The expansion of global markets has not only affected the movement of consumer goods but how businesses function & reach out to collaborators and employees. Global marketing is essential for modern businesses.
In an era where businesses (both large and small) can sell and ship their products and services to consumers across the globe within a matter of days, it can be easy to forget how markets functioned before the digital age and the innovations in transportation.
What is Global Marketing?
Global marketing is basically the beginning, middle, and end of how a business organizes, creates, positions, and advertises its products and services on a global scale. Giant corporations have always had their hands in global marketing through having operations, representatives, and employees in other countries.
Through social media platforms, websites, and other online tools, small businesses can also participate in the process of global marketing.
Why is Global Marketing Important?
- It gives businesses new opportunities to create new streams of income
- Raises brand familiarity and reputation
- Its gives businesses the opportunity to gain new knowledge about their products in order to adjust for better quality service
What is Global Marketing Strategy?
The planning part of a business trying to grow into new markets around the world is a global marketing strategy. When entering various international markets, a business must be mindful of how they will approach marketing (public relations, promotion, channels, etc.) in countries with different values, cultures, and even languages.
For instance, if you have an American-based company trying to sell products in China, you must gage how to reach that particular audience.
Strategies for a Successful Global Marketing
Establish a popular and well-recognized brand and image
- When a business is successful and popular in their native country, curiosity arises in other countries from foreigners willing to try out their products
Use a unified approach to marketing across borders
- Utilize a marketing strategy for your business as if there were no global boundaries to better analyze engagement with content from country to country
Make a marketing plan
- Investigate goals/benchmarks of a business and the needs/wants of the region within the global market, then create a marketing plan based on research collected
Adjust your approach
- Just a because a marketing strategy was a success in a business’ native country does not mean that it will translate well in another country with different values, culture, and language
- Be mindful of language differences, cultural practices, and observances (i.e. holidays and events) when advertising a product or service to a foreign audience
Observe and know where your target audience comes from
- Using tools such as Google Analytics and Shopify to pinpoint consumers by specific their location helps businesses create better marketing strategies that reach their target audiences
Tailor your products based on where they are sold
- Fast food juggernaut McDonald’s provides cultural food staples (i.e. poutine in Canada and Crock Brie in Italy) based on the localization of every franchise
- Are your services or products in any way culturally offensive?
- Is your business following foreign government rules and regulations?
- Is your business brand/trademark unique to the country in which services are provided?
Keeping branding in mind
- A business must ensure that anything from the company name to the logo that they use is not similar to other business in the area, that their branding is easily translatable in a different language, and that it is familiar
Specify your message based on location
- Different people have different wants/needs, and this is especially true for people that live and different countries. A business must make sure that their promotions speak to their customers, whether native or foreign
Bring an in-country marketer on your team
- As the saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” But, no one knows Rome like an actual Roman. When tailoring your marketing strategy to foreign countries, hiring a native from those countries ensures better communication that translates to the people that a business is trying to reach.
Utilize the correct technology and software
- If the most popular social media platform in a foreign country is Twitter, then it is imperative for a business to structure its global marketing strategy around the use of that platform to reach its desired audience
Take advantage of available data
- Growth in the modern digital landscape has allowed for businesses to be more creative in how they reach potential customers through marketing campaigns online
Development of Global Marketing Campaign
Is a company’s product sellable across all global markets or does it need to be changed depending on regional traditions and tastes?
Do prices need to be changed because of competition already in the foreign market?
How do foreign customers choose and purchase their products?
Does a company’s message easy to understand across all cultures? Are there any misunderstandings based on language, culture, and/or value differences?
What kinds of Customers does Global Marketing Reach?
Targeting and reaching out to customers on a global scale requires a business to have various profiles instead of just one distinct profile. Every country analyzed will have different types of consumers with different types of needs. That is why global marketing campaigns must be flexible and adjustable across all borders.
Benefits of Global Marketing
Increase the quality of a product or service
When a business expands into a new market, they gain more knowledge. With analytical tools, they acquire knowledge at a faster pace, which leads to a higher quality of service or products that are available for customers.
The familiarity of brand image
Think about why companies like McDonald’s and Starbucks are known all around the world
Raised knowledge about your brand
If your business not only has ads on social media platforms but also commercials that air all around the world (tailored from country to country) there is an increased chance of gaining a global customer base.
Lesser costs, more savings
By establishing a brand in other global markets, a business can acquire more consumers and get them familiarized with the brand to a point where the marketing does itself (recommendations, social media posts, etc.). Plus, by taking advantage of social media, businesses use less money for promotions.
Reach a wider target audience
Being on top of the American market is nothing to sneeze at, but thanks to modern innovations (the internet) it is easier than ever before to connect with the foreign market to increase a businesses’ customer base.
Gain the upper hand on your competitors
Everyone knows that McDonald’s is a dominant global powerhouse compared to Whataburger due to its reach in the global market, especially in China.
