Embrace the new normal: think bigger, think glocalisation

Linda King, CMO of Brightsolid, talks about the idea of a 'glocalised' approach to business, and the opportunities it brings.

person holding a globe at their side

There’s no denying that the business world has changed in recent months. The Covid-19 pandemic moved many organisations to remote working, changing daily business operations overnight. This likely won’t change: in July, health secretary Matt Hancock said working from home “should be the norm where possible… This is a change that is never going to go away.” 

The changes have provided businesses with great opportunity to extend their geographical boundaries. For example, Brightsolid’s customer base has been typically based in Scotland – but by no means do we have to limit ourselves to the way things were “always done” pre-pandemic.

Before Covid-19 hit, many organisations might not have believed themselves ready to reach a wider audience in a city or country where they are not based themselves. But now there is no reason to be limited by this. This is an opportunity to rethink mindsets, and the business tactics and technologies needed to support this. A glocalised approach – conducting business that takes into account both local and global considerations – provides new opportunities.

The idea of glocalisation itself isn’t new. Businesses have always recognised that success lies in tailoring their offerings to the local market: consider McDonald’s Ebi Filet-O in Japan or PepsiCo’s masala-flavoured Quaker Oats in India. These products follow the company’s global template but are adapted to local tastes. 

Due to the pandemic’s influence on business operations, glocalisation is taking on new meaning beyond tailoring products. Now it’s about encouraging businesses to expand their reach without necessarily having to launch physical operations in new locations.

Many organisations have already adopted this approach without realising it, for example launching websites to deliver services when customers couldn’t visit physical premises, or increasing the availability of customer service agents working from home. Integral to this is technology which provides the tools to think bigger; an opportunity to speak to, reach and work with more people. 

The IT team can no longer hold the sole responsibility for choices around technology. Our new normal has expanded our reliance on technology throughout all aspects of business operations. The cloud has made technology more accessible and we should expect to see marketing teams playing a larger role in making technology decisions that impact the business.

Marketing departments are increasingly trying to deliver personalised experiences despite the lack of face-to-face interaction, and technology plays a key role in this. Data analysis to better understand current and potential clientele, website development, cyber security and the impact on reputation – these are all aspects of business operations that combine technological know-how with marketing expertise. 

Ensuring an open line of communication between the marketing and IT departments will mean both teams can react and innovate quickly to provide the services they need to make the business more attractive to new customers. 

While, naturally, there will remain many tough hurdles for us to face; we must take the current situation and harness the power to better ourselves and the businesses we work within. A glocalised approach will be integral to business success – both now and as we emerge from the pandemic. To thrive, we must harness the opportunity and take time to review existing processes. It is likely technology will be the solution that helps us navigate beyond the here and now and towards growth again. 

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