Embrace digital marketing to be ‘Glocal’

Alex Blaikley - Media Director ,

‘Glocal’ is a business strategy which originated in Japan in the 1970s & 80s. Despite sounding like it has been invented by a speaker at a marketing conference, it is an approach that can be characterised as having both local  as well as global considerations and relevance.

The benefits for a brand appealing to local relevancy provides a competitive advantage from both a trust and practical perspective. Importantly, it also provides levers and options for proactive and reactive marketers – whether they have a physical location. According to Google, searches for ‘near me’ haves increased tenfold in the last five years, whilst a local SEO strategy will support any paid activity.

Already in 2021, we have been exposed to several digital transformation and direct-to-consumer briefs from brands across a range of categories, who had previously relied on physical locations or wholesalers as their reach and distribution channels. The sense of urgency is palpable for obvious reasons and the capability for transformation can easily be underestimated from a cultural and technology perspective.

At no time has ‘Glocal’ been more accessible to business via digital channels. Despite macro-economic issues, pandemics and resulting shifts in consumer behaviour, there is plenty of room for optimism in the year ahead. At 26, we provide the full spectrum of channel-led solutions , which will individually or collectively support a ‘Glocal’ strategy:

SEO: If replatforming is not an option (it need not be) there are technical and content improvements that are fundamental to improving local visibility of a website, from hreflang to a localised content. 

Marketplaces: 2020 was the best year for e-commerce marketplaces in over a decade according to marketplace pulse. Whilst Amazon led the way, with 85% of sellers opting for FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon), there are a growing number of marketplace options for sellers and consumers. 2021 will see the growth of Walmart and a resurgence for eBay.

Affiliate marketing: Affiliate marketing has long been an attractive and scalable commercial model for brands and the growing acceptance that using the right balance of partners and incentives can deliver incremental growth for premium as well as mass-market brands, then partnering with key regional affiliates can provide a quicker and more effective solution than paid or organic channels – especially across APAC.

Social commerce: The launch of Facebook Shops alongside existing shoppable features will grow exponentially in 2021 outside of APAC. WeChat have led the way in China, but ‘Little Red Book’ are following. If you are not on WeChat, it is fair to say you are invisible in China.

PPC: There is no quicker route to market. However, our recommendations on how to use PPC, as part of an integrated approach will differ from territory to territory – especially in Russia, and China.

With access to 18 GWI (Global Web Index: audience insight) territories, we approach each launch with a data-informed and audience-first approach, backed up by channel expertise.

Despite the list of communication channels listed above – all of which will support a multi-territory strategy, ‘Glocal’ is as much a relevant market presence as it is fulfilment. Both aspects need to work in collaboration to drive success. Once again, future success is about breaking down organisational silos – led by digital leaders in the marketing department.

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