Marketing of products is done regularly by companies locally. But since ages, foreign products have constantly been introduced in other markets and the sellers or modern-day term would be marketers have tweaked, changed or revamped their strategies in order to appeal and gain acceptance from local market.
Global marketing can be defined as “marketing on a worldwide scale, in different countries, reconciling or taking commercial advantage of global operational differences, similarities, and opportunities in order to meet global objectives”. Basically, when a firm sells the same products to the global market, then it is known as Global marketing. An example would be Samsung Galaxy S series, which is globally marketed and not customized as per the market it is being sold in.
Many multinationals have offices abroad in various countries they cater to. Currently, with the expansion of the internet, even small organizations can reach a global audience in a small amount of time and little investment.
Airbnb, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, H&M, Mad Over Donuts are just a few players in Global marketing.
The process of Global Marketing :
The global firm retains its reach, capability, knowledge, and staff and ensures that its vision is reached to different countries. For this, the firm has to conduct an in-depth survey of the target market, competition and know law of the land and policies associated with it. A major factor would be the religious and communal preferences of the target market.
The firm has to respect them and make necessary adjustments in their products or services while maintaining a homogenization in their offering. For this, they may have to tie up with local organizations or obtain extra permits and licenses from authorities. The pricing of the product may be done country specific and it needs to invest in research to know their customers, their likes, dislikes, ethnicity, and other factors before it can market.
Usually, global marketing branding is integrated with global marketing at this level. The branding of the product may be changed in order to resonate with the audience. The branding communication, although modified, is kept in sync of vision and mission of the company so that a homogenous brand loyalty and brand recall is maintained throughout the customers.
Global Marketing Campaign :
It is already considered that if a company is marketing itself globally, means it has a base locally where the first stage of product launch, use, acceptance has happened and the company is expanding with global marketing. In order to develop a global marketing campaign, the company should keep in mind that it should be unique but consistent worldwide while allowing tailoring and customizations to suit country-specific requirements. Following are the steps:
1) Global Market Knowledge :
Know thy market is the key to launch an effective Global marketing campaign. Every region, the country will have different tastes, preferences, and dislikes and the company has to know it before launching itself. An in-depth market research (multiple if required) may have to be carried out to confirm the facts.
2) Drafting a Marketing plan :
Only changing the language may not serve the purpose of marketing. The adoption of local styles and if necessary changing the plan is of crucial importance. Identification of goals and then drafting the marketing plan accordingly.
3) Brand Customization :
Now that an overall marketing plan is ready, the company may have to customize it as per the regions. This is differentiated from International Marketing by the ad campaign being the same but the means of propagation differ country wise. Not every company will use this approach but some may have to. Ex: Google Pixel Ads are same all over the world. On the other hand, One Plus has a global marketing ad and country-specific ads too.
4) Local Communications :
The ads need to be localized and if needed modified region specific in that particular country to reach the audience. For ex: In countries like India there are more than 50 languages spoken and many companies design their ads in local languages to appeal to their customers. At times, mere translation may not be enough and the company may have to redesign the campaign entirely which will depend on the product or the service they are offering.
5) Permissions :
Approvals and permits of local governing bodies are equally important as not getting same may cause trouble with authorities which may result in permanent ban of products. Law of the land is always higher than company policy.
Difference between Global Marketing and International Marketing :
Global Marketing is where the entire world is a marketplace for the company. There is hardly any difference in products available globally since the products are exactly the same. On the contrary, International marketing is country specific marketing and their marketing strategies are designed to meet local markets only.
Apple products can be viewed for Global Marketing whereby they have uniform phones throughout the world while McDonald’s customizing its menu options to fit local markets, Vodafone – with its country-specific plans are examples of International Marketing.
Advantages of Global Marketing:
1) Global Reach :
With the free availability of the internet, the reach of business has grown multiple-folds. Companies like Alibaba and Amazon which operate in China have managed to reach worldwide only with the help of internet. Ease of reach helps in building brand image to a wide array of customers.
2) Lower Costs :
With a common messaging to be done across the globe, marketing budget reduces significantly which helps to maintain profit margins.
3) Global Feedback :
With uniform messaging throughout the world, the feedback received is equally important for companies and Global Marketing enables them to receive valuable feedback and adapt and change according to customer feedback.
4) Overcoming Time constraints :
Unlike traditional marketing, where the print requires days and weeks to approve and then distribute the end customer, in this case, the campaign reaches the customers within a few mouse clicks reducing the time to implement. Faster implementation of marketing campaigns means faster results and ultimately faster profits.
Disadvantages of Global Marketing:
1) Cultural barriers:
This is a major hurdle in cross country marketing. Not every culture is suitable for the products of the company. Crossing these cultural barriers can be cumbersome and costly for the company and it may have to adopt certain specific rules for specific countries. Managing them in global marketing can be challenging. For ex : McDonald’s has customized its menu for Arabic countries without Pork while for India without beef. Burger King and KFC have followed a similar trend.
2) Limited Audience:
Not everyone will be wanting the product and they may not be the suitable target audience. In those cases, the company can cater to only a limited percentage losing out on the other chunk of customers. For ex: Most of the business persons in the US may be seen taking a coffee to work – mostly Starbucks. While Starbucks works well over there, the same may not be the case in African countries where although there is a presence of Starbucks it has not been able to penetrate the usage limits like in the United States and other European countries.
3) Political and Legal Constraints:
President Trump launched the campaign Make America Great Again due to which a lot of international companies suffered and some had to shift their manufacturing plants back in the US. In such cases, huge costs are to be borne by the companies.
4) Inventory management:
Huge unused stocks may pile up with company skyrocketing inventory costs. This may happen due to over or underestimation of projections or misjudging the locality or hurrying in launching without proper global marketing research.