On episode 23 of The Insiders Podcast, hosts Richard Lane and Simon Hazeldine were joined by Jamie Mackenzie, Chief Marketing Officer at Sodexo Engage 

An experienced CMO, Jamie has built and led global marketing teams for 20+ years, effectively launching products into new markets for the likes of Toshiba, Samsung, and most recently the quality-of-life experts, Sodexo Engage. 

From identifying the key areas to consider when building a global product launch strategy to building relationships with sales teams, Jamie shares how marketing can help grow revenue through collaborative work. 

The attributes of a successful global product launch 

Global product marketing is a specialised skill. When done right, marketers can catapult their company to the next level. 

Jamie argues that the key to creating a successful global product launch is found in the foundational aspects of marketing. He suggests not to overcomplicate the process or look for shortcuts to create strategies when entering global markets or introducing new solutions to existing markets: 

“When I reflect on global product launches, for me, there are probably three key things that I would take away and share… they’re not revolutionary, they’re not something super intellectual, they are three real basics.” 

Understanding your market

The global B2B market is complex and challenging, so truly knowing your marketplace can be what separates you from your competition. Jamie proposes focusing in on primary and secondary research and collaborating with insiders from your business in each market to enhance marketing knowledge of new landscapes.  

When tailoring your strategic marketing strategy to foreign countries, including a native perspective from those markets ensures better communication is achieved. 

Reflecting on a previous project, Jamie said: 

“We took the decision to place individuals from each market into a core project team, straightaway there was an immediate understanding of the marketplace assumptions and cultural elements, and we could already start to have a good base and foundation of that market.  

Just a because a marketing strategy was a success in a business’ native country does not mean that it will translate well in a market with different values, culture, and language. To ensure a thorough understanding Jamie suggests enriching your knowledge further: 

“Then we used other primary and secondary research to enrich the knowledge of that marketplace. Because when you overlay culture, competitors’, reactions to pricing, buyers’ behaviours, there are so many different elements.” 

Delivering on product

Differentiating your product from competitors’ is key to getting buyers attention. Sometimes the knowledge you need is not in-house, and outsourcing specific product knowledge can accelerate your time to market. 

“You need to bring resources; you need to bring people in with knowledge. 

Sometimes you can bring in people with global product launching experience, but in the wrong sector or product sector that you’re looking for. You know, bringing a hardware product to market is very different to bringing a software product to market.” 

Utilising channels of distribution

Depending on your organisation’s solution and resource, there may be a need to diversify channels to market. Jamie said: 

“Really understand your channel or maybe more distribution of your product to market. Because whether you have a direct operation, or an indirect operation, will change the way in which you plan, you prepare and you execute the launching activity.” 

Understanding pathways to purchase 

Sales cycles in B2B sales are longer and more complex than B2C, therefore marketing activities need to reflect this.  

“I bring the differences down to three key themes; number one is the product; the product provides that level of differentiation between B2B and B2C. The second is the discovery and decision time that is needed in in in a B2B or B2C environment. And the third element is who is the decision maker.” 

Building human connection between functions 

Misalignment between Sales and Marketing is a common problem in most businesses. The main cause of this problem is when both functions are unable to effectively communicate to each other. Jamie argues that aligning goals and processes creates a streamlined approach which puts the customer first: 

“Once you have that systemized process in place, you test it, you learn it, you iterate it, but you’re always doing it as a collective.” 

When working in silos, oftentimes there is no feedback culture. Jamie suggests that both roles need to step out of their function to provide problem-solving solutions. When marketing work to fill the pipeline with conversions for the sales team, sales teams should work to provide marketing with real time feedback on how their content is engaging leads: 

“Step out of your function, look at yourselves as human beings with great skills, great experiences, and then apply that to a problem.” 

Working collaboratively towards the same goal while implementing a customer-first philosophy is a crucial part in driving business growth and increasing revenue, leading to better buyer experience.  

Learn more in the full podcast episode 

Listen to the full episode on The Insiders Podcast to learn more about how Jamie effectively brings Marketing and Sales together, to build and execute successful product launch strategies on a global scale. 

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