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Best Practices in Global Data Sourcing

In our last blog post, we presented some of the challenges facing companies looking to source data across borders. Now we’ll share some best practices we’ve compiled based on the dozens of engagements we’ve had helping some of the world’s best brands procure and consume international data to drive successful international programs. While every company, value proposition, program, and campaign have their own unique requirements, we believe that these practices can form a strong foundation for program exploration and planning.

Keys to mastering international data sourcing

1. Operating model based on a Global Framework and Governance

In order to get the best out of both global and local activities, we recommend setting up a new operating model that has a global framework and governance with local buying and budgets. The local data ensures the right coverage, compliance, and quality, while the global framework and governance provides a model to disseminate standards, use best practices, and control and close the loop between central customer/data strategy and local operations. This will also enable the central organization to set guidelines (if not standards or requirements) for attributes such as price, trust, freshness, accuracy, and ability to target.

2. Understand local markets and local needs

A common mistake made by marketers is to either assume too much knowledge of local markets or fail to enlist the experts that do have great knowledge of individual markets. Each market has vastly different availability of data, maturity in collecting data, completeness, accuracy, and quality. Channel usage and preferences vary by local technology and culture. Many markets have different and restrictive opt-in and privacy laws. These requirements may all sit above such block-and-tackle differences as address conventions, titles, languages, and local customs. Ignoring these differences, or simply being unaware of them, can introduce great risk into campaign execution, both in terms of marketing performance (e.g., low responses, poor results) and legality.

3. Align fundamental marketing levels

As a foundation of the global customer and data strategy, organizations should develop a complete view of how marketing data should be defined and managed. One framework to work through this planning is to look at the levels of quality, insight, and action.

4. Export best practices across the global organization

Ultimately, the purposes of global governance, a central customer and data strategy, aligned marketing levels, and local understanding is to be able to take the domestic successes and have them be successful in new markets. Organizations should make the exportation of best practices a formal, purposeful program with active management, hardened tools and methods, designed processes, pre-made analyses, campaign templates, technologies, and knowledge sharing initiatives.

5. Embrace Change Management

As with any serious organizational endeavor, success never happens by simply throwing mandates over the wall and wishing for good results. Smart organizations need to embrace a formal and proactive change management approach that takes into consideration developing new skills, developing consensus and advocacy for the program, understanding of risks and organizational obstacles, and setting of formal measures and metrics for monitoring the program and gauging success.

Explore these opportunities in our latest white paper,Think Local, Act Global. Global Data Sourcing for Multinational Companies.

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