Marketing and communications executives are “going global,” with seven out of 10 saying their organizations currently have, or will have in the next five years, a global marketing function, based on the results of a study commissioned by the Public Relations Global Network (www.prgn.com), one of the top international networks of independent public relations agencies.
The survey of 206 communications professionals at agencies, corporations and non-profits across six continents reveals that more than four in 10 (43 percent) say their organizations already have a formal global marketing function. Of those without one, more than half expect to have one in the next five years.
“One of the interesting findings of the survey is that even organizations that are not operating globally today said that they expect to have a global marketing communications function in the future,” said Francine Robbens, PRGN president and partner at Brussels-based PRP-Public Relations Partners. “Communications professionals see clear benefits in fostering global relationships.”
Other key findings include:
- Half of the executives surveyed regularly develop relationships with marketing/communications professionals in other countries. About 30 percent interact at least once a month; 20 percent interact three to four times a year.
- Similar percentages said they establish global connections with external clients or customers of their organizations, and with representatives of other organizations.
- The industries from which corporate communicators were most likely to connect globally were:
- manufacturing (27 percent)
- commercial and professional services; media; food / beverage; and tobacco (each cited by 20 percent of respondents or more)
- Respondents who engaged in regular global contact said the benefits were:
- Increased awareness of their organization’s brand (50 percent)
- A more positive attitude toward their organization (49 percent)
- Increased support of their organization’s business objectives and strategies (44 percent)
- The biggest barriers to global communication were culture and language, each cited by more than 40 percent of respondents.
“This last finding underscores the value of communications networks such as PRGN, which enables our clients to partner with local agencies in international markets to help address differences in culture and language and communicate more effectively to specific audiences in other countries,” said Robbens.
The online survey was conducted in March by the LCWA Research Group, a division of Chicago-based L.C. Williams & Associates, a PRGN member.