An especially busy summer season of sport is now kicking off, and this year in particular, sponsors and partners and the world are in the midst of launching their global marketing activity to capitalise on the incoming buzz.

While non sponsors and partners are unable to refer directly to specific events, many travel operators will also be ramping up their activity during this key summer season to support other events and tap into regional zeitgeist, not to mention standing out against multitudes of other brands associated with major summer sporting and music events. Orchestrating print, digital, radio, and TV across potentially tens of countries worldwide is no easy task, particularly with multiple languages and countless cultural considerations to consider. 

On top of this creative and organisational challenge is the management of agencies, planners and even printers and production for each bespoke piece of content. How, then, can a smart global operator begin to plot such a complex undertaking?

Firstly, large brands which operate in multiple regions are no strangers to the hurdles of culture and language. The true balancing act comes in when companies increasingly want to capitalise on national pride and capture the zeitgeist around a major development, such as a country’s football team succeeding or medals being awarded at the Commonwealth Games.

It’s one thing to come up with a brief visual tweet – such as the oft-cited Oreo Super Bowl blackout image, or Lego’s response through social to the Felix Baumgartner stunt – since English is often expected as the root language of these brands as well as their established, central feeds. When looking to tailor an international email to respond to a global event however, for example flights and hotel deals in the winning country, companies will need to react quickly with a cross-territory campaign in a short space of time. 

Preparing a variety of templates with set spaces for tailored, language specific copy can provide a valuable shortcut which may cut down on time. It is also worth considering global timezones: some of this summer’s major sporting events won't conclude until the early hours in Europe, for example.

Some airlines have also seen some success in orchestrating targeted email marketing campaigns linked to the weather, with content appropriate to it raining in the recipient’s area at the time of receipt. Having collateral ready to run, through trusted partnerships with creative production partners entrusted to select or adapt copy on-the-fly based on real time results, will keep a company looking to react to sporting successes or failures well prepared.

Companies should not discount the value of making sure agency and production partners are primed, ready – and organisationally structured to deliver such a campaign. Given increasing globalisation of marketing campaigns, many companies like ours have adopted a “chase-the-sun” production mentality, which benefits brands with hefty production demands by being able to share asset production across a number of offices worldwide, essentially passing the process from one to another to turn a job around as efficiently as the world turns. With people on the ground in 49 countries round the world, Schawk is deliberately structured to facilitate and manage a major production project with minimal hassle, and does so for a number of global brands running multiple campaigns simultaneously, such as some premium global airlines and travel businesses.

Perhaps the most crucial aspect of a company’s planning when it comes to running cross border campaigns is to have the most robust workflow plan possible. With so many stakeholders and creative partners spread across multiple regions, it is vital that central marketing departments have an exceptionally detailed map of production timescales – which will vary from channel to channel and from supplier to supplier – as well as a step by step guide to approvals, legal and creative and other production partners’ management. 

Taken together, this will allow them to deliver campaigns on time, within budget, and having gone through the appropriate levels of analysis to make sure brand guidelines are followed to the letter and colours are true, no matter the print substrate or surface finish.

While the process of regionalising global campaigns across multiple creative formats may initially seem daunting, the key to successful execution lies in careful planning, and making sure any partners and suppliers on the ground are well briefed and understand their timescales and deliverables clearly. 

In this way, airlines, hotels and other travel brands can be sure that their messaging and company narrative is produced and protected in multiple regions at once, while remaining agile enough to capitalise on major events which can provide standout opportunities to engage with consumers all over the world.

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