At this year’s DMEXCO OMD Worldwide CEO, Florian Adamski, took to the stage to take part in a panel discussing what will be the biggest challenges and risks of running a global company in the next five years. Alongside Mark Grether, CEO at Sizmek; the two leaders compared markets to each other in terms of capabilities, niches and commonalities to highlight the importance of acting global, but understanding local.
To kick off the panel, the audience were first asked to vote on the following question:
What are the big challenges in managing a global company? To match the different needs of consumers in different markets OR to scale local demands with a global technology set-up?
55% of the audience agreed with Florian, that the different needs of consumers must be matched in different markets. How would you vote?
Throughout the session on the Debate Stage; data, e-privacy, growth and big market trends in specific industries were delved into in a passionate, pertinent and informed discussion. Florian shared his perspective on what drives global business.
How important is it to have the right talent to manage the challenge of thinking globally and satisfying local needs?
“As a global media agency, we must have a sense of how many local freedoms a market needs” began Florian. He claims technological infrastructure, the connection to data, partners and ad partners, but also ‘people’ are top of the pack in terms of relevance to attracting and retaining quality talent. “A global client who declares himself to be ‘consistent’ will be encountered in 60 markets, in 60 countries in different variations”. How does this sit though, when markets are wanting to keep local freedom? Answer – “you must find the right people who are able to take care of the client. As an agency, you create a framework, a platform that recognises clients and employees worldwide.”
Connected teams through connected tools
One agreement that the panel came to was that it’s not always easy to find the right balance between local and global. The art of remaining relevant worldwide whilst also serving a market locally is a fine line that agencies continue to foster and develop.
“We have recently launched a platform – OMNI – that covers this and more through precision marketing – using data and technology in the right place to control and effectively present plans, optimisations, buying and reporting.” Florian was excited at how different regions and countries have the ability to focus on different functionalities on this platform. Said to be “an enterprise that is controlled globally”, its astounding how the focus can be so varied – “this isn’t always easy.”
Centralisation of the markets
Centralisation of markets was a topic which generated both light and shade. “At the end of the day, this is exactly what our job is: a global CMO can demand from us at any time that we use data to generate insights and evaluate the different markets on a number of levels.” It was agreed that no agency would be a good agency if it can’t afford and understand that a brand in the US has an unaided brand awareness of 80%, but in Germany only 10%. The idea of being ‘in-house’ is a theme that is heavily circulating the industry, and indeed, props up in several pitches. Florian observed that there are only a few companies that are able to define an Ad-Stack, but also using and optimising it in the long term. “This is a problem for many clients who have decided to do everything ‘in-house’ for reasons of transparency. The problem is that they can’t use the technology.” Great in principle, not so great in practice. Appreciating the value of a neutral consultant will be something moved towards in the coming year as clients begin to realise how complex the environment has become.
Globally flexible, locally relevant
Florian’s take home message for global to local fusing was that we shouldn’t “try to force something global onto regional talents that they can’t realise locally. Give them the freedom to make the right decisions for their markets. Try to create a vision and a road-map for this vision, so that they can get there using the skills and capabilities that we’ve empowered them to use. Let’s synergise local and global this year.”