Catalyst issue six: A new world view

Catalyst issue six: A new world view

Welcome, citizens of the world. Well, we all are citizens of the world, aren't we?

We've jetted around the globe on gap years or business trips; conference-called clients and colleagues in different time zones and Skyped far-flung family at Christmas; we've ordered Chinese, Italian, Thai and Turkish foods via mobiles and apps; streamed the latest US or Scandi TV dramas; danced to west coast hip-hop and K-Pop novelty hits; and, everyday, we've engaged with – and maybe worked for – brands that know no borders. 

This, in popular terms, is what globalisation looks like. It's a world joined together by common values and desires, and made accessible by technology as disparate as payment systems, geolocation sensor and, of course, the internet – as well as the more established means of air travel and telephony. 

But if this provides a description of globalisation's signifiers, then for marketers it's not enough. There's a division between the signifiers, above, and what they mean in practice, on a day-to-day level. How, for example, does an organisation balance the desire to build a brand with global appeal and consistency, with the need to meet local cultural and regulatory demands? What can marketers do, every day, to ensure that brand values, campaigns and marketing messages don't get lost in translation? How can partner organisations and employees in different regions be corralled into understanding and working towards a company's more centralised goals? What does all this mean for SMEs? The questions are complex; the answers nuanced. And they are ever more vital in today's global world of marketing. 


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