Working in Digital: Learnings from Starting My Career on an International Marketing Team
As so many of us find ourselves working remotely, virtually, or in a hybrid environment these days, we’ve all learned first-hand the increased importance of time management and communication. While working at PMG, I’ve discovered not only these skills to be necessary to success, but other learnings specific to working as part of a global digital marketing team.
Working on a team located across time zones has reinforced how important time management is to achieving results. For our team, the overlap in our working days is limited to three hours, which requires us to prioritize our meeting times with the questions and projects that need to be transitioned across time zones and work days. Utilizing project management tools such as Asana has been an effective way to help our team streamline work across different time zones, helping to clarify deadlines, project ownership, and communications. To take advantage of our different time zones, we utilize ‘sun and moon cover.’ As the UK team's day is wrapping up, my morning is beginning. We take advantage of the overlap in our day to pass on projects and issues, increasing responsiveness and reducing delays. For example, team members in one time zone can get a headstart on projects and these can be progressed over a longer period of time due to the extended working day period across teams.
Communication on an international team is key. Working across two retail brands and across different time zones, there can often be several plates spinning at the same time. To help manage projects across time zones, I’ve found it most useful to share a wrap-up at the end of my day on project milestones reached, the items I have questions on, and anything I need the UK team to pick up or QA in their morning and vice versa. Daily reports like this save time and help avoid the duplication of work.
From the client perspective, communication is also incredibly important regarding international markets. We work closely with them to address any market-specific hurdles, which helps the team achieve greater success.
Time zones, languages, spelling differences, date and time formats, cultural holidays, and more, can often differ when working on an international team. We take these things into consideration within the team but also with respect to the international markets we manage media within. Across the accounts we manage in the EU, UK, and Japan, we’ve developed cultural calendars for each market to ensure our team and the clients are aware of all relevant dates and information that could impact media performance. For retail brands that have a less established international program, it’s important for us to communicate the nuances between markets.
We work closely with our clients to produce marketing materials that speak in a voice that aligns with each country's culture, and that takes language and spelling variations into consideration. For instance, in Japan, we partner with a local agency to transcreate ad copy and audit the Japanese accounts. We also collaborate with our media partners that specialize in the Japanese and EMEA regions to receive tailored support. I have found that designing strategies for each market and being culturally aware ensures the best customer experience is created. To learn more about considerations for operating in an international market, check out this article by PMG’s Head of EMEA Ed Grice.
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Working on this team has provided me with skills and knowledge that are applicable across any brand and market as time management and prioritization, communication, and cultural awareness can be leveraged for greater success. Most important, I’ve learned that working on an international team at PMG is collaborative, agile, and inclusive—all PMG core values—and is an excellent learning and working environment!
Posted by Claire Williams
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