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The Challenges Of Global Digital Strategy

What are the challenges that digital media brings to multinationals?

17Feb

The accessibility that digital media brings to organisations has gone some way to levelling a playing field which was once completed skewed in the favour of larger companies. Whereas the limited resources of smaller companies used to prohibit them from developing substantial marketing departments, digital media has meant that reaching out to thousands of people is as easy as setting-up a Twitter account and building a following who are interested in what they have to say.

Of course, this is easier said than done, but there's no doubt that in terms of finance, digital media has lowered boundaries and made it possible for smaller companies to compete with multinationals, even if  only in localised areas.

As smaller companies tend to concentrate their efforts in a particular country or region, incorporating a global strategy is something which isn't part of their thinking. Instead, smaller companies often benefit from a localised approach, which sees their content tailored to fit to a certain section of society.

Global companies rarely operate solely in English, whether it's Spanish or Mandarin, people want to read content that's in their language and many companies, including Coca-Cola, have feeds that only tweet in languages other than English. Marcos de Quinto, the Chief Marketing Officer of Coca-Cola, has his own feed which is entirely in Spanish, and whilst his tweets are not all about Coca-Cola, a good proportion are, providing a good source of information for people in Spain and South America.

In regards to Twitter, many will point to the fact that language de facto of the network is English, with the USA, India and the UK, three of the most active nations on the platform. Due to this, it's become essential for companies to look at localised networks to make sure that their outputs are reaching every nation that they sell to.

Tuenti, for example, is the most popular social media platform in Spain, and Coca-Cola have had particular success in building a following there.

New market entrants can now scale up their operations far quicker than they used to, which is a major worry for multinationals, as it encourages a 'plug and play' environment where smaller digital experts can amass a solid following that can compete with major corporations in localised areas.

It only takes a re-tweet from a celebrity with a following of 500K for a small company to get their message out to a huge pool of people, so quality content, not financial clout, is becoming the currency of choice for digital media.

More than anything, a global digital media strategy necessitates that companies keep a strict eye on their brand's consistency. With the amount of platforms that a global strategies insists upon, it's important that different cultures don't stand in the way of a steady brand image.

These challenges shouldn't necessarily be viewed in a negative light by multinationals, but just a by-product of the globalised economy they operate in and profit from. Global companies won't be resting easy however, they'll be more than aware that their smaller counterparts will be on their heels trying to outdo their digital endeavours at every corner. 

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