Global trends

What global trends will impact marketing operations at large and small enterprises?


Several factors compel marketing management to improve operations. The figure below depicts three key trends affecting marketing operations management.


The term globalization connotes the integration of the marketing process with global business requirements.  Marketing strategies must now expand to include cultural norms, buying criteria, and selling propositions for dozens of international locales and partners. Marketing operations can no longer operate in just three time zones; rather, global operations must work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In practical terms, marketing must localize brochures, presentations, and multimedia content for 25 to 50 major languages. Marketing teams must schedule, collaborate, and review print, broadcast, and multimedia material among themselves and dozens of creative and production partners. Globalization of marketing has made marketing operations more complex, cumbersome, expensive to manage, and, consequently, slower.

Globalization, integration of marcom supply chains, and greater accountability with process transparency drive the transformation of marketing operations

Globalization, integration of marcom supply chains, and greater accountability with process transparency drive the transformation of marketing operations


Many secondary, unintended consequences continue to flow from the broad adoption of the Internet. Notably, Internet adoption has necessitated the digitization of marcom supply chains . Electronic systems now manage thousands of requests for proposalmedia-insertion orders, and invoices, as well as the production, distribution, review, and final authorization of marketing materials. With sudden clarity and alarm, management can see inefficient workflows and processes and call for corrective action.

As a result, many firms now pursue an aggressive strategy of outsourcing inefficient, non-core activities and processes. Many marketing operations outsource collateral creation, localization, print production, and fulfillment. Progressive operations now outsource entire business functions, such as creative services, publishing, and Web site management.

This outsourcing of business functions results in what analysts call marcom supply-chain integration and the application of strategic sourcing disciplines to marketing procurements. Marcom supply-chain integration emphasizes the outsourcing of complex workflows to centers of excellence: business operations that incorporate best practices, high levels of workflow automation, and the disciplines of continuous quality improvement.


Overall, senior management demands higher levels of accountability from each department or partner to produce tangible business results. This demand for accountability entails the development and tracking of key performance indicators (KPIs)—fact-based reports of progress towards explicit goals and milestones.

This demand also requires technical systems for collecting accurate data and summarizing these data into meaningful reports (KPIs). Demonstrating and documenting higher levels of accountability require the systemization of heretofore informal and undocumented processes and procedures and the production of timely data and reports. In practical terms, higher accountability means greater control of work underway throughout marketing operations—process transparency.

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