It's a protracted political struggle that is the focus of more debate today than it has been in many years. With Trump and Brexit forming the face the nationalist argument with Angela Merkel and even Xi Jinping making up an unlikely pair of faces who in one way or another represent globalisation.
This battle isn’t just politics, it impacts all of us. It impacts our decision making process. It impacts what we can buy. It impacts the price we pay. Most importantly, it impacts what we want to buy – just think of the importance Trump has put on his three favourite little words “Made in America”.
And just as in politics, where we see the globalisation trend shifting in some places to nationalism, the same is true of marketing. So after a long trend typified by the CPG brands towards centralised budgets and global platforms, many brands are now starting to give power back to their local markets.
I would argue that for many, it is a bit of an overdue correction to a strong centralisalisation agenda that was driven by the need for cost efficiencies and also the rise of Social Media which, created previously unforeseen connection and content sharing between markets. Bringing things together and mandating a greater level of consistency probably helped many avoid unnecessary risk or brand damage.
But just as the pendulum swung hard at centralisation, do we now risk moving to far towards a distributed model? What is right is hard to know, but I believe we can take some lessons from politics.
Let me explain.
Trump, with the help of Cambridge Analytica’s data mining of Facebook, won the US the election despite most established pollsters putting his chances at almost nil. Without getting into the detail of how they did it,
suffice it to say the focus was on identifying and targeting voters who were either likely to share content that favoured him or to be swayed by said content. In short, they identified prospects and targeted them with personalised messages. Sound familiar?