“All relationships are local”…..you’ve heard that Mantra before. Yet I would strongly argue that living this notion can lead to “Out of Sight of the Box” thinking Simplistic? Basic? Give you a break? The truth is at least one of our major global RM/DM competitors sells its service on the Command & Control model—a mirror of the way they deliver global advertising. Their model—a single center of excellence, supported by some regional hubs (for relationships and reporting control more than for original work) and slavish adherence to implementing centrally produced campaigns.
In fact, we have global clients who like the sound of that song—despite their market-by-market colleagues who, at worst, would like to sing in a different key, or better use another orchestration or in some cases even write a different song.
So how do we balance the two? How do we leverage a marketable differentiator and drive both local and global success for our clients in ways that increase their stakeholder value while doing the same for us?
It seems to me the “ARAL” notion does just that. It’s not some are local. Its all are local. Even the global client—wherever they may be (and we need more global business to originate from more countries on every continent, and it’s out there)—are serviced by a “local” team. All of our clients have local needs, local objectives; local goals and are rewarded for making them happen and for fulfilling their KPI’s or commitments. And yes, sometimes they are in conflict……
So what’s a Wunderperson to do?
The strength of our network must be its ability to create living/breathing platforms of thinking, philosophy, best practice, technology and people. A piece of the platform is a constant. It’s the Wunderman foundation: training; use of systems; hiring practices; the way we treat our own people and our clients; our approach to thinking and problem solving; technology and tools. Another platform constant is the clients’ global brand, objectives and sales goals.
The piece of the platform we balance by definition changes and morphs and evolves based on the client and the locale…the need; time of day; weather…whatever.
Our use of the platform, our application of what we have available also is dependent on the challenges we have before us. Every market, every locality, every client engagement will look different and be local. It makes no difference if you are in a Global HQ, a regional hub or in a single market.
In fact when you think about it, our biggest challenge to global business may well be the issue we often face in market of the so called local agencies!!!!! What are we if not local……see my point? All relationships are local……
It seems as though this debate is not new. It’s just expanded and has become more complex as the world has become smaller on one hand and ever more different on another.
I quote one of my favorites:
We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.
– Oscar Wilde
All relationships are local. We have everything in common with each other nowadays except, of course language.
Keep the language pure. Celebrate its power but also celebrate all that we have in common. Do that and we can play Out of Sight of the Box because we will have the confidence in each other to cut the tethers, while our competitors are still tied by artificial safety lines to an old and dusty box……