Market globalization and our internationally connected economy have affected and transformed the marketing industry. Changing what it means to “grow” to include an international, multicultural and multilingual customer base.
A company is tasked with deciding whether to implement a global marketing strategy. Asimilar marketing message is delivered in each country. Or an international approach that is unique to each market based on a cultural perspective and specific use of a product.
What is Market Globalization?
Market globalization gives businesses an opportunity to propel brand awareness, increase sales and establish markets in new economies. Using the same global marketing can save money. Especially when compared to customized marketing by country.
But going across the board globally isn’t always the way to go.
- About 67 percent of U.S. CEOs believe there are more growth opportunities today for their companies than three years ago.
- 80 percent of U.S. executives think that U.S. companies should expand internationally for long-term growth.
- And 54 percent of U.S. companies have some form of foreign involvement.
As companies aim to grow internationally, they are targeting more people and need to be relevant in a globalized economy. Here are some considerations:
1 Know Your Audience: Do Your Research
Any form of marketing requires companies to know their target audiences. A campaign may work well in one country but fall totally flat in another country.
An example of a failed campaign would be when Procter & Gamble started selling Pampers disposable diapers in Japan in the ’70s.
The packaging had a cartoon image of a stork delivering diapers in its beak to a happy family. That’s great for American folklore. But Japanese folklore tells a tale of newborns arriving by a giant peach floating down a river. The reference to America’s version was lost on Japan. P&G’s sales were slumping, and they didn’t know why until market research revealed the snafu. The company had to change its course of action based on what they learned from actual people.
Respecting a country’s cultural heritage by learning a few facts can go a long way in preventing misunderstandings and ultimately a loss in revenue.
A solid example of good global marketing would be Red Bull’s campaigns. It’s an Austrian-born company, but if Americans didn’t know better, they would think it’s a local brand, even if the energy drink isn’t sold to look like Pepsi or Coke in traditional 12-ounce cans or bottles. Red Bull also hosts extreme sports events in 44 countries all over the world that cater to all types of adventurers, adrenaline junkies, and sports enthusiasts.
2 Social Media Brings People Together
The Shorty Awards honor the best of the best in social media. Millions of people participate in The Shortys to recognize organizations and people who produce extra special content on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.
When you can leverage social media to build a global community, you deserve recognition for thinking outside the box. In 2015 Airbnb launched a social experiment to bring a world of strangers together through a hashtag campaign called #OneLessStranger in an effort to “create a world where people can Belong Anywhere. The primary barrier we face in achieving this is strangers.”
As sort of a pay-it forward approach, Airbnb gave $10 to 100,000 people in the Airbnb community and urged them to put the donation towards committing one act of hospitality for a stranger, documenting it, and uploading it to social media using the hashtag. Three weeks after the campaign, 3 million people around the world engaged in the campaign.
Again, what works in one country may not work in another. If you plan on communicating globally, consider what channels should be used, which key markets to take into consideration, the culture, language, demographics of your target audience, and how you plan on maintaining your channels on a regular basis.
3 Let Local Teams Lead the Way
If you hire stellar teams to serve overseas markets, their input is invaluable when it comes to making strategic decisions. It seems like a no-brainer. But marketing executives aren’t always talking to their overseas salespeople (either due to budgeting or other issues. Let alone speaking to local partners, vendors, consultants and customers.
However it’s those people who know the country and your business better than anyone.
“The biggest challenge companies face with incorporating local insights tends to be communication,” according to the Harvard Business Review. “The marketing team must therefore put a system in place to help ensure that local views are captured and disseminated frequently enough.”
Even if managing mobile workforces isn’t the easiest thing to do, companies who offer remote work can attract and retain a wider pool of global talent, boost sales and team morale, and save significant money on office expenses. Global marketing presents a good opportunity to hire specialists in different parts of the the world.
Marketing management for businesses operating on an international scale is an ever-changing environment. One that involves knowledge of a global business landscape, various economies, and hiring the right people. Your current or potential customers are one click away from a purchase. And they aren’t necessarily living on this continent or buying things with dollars.