In the early 1900s, Scottish social activist, Patrick Geddes, coined the phrase “Think global, act local.” Since then, the term has transcended its origins to become a motto in the fields of science, government, and business. The meaning urges people to consider the health of our entire planet by taking action in our own communities. So as marketers, how can we leverage this philosophy to become more effective rather than indiscriminately attributing value to grassroots and social marketing schemes?
Most of today’s marketing efforts are not painted with one brush. Author Marieke de Mooi has written about this through the theory of the global-local paradox. The idea that “[the] more people know about other countries and cultures, the more they become aware of their own cultural or national identity.” Here are some examples of this phenomenon from the international music industry:
In the chart above, the United States and Japan drastically prefer local music, where marketing is more nationalistic. In contrast, Europe is more evenly split; no doubt having been influenced by the establishment of the European Union. So, if companies are able to create nationalistic marketing and develop solutions that are globally beneficial, the result should be greater adoption and success. Based on this principle, here are some best practices for a global-local marketing strategy:
- Invests in market research that provides a global and local perspective
- Leverage global industry knowledge to develop more valuable products
- Create advertising that locally relates to your customer
- Increate engagement by appealing to personal values and supporting local initiatives that align with the company brand
Next week, iVEDiX will be putting our thoughts into practice, yet again, by joining the Rochester Chapter of Financial Executives International and the CIO Roundtable of Western New York in their co-hosted Technology EXPO. The technology event will offer networking opportunities with Rochester executives, thought leadership through local universities, and a product showcase of area businesses.
Let us know your thoughts about the global-local paradox, and how you’re optimizing marketing through localization, in the comments.