Companies decide to expand their organizations globally and are unsuccessful because they fail to realize one very important thing. They do not change their marketing efforts to adapt to those of another country. Some people feel one country's values, beliefs, culture, economic conditions and competitive conditions are not very different from another. But a message that works in one country can fail miserably in another because countries are very different from each other. Companies need to make variations to their marketing approach when doing business internationally.
To overcome global marketing struggles and conquer your competition, we've created Global Marketing: 5 Steps to Succession to help you guide your way through the marketing process.
1. Do The Research!
With any kind of marketing there should always first be some kind of research when developing your marketing strategies. This is especially important when a business is expanding internationally because their targeted audience is much different than their home land audience. Researching the demographics and also doing some kind of research to figure out if there will be a demand for your product or service is very important. Make sure there is a want or need for your product and then figure out for that country who your audience is and what will be the best way to target them.
2. Recognize Cultural Differences.
Countries differ in many ways including language, religion, social structure and education. These differences have significant impact on a business's marketing strategies. Through one's research they also need to find what traditions, tastes and preferences are of other countries, so their marketing ideas can accomodate to the country and be effective. If one does not take the cultural differences into account then most likely their marketing campaigns will be considered meaningless or offensive and could damage the credibility of that company.
3. Develop a Unique Marketing Mix to Appeal to the Purchasing Behavior of a Certain Segment in a Given Country.
This secret also includes some research. One needs to identify groups of consumers which purchasing behavior differs from others in an important way. These segments can be found despite the geographies, demographics, social-cultural factors and psychological factors. The segment that would best benefit the company is the one that then needs to have a unique marketing mix that will appeal to those purchasing behaviors. The marketing mix will include a firm's choice about product attributes, communication strategy, distribution strategy and pricing strategy that they will offer their targeted segment.
4. Identify Market Segments that Transcend National Borders.
In order to do this, a company needs to find the similarities among the consumers in a certain segment. Such similarities like values, age, and lifestyle choices which need to translate into similar purchasing behaviors. Once these similarities are found, a company can then view the global marketplace as a single entity and sell a standardized product worldwide using their same basic marketing mix to help them position and sell that product in a variety of national markets.
5. Decide if standardized advertising will work for your company.
If a company's advertisements legally and ethically can be viewed in their home land country but also in other countries, then standardized advertising is a great idea. If the advertisements are not offensive and abide by that country's laws then most likely using the same ads instead of developing new ones for different countries is going to be a significant cost saver. Also, there is concern that creative talent is limited and that one large marketing effort has better results than 40 or 50 smaller efforts.
On the other hand, cultural diversity makes it exceptionally hard to develop a single advertising theme that will be successful worldwide. Also, advertising regulations may block implementation of standardized advertising. Laws vary from country to country and so what may be acceptable in one country is breaking the law in another. Differentiating between the two and then deciding what will work for your company may save you money or avoid a lawsuit.