5 Critical Demand Generation Challenges Country Managers of Multinational Enterprises Face
Country Managers responsible for the growth of regional or local operations of multinational enterprises and vendors face multiple challenges.
When it comes to digital marketing in local territories, Country Managers face a wide variety of unique hurdles they need to overcome. In this post we identify the top five lead generation challenges Country Managers face and outline practical solutions to overcome these challenges.
Table of Contents
Challenge #1: Regional Teams are Stretched – the Strategy is There But the Bandwidth to Execute Isn’t
Regional teams are constantly being asked to launch, execute, grow and scale business in their region. Strategic region-specific marketing campaigns involve juggling many tasks, including locally-relevant content development, vendor and partner management amongst others.
Limited human resource capacity often results in team members needing to multi-task to ensure day-to-day operational activities are also completed. This often leads to marketing functions which are over-utilised and ineffective.
Taking on additional strategic marketing activities is a tall order
Asking these teams to take on added responsibility and run effective strategic projects and campaigns is a tall order which ultimately leads to vital strategic initiatives not receiving the attention they deserve. Or, if sufficient attention is allocated, it’s at the cost of operational activities.
Refocus scarce resources on value adding activities
Organisations can reprioritise team activities to achieve more. To accomplish this, organisations
need to adopt a strategic approach where key outputs are identified. Based on these identified deliverables, the organisation can then deduce which activities create the most value.
The team can then be repurposed to accomplish the identified activities which give the most value in the shortest space of time.
Increase resources by recruiting or partnering with a local strategic partner
In some circumstances, repurposing team activities may not be a feasible option. The obvious solution is to employ additional human resources.
However, identifying, approaching and recruiting an individual who possesses the strategy experience, marketing research capabilities and local market knowledge required is a challenge, especially if this needs to be achieved within a limited timeframe.
Partnering is an option for those organisations who have a limited timeframe, stretched capacity or do not want to increase their internal headcount.
A local strategic partner would have the local knowledge, skills and experience necessary to successfully execute a local campaign.
Challenge #2: A Prospect Database Has Become a Large List of Unqualified Contacts
Optimising an effective customer marketing database is not a simple undertaking. Managing and maintaining the database for strategic lead generation purposes is challenging.
If database management has not been a core focus, or if quantity of contacts took precedence, it can be common for a database to have become a large and inaccurate list of contacts over time.
The larger the organisation, the greater the challenge
The larger the organisation, the more unwieldy the customer marketing database can become. In addition, databases used by multiple teams across regions and for different purposes can lead to inconsistency in the way the data is recorded.
Databases eventually become large contact lists
These issues lead to databases essentially becoming a giant list of contacts, lacking relevant profiling data. This renders them ineffective as strategic marketing tools due to the disproportionate amount of lead nurturing information that may be missing or unknown.
Solutions which segment contacts by buyer persona and lead type are the answer
Organisations should investigate implementing solutions to enrich contacts through segmenting them by lead type. Categorising contacts into multiple lead types is vital in mounting and successfully executing a lead generating campaign.
This can be challenging to resolve when CRMs are deployed globally for all regional teams.
Without attempting to resolve for all regions, regional teams can aim to segment their qualified prospects. This can deliver a true competitive advantage locally as they can use this database to target qualified prospects effectively.
This ultimately leads to a better closure rate and, as a result, an increase in sales, improved ROI and enhanced customer satisfaction.
A great way to kickstart this process is to deploy campaigns which can qualify local prospects or register some form of interest or intent from prospects in order to provide leads for local Sales Team nurturing.
Challenge #3: Global Brand Campaigns Are Effective, But Are They Enough?
An organisation’s global marketing team will often deploy brand campaigns and provide assets that can be leveraged by local country teams.
While these campaigns can be great for building or expanding regional brand awareness and for large-scale promotional efforts, Regional Marketing teams need assets and templates relevant to local markets to generate actionable leads for their local Sales Team.
Global marketing teams are already stretched
Global marketing teams are incentivised to build the organisation’s global brand which is a full-time commitment. They’re already stretched, juggling multiple global marketing objectives.
Providing the necessary and detailed support for a specific regional team is usually not feasible. Particularly if a global marketing teams supports one regional team, then it will need to support all regional teams around the world in the same way. This usually isn’t feasible either.
Local content is needed but the development is time consuming
Developing and deploying campaign content that is meaningful for a local region presents challenges. The content needs to be adapted so that it’s locally relevant – a time-consuming process. In addition, the input of local specialist skills is often required.
Local relevance is essential
Regional teams need an effective solution which is able to bolster their global teams and support their local teams without adding to the operational priorities each team already carries.
Regional teams need access to region-specific insights in order to develop and deploy content which is locally relevant and contextual.
