Going "Glocal": The Importance of Local Marketing Worldwide

Stacy AndersonWe asked Stacy Anderson, chief marketing officer at Anytime Fitness and Waxing the City to discuss the role of diversity in the company's marketing department and in its marketing strategies. Here's what she had to say.

As a global franchisor operating in more than 15 countries, embracing diversity in the marketplace isn't a choice for Anytime Fitness, it's a must. Simply put, developing offerings sought after by more people, both domestically and abroad, equals more opportunity to grow. With 20 percent of our clubs located outside North America and the greater part of our growth coming internationally over the next 5 years, developing marketing strategies that are relevant and compelling to a wide array of cultures and communities is critical to our long-term success.

To capture the revenue opportunity the complex global marketplace provides, we ground our marketing strategies in basic human truths - truths that go beyond borders, demographics, and language. Truths like: All people seek to have personal connections with other people. Everyone wants their lives to be made easier/better. Physical health is deeply connected to one's self-esteem. Those insights help us align worldwide on the role we can play in people's lives, for both consumers and franchisees.

But aligning on those global truths is only part of the equation. Bringing those strategies to life in a way that takes into account local values and lifestyles is even more important. To that end, we take a truly "glocal" approach to marketing, standardizing wherever possible, localizing whenever necessary. We are doing this by providing our in-country marketers flexible tools that allow them to reap the efficiencies of the global insight framework and adapt to their own marketplace.

As we launch our new franchise concept, Waxing the City, cultural norms and ethnicity will play an even more important role in our marketing strategies. Understanding and developing services that cater to the specific needs of those markets will be paramount to our success.

So how does a company with roots in rural Minnesota stay relevant to the diverse communities we serve? It's because our company is founded on the core value that diverse opinions and richness of perspective lead to better business. In fact, the majority of our executive and marketing teams is made up of women, a rarity in franchising. We employ Millennials, Boomers, veterans, LGBT, franchise experts, and those who bring retail, services, and countless other experiences to the table.

But most important is employing people who are curious about other people, dedicated to understanding each person's individual journey. It's that personal approach that's made Anytime Fitness the #1 Franchise on Entrepreneur magazine's 2014 Franchise 500 list, and one of the best franchises for minorities several years running.

Published: March 11th, 2014

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