Digital strategy

How to build marketing collaboration across markets


Provide an actionable plan to better focus and co-ordinate marketing activities in the Nordic region


A roadmap and ‘Marketing Club’ to establish a common purpose and build collaboration


Better coordinated communications, enabling continual improvement in customer engagement


The Nordic region of a major global pharma company wanted to centralize marketing activities for improved efficiency, cost effectiveness and oversight.

Traditionally, the markets had operated independently. While this enabled them to focus exclusively on their specific country needs, it also sometimes resulted in the duplication of work. The model also hindered collaboration in the region and, without a joint discussion forum, was a barrier to markets learning from each other

Consequently, the company wanted Anthill to provide a strategy and process that would enable the centralization of marketing activities across the region.

  • Increase collaboration in the Nordic region
  • Avoid unnecessary duplication of work
  • Provide a process for centralization


Rather than providing a single document that detailed every step, Anthill developed an overall roadmap with major objectives and milestones that the company could work towards. The key insight was that instead of ‘ticking boxes’, people want to be in control – while also feeling secure that they are following a clear path.

The roadmap was built on Anthill’s proven Modern Marketing methodology:

  • Discover: Common customer and market insights processes and tools
  • Direct: Clear prioritization of activities across markets
  • Design: Innovative customer engagement channels and tools
  • Drive: Consistent customer experience in the region

This approach avoided the common problems of trying to develop ‘a plan for everything’, which is usually out of date by the time that it is written. Things change. Old approaches are no longer viable. New needs and opportunities arise. What’s needed instead are agreed goals and milestones but flexibility in implementation.

The strategy also helps overcome resistance from people who are used to having freedom of action and deciding for themselves what happens in their markets. The ‘solution finding’ approach – in itself – built collaboration.

Rather than a prescribed process telling people what to do at a detailed level, the markets had to work together to find answers. The forum for this collaboration was a ‘Marketing Club’, the membership of which gradually grew over time.

The Marketing Club created the common purpose and sense of ownership that was required to move forwards on the roadmap. They initially focused on aligning tools, insights, systems and processes before deciding on future moves to make – depending on the priorities that they themselves set or opportunities that presented themselves.

Anthill worked as facilitators throughout the process. Depending on the decisions and objectives of the Marketing Club, Anthill strategists were available to provide advice, run workshops on specific topics, or pull in expertise from elsewhere in the agency on technology or creative issues.

Marketing collaboration: common purpose


The project has already significantly increased collaboration between the Nordic countries.

The Marketing Club started with a membership of just two people and has now grown to a group of 15, who not only meet regularly but engage with each other on a daily basis.  

There is now a common set of goals and a clear direction. Yet, this centralization has been achieved with a high degree of ownership from the different markets.

By not imposing a solution but rather enabling the markets to find answers themselves – through a collaborative process – people are now working together to deliver consistently high-quality customer experience across the region.

  • Collaboration increased across the region
  • People empowered to find solutions themselves
  • Marketing Club creates common purpose
  • Clear but flexible roadmap
  • Continual improvement in customer engagement

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