The solution is to actively engage local markets in a structured approach to obtain the local insights needed by the global teams to support their country teams. This solution should however take cognisance of the high workload these teams are already carrying and seek to alleviate it in some way.
Challenge #4: Knowing Where To Start and What To Prioritise
The objective of a marketing campaign is to achieve a specific marketing goal through a focused, tactical initiative. A successful campaign therefore needs have a tailored marketing message which is focussed on a specific target market to induce action.
That’s why relevant research and meaningful insights are so important to strategic decision making.
Insights are needed to ensure local campaigns have the right focus
Without local insights obtained through a structured, locally-relevant solution process, deciding on which markets, customers or channels to focus on would be challenging.
A regional team needs to ensure its regional marketing content takes local market insights and evidence into account to achieve the laser focus needed to ensure a successful engagement.
Engagement with the local market is key to deriving the needed insights
Teams need to follow a structured approach to engage and test demand in the local market with locally relevant content to obtain these practical data insights.
These insights can then be used to create focused and effective content, ensuring the delivery of locally-relevant marketing campaigns.
Challenge #5: Managing and Growing A Channel Programme Is Incredibly Complex
Channel programmes are effective because they allow your brand to develop scale and market coverage, using local expertise and knowledge. However, managing and empowering large numbers of Channel Partners and Resellers is a challenge.
Enterprises with local regional channel programmes generally have two struggles; attracting new Channel Partners while increasing sales to end users through existing Channel Partners.
Lack of information results in an ineffective partner channel
A lack of locally-relevant information inhibits making informed strategic decisions to strengthen a channel programme, as not enough is known about the Channel Partners.
In addition, without relevant empirical information and considered insight, organisations find it difficult to empower Channel Partners to market themselves, generate demand and sell more.
These factors make it difficult for an organisation to identify new prospective partners, or to know what support is needed to facilitate their current partners’ success.
Relevant information is needed to ensure partner success
A channel programme needs insight into the metrics of the organisation’s Partners to succeed.
A solution which provides locally-relevant metrics can help regional teams understand which Partners to pay attention to and identify any additional resources Partners require to successfully market and sell the organisation’s products and services.
The right strategic partner can support Channel Partner lead acquisition to ensure right fit for channel expansion programmes.
Country Managers Need To Be Able To Think Global and Act Local
As part of an international team, local Marketers are responsible for ensuring their efforts align to and reinforce the global brand they represent. Meanwhile, your Sales Teams need to hit local targets.
These efforts need to be balanced with the nuances of the local market to ensure they execute effective marketing campaigns.
Global messaging needs to be made local.
Solutions are needed to obtain local insight
To ensure success, country teams need compelling solutions which can assist them in gaining market insight, make evidence-based decisions and then execute these against the local and global organisational strategy.
Unique challenges require tailored solutions
When it comes to practical demand generation capability, country teams are often faced with limited resources, database challenges and the limited impact of global campaigns.
In addition, country teams also need to identify which potential customers or Partners, such Value- Added Resellers (VARs), Managed Service Providers (MSPs), or System Integrators they should focus on in order to actively develop an efficient and successful Channel Programme.
Resolving regional lead generation challenges has common underlying requirements
While the challenges are varied and have different degrees of impact on individual businesses, the solutions proposed here share underlying requirements.
A pragmatic approach is needed
Many of the challenges covered below should be tackled using a pragmatic strategic approach of evidence gathering and targeting with specificity.
The adage of “our ideal client or ideal Partner is anyone with a budget” won’t cut it. Understanding buyer personas prior to any lead generating campaigns is a far better option.
Insights-fuelled campaign planning and development at local level ensures seamless internal sign-off of global marketing budgets.
Measure impact with meaningful metrics
Practical data insights can only be derived by actively engaging in the target market and using content and marketing activities to test demand and engagement. If this data doesn’t exist yet due to inactivity, then part of the objectives of the initial campaigns will be to start gathering data for future insights.
This evidence-based and insights-fuelled approach will give you the information you need to get laser-focused with strategy, content and tools over time.
Engage strategic partners who can plug in
Engaging skilled and specialised demand gen and marketing solution providers is an ideal option to access the skills, expertise and track record you need. They can help you develop the right strategic plans, and then successfully execute demand gen campaigns with you to make a measurable impact.
Ready To Overcome the Demand Generation Challenges Country Managers Face?
You need a marketing solution that makes it easier for your regional team to access the necessary local strategic marketing skills, research and lead qualifying capabilities they need to achieve region-specific marketing objectives.
As a tech marketing agency partner that delivers a measurable impact to spark growth, Filament has worked with enterprises and multinationals in Australia, New Zealand, SE Asia, India and the US.
Talk to us about how to take your regional marketing efforts to new heights with global messaging made local?