Whether a company markets its services and goods globally or domestically, the definition of marketing still applies. The scope of market broadens when the company decides to sell across international boundaries this being primarily because of the numerous dimensions that the organization must account for. Global marketing is especially important for products and services with a universal demand for example automobiles and food. A beverage company, for example, is more likely to be in more markets compared to a company producing wooden toys, but even the latter can find a niche market in diverse corners of the globe. If you are looking to learn how global marketing can help you or your company expand your target markets, this is the article for you. The article provides an account of how the concept of global marketing was started, providing examples of companies that have been successful expanding their target markets.
Evolution of global marketing
A few decades ago, it took several months to ship products to markets abroad and doing so was such a big undertaking that only large trading companies were able to incur the risk. Then, developments in transportation technology made it possible for products and people to move faster and the first push towards globalization started. Information technology especially the internet has shrunk the world further. A business could have employees and partners across the world and consumers can get products from the locations in days.
The global environment
The most important strategy in global marketing is assessing the environmental factors. Taking account of economic, cultural and political difference is a must in dealing with various markets. Looking into the environment allow you to cluster markets according to their differences and similarities based on uncontrollable factors. For example, if you are exporting horticultural produce and you wish to anticipate changes in the political environment, you might need to build a relationship with politicians who have knowledge of the political system. This is however not to be viewed as insider information.
Global marketing is more than just selling a product globally. Rather, it entails the whole process of producing, planning and promoting the companies in a global market. Some individual examples of global marketing include
1. Coca-Cola started selling globally in 1919 and is present in more than 200 countries. To keep a consistent brand, Coke tastes similar in all regions (except in the United States where high-fructose corn is used in place of sugar) the size, shape, and labeling of the coke bottle are changed to match the norms in every county. While the company initially used a standardized advertising approach, it has changed to adapt their adverts to the culture in the country. It also adjusts the product line to match local taste including some new beverage brands. This is a sure way of broadening their target market.
2. McDonalds ensures that the Big Mac tastes the same globally, but it also varies the menu items according to local tastes. To broaden the target market, consumers in Mexico can order green chili cheeseburgers while Korean customers get bulgogi burgers.
3. Starbucks also adjusts their menu to fit the local tastes of their target market. As a global coffee buyer, the company has long had the reputation for engaging local cultures by their needs.
These are classic examples of companies employing global marketing strategies that not only reach new markets but also broaden their target markets. This is achieved by the trend to tailor products and services to suit the consumers in the new markets. While specific products that are unique to the brand are introduced to the new markets, the companies use products the new markets are familiar with and use them to broaden the target market.
Recognize differences in markets
When marketing products globally, companies have to recognize that a marketing mix that has proven successful in the domestic market may not have the same success in another market. Differences in local competition could require a different pricing strategy. Local infrastructure could affect how products are produced and shipped. In some instances, it could be profitable to produce things locally while in some instances, it would be cheaper to ship them across the globe.
Culture and global marketing
Partnerships with local business are an essential step in global marketing as well as expanding the target market. Partnerships with local business could also dilute the brand. A global marketer has to consider all aspects of marketing as well as the task of communicating cross-culturally. Marketers have to visit their target markets and spend time there. Here, they can develop local contacts as well as acquire a greater understanding of how business is conducted in the region. In Japan, for instance, it is not enough for you to speak Japanese, you have to learn how to conduct business the Japanese way. Learn what is valued culturally in the target market and what is offensive.
Using Local Talent in Global Marketing
Developing and respecting local business talent is also essential in global marketing. If you are opening a brand in Korea for instance, you have to make full use of talented Korean professionals in your marketing, distribution, and advertising. Most companies lose opportunities and have alienated allies because of the attitude that as Americans, they know better than their foreign partners. Using local talent is essential since the consumers relate more with them as opposed to foreigners. It is important that local markets identify with the brand to expand the target market in new territory.
Communication’s role in global marketing
Effective communication is important in any marketing strategy especially in the global market where communication can go awry. Developing communication skills must be a core part of your marketing process. You have to use graphic and verbal messages and tap into the values of the target market to create powerful messages.
Global marketing, when correctly done, can propel a company to the next level. The examples used in the article are a few demonstrations of how brands have been able to establish markets abroad using simple marketing strategies specially tailored to the people and expanding their target markets.