness of the local offering.
Recently, I’ve been working with our global clients and their agency teams to produce bespoke global guidelines around subjects such as Xaxis product preference, core KPIs, sensitive segmentation best practice and viewability. These are highly important areas for our clients and it’s vital that each market adopts the guidelines in order to accomplish global marketing goals and adhere to regulation. During this process, local input is incredibly valuable since these principles cannot be successfully enforced without the advice, agreement and actions of our local experts. After all, what good are global guidelines if they don’t work on a local level?
In all areas of our business we take on the mantra of “Think Global Act Local,” although in many scenarios you can reverse the statement to arrive at a more innovative outcome. One of the key advantages of Xaxis is that we can mirror the global, regional and local structures of our clients and agencies to support their needs and understand their business at each level. We truly are global and local!