Gain relationships across borders
Not only can a business form a relationship or even partnerships within their native countries (i.e. Coca-Cola and McDonald’s), but they can also establish alliances with foreign corporations to sharpen their edge within the global market.
Helps form relationship outside of the “political arena”
Certain might not be able to link up in their native countries due to conflicts of interests, however, in another country, those constraints might not be there.
Helps to manifest good strategies faster in a more efficient way
Thanks to digital innovations, businesses can implement global strategies with at a faster rate than reaches more people.
Reveals the advantages of e-Marketing vs traditional marketing
In the age of social media posts and images with the use of social media, e-Marketing is king.
Influence and scope
The more global impact that a company has the more cultural influence and power that they have, which also increases the sizes of their operations.
Challenges in Global Marketing
No market, no sale
An American burger joint might not be able to establish itself in a country like India because cows are considered sacred animals in their culture. They would have to adjust their menu to be more plant-based.
More financial risk
A business trying to cross over into a global market is a risky task due to having to adapt their marketing strategy (which costs money) to places with differing values, cultures, and languages with could fail.
The rules are different
Not only does a business entering into a foreign market have to deal with language and cultural barriers, but they also have to deal with following the rules of foreign governments.
( Also Read: The Complete Guide on Mobile Marketing )
Global Marketing Examples
This online company that helps to connect people from around the globe looking for and offering rooming and board became a success thanks to social media. Through its One Less Stranger campaign, 3 million people from all around the world posted content, discussed, and interacted with the platform and campaign.
The iconic American brand put 650 clean water devices in the country of Egypt and gave food to children during Ramadan in the Middle East. This helped to establish its brand message of “Happiness” to foreign regions.
Depending on where you live, Domino’s has menu items (including toppings, sauces, bread, and cheeses) that are available for various global markets. For instance, in Asia, Domino’s offers a variety of seafood options for toppings.
Dunkin’ Donuts offers menu items to satisfy global tastes, like dry pork and seaweed donuts in China and Mango Chocolate donuts in Lebanon. These offerings are available in over 30 countries.
Notoriously online savvy, H&M uses social media campaign strategies to reach audiences on a global scale. Annually, H&M has expanded by 10%-15% in-store grand openings.
Established in 13 countries all across Europe, this company is considered the top smoothie company in the U.K. Their secret to success to brand consistency.
Kentucky Fried Chicken
This popular American company was able to establish going to its restaurant as a tradition in the country of Japan. They did this by associating themselves as a connection to the Christmas holiday.
This iconic American institution offers menu items based on global tastes. In Mexico, they serve a green chili cheeseburger and in the Middle East, there is a menu item called the McArabia, a flatbread sandwich.
Through sponsorships based on the type of sport in various countries, Nike has established itself throughout the years as a popular global brand. In Latin America, where soccer is the top sport, their most paid sponsors are soccer players, whereas in America it is more likely to be basketball players getting those top sponsorships.
The energy drink company helps to establish its global brand by hosting extreme sports competitions around the world. The Red Bull Air Race in the U.K. and the Red Bull Soapbox Race in Jordan are just some of the events the Red Bull has hosted.
With different menu items for various local preferences throughout the globe, Starbucks has become a global powerhouse. In Hong Kong, Starbucks offers a menu item called “Dragon Dumplings.”
Unger and Kowitt
This American-based law firm that collects traffic tickets offers various language and cultural options in their services. The company website is translatable in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and Creole.
World Wildlife Foundation
This nature conservationist organization had its Earth Hour event, where people turn their lights off for an hour, take place in the country of Norway (known for its long daylight hours). Using a special digital banner created by Mobiento, the WWF received around 1 million impressions worldwide.
Global Marketing Issues
- Being vague in the targeting of specific countries
- Lack of research on internal information
- No adjustments of products sales and social media platform use
- No changes in products or service
- Having no local teams or in-country marketer
- Having no knowledge of the global management of services
Difference Between Global Marketing and International Marketing?
|Global Marketing||International Marketing|
|The whole world is a marketplace||Country specific marketing|
|All products are the same globally||Targets local markets only|
|(Example) Apple: The same products all over the world||(Example) McDonald’s: Has specific menu items to blend into local markets|
Expanding a business into global marketing is no easy feat. It requires a lot of planning, preparation, and research. But it is easier than ever before thanks to digital innovations that allow companies to analyze consumers, where they are located, and what they buy on a global scale.
Innovations in transportation also allow companies to distribute goods across the world effortlessly. Global marketing is the move of the future for businesses looking to grow and increase in value.
Kierra Benson is an alumnus of the University of North Texas at Dallas with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Technology. She previously completed an internship at a local newspaper and worked as a content creator for a small online business. Her goal is to work in the media industry in writing/editing and advertising. She has always been fascinated by how messages are marketed in the media to influence the masses and sell products. Connect with her on LinkedIn.