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The Marketing Mix

With the rapidly growing globalization, the distinction between marketing within an organization’s home country and marketing within external markets is disappearing very quickly. Keeping this in mind, organizations are modifying their marketing strategies to meet the challenges of the global marketplace while trying to sustain their competitiveness within home markets.

The four Ps of marketing—product, price, placement, and promotion—are all affected as a company moves through the different phases to become and maintain dominance as a global company.

Global Marketing Mix: Product Plus Promotion

For multinational corporations (MNCs), Product and Promotion is important because it can enable a company to make minor adjustments to a product and its promotion strategy rather than totally revamping it. Coca-Cola is a strong example of this. The product packaging in every country incorporates Coca-Cola’s contour bottle design and signature style in some shape or form. However, the bottle can also include the country’s native language and appear in identical sizes as other beverage bottles or cans in that country’s market.

Before launching, global companies must first define their target markets and determine the products that will be synonymous the most with those consumers and businesses. This research can help to decide —localization versus standardization strategy—as they learn more about the target market’s reciprocity to their goods and services. Promotional tactics for world-wide audiences can range from television commercials to social-media marketing on Facebook or YouTube. It is the job of marketers to create and place promotional efforts in settings where local consumers will be most receptive on those messages. Consumers in each target market have different media habits and preferences, and understanding these behaviors is important for selecting the right promotional mix.

After product research, development, and creation, promotion is important in a global company’s marketing budget. Integrated marketing can significantly increase efficiency and reduce promotional costs, as messages across multiple channels exponentially grows. For organizations that pursue a standardized approach to promoting products and building brands, promotion is the crucial component of the mix that enables a company to send the same message worldwide using relevant, engaging, and cost-effective techniques Ex: Diet-Coke.

Marketers must also be prepared for the challenge of responding to differences in consumer response to marketing mix.

Global Marketing Mix: Promotion

It is virtually impossible for a company to communicate one identical message in a unified voice to global markets unless a company holds the same position against its competition in all markets (e.g., market leader, low cost, etc.).

Global marketer must balance four potentially competing business objectives when developing worldwide advertising: 1) speaking with one voice, 2) developing economies of scale, 3) maximizing local effectiveness of advertisements, and 4) company’s speed of implementation.

To successfully implement these approaches, marketers must ensure that their promotional campaigns take into account how consumer behavior is shaped by internal conditions (e.g., demographics, knowledge, attitude, beliefs) and external influences (e.g., culture, ethnicity, family, lifestyle) in local markets.

Language: Language differences have caused many problems for marketers in designing advertising campaigns and product labels. Consider the British terms “flat” (apartment in U.S. English), “pants” (underwear in U.S. English), and “lift” (elevator in U.S. English). Marketing messaging and materials could easily go wrong if they are not adjusted to fit in-country dialect and usage. Language becomes even more significant if a country’s population speaks several languages. India, with its burgeoning economy, literacy rates can differ widely between men and women too.

Colors: Colors may have different meanings in different cultures. For example, green is a sacred color in the Muslim faith, and it is not considered appropriate for packaging and branding purposes in Middle Eastern countries. Purple is associated with death in some Hispanic nations.

Values: An individual’s values come from his or her education, moral or religious beliefs. For example, Americans place a very high value on material well-being and are much more likely to purchase status symbols than people in India. Chinese consumers highly value the sense of honor, dignity, and pride, and in some situations, they will pay price premiums to “save face” by spending more.

Business norms: The norms of conducting business also vary from one country to the next. In France, for example, wholesalers do not like to promote products Ex: Professor’s Cousin in a cake shop and the bag fiasco/brawl.

Religious beliefs and holidays: In addition to their values, a person’s religious beliefs can affect shopping patterns and products purchased. In the United States and other Christian nations, the Christmas holiday season is a major sales period. In China, the Chinese New Year bring out the shoppers. In India, a string of Hindu festivals including Dussehra and Diwali mark a holiday season that extends over multiple months.

Many other factors, including a country’s political or legal environment, economic status, and technological environment, can impact a brand’s promotional mix.

Global Marketing Mix: Price

Pricing is determined by what a company will receive in exchange for its products. Many pricing considerations in global marketing are similar to domestic marketing. As marketers develop pricing strategy, they should keep the following goals in mind:

Achieve the financial goals of the company and generate profits

Match the marketplace and consumer buying trends

Make it consistent with other elements of the marketing mix, product, promotion and placement

In the global marketing mix, factors that affect pricing include manufacturing cost, distribution channels, marketplace, competition, market conditions, and quality of product.

Pricing considerations become more complicated in the global context when it comes to factors affecting global trade. Multinational companies must operate with different currencies, exchange rates, and interest rates. Pricing needs to account for risk like fluctuations in the value of different currencies in the markets where businesses operate. When the dollar is strong against a foreign currency, for example, imported American goods are more expensive relative to the local competition, so local sales may decrease. When a weak dollar makes product imports more expensive, the final good must carry a higher price tag to cover production costs.

Pricing can be affected by the cost of production (locally or internationally), natural resources (product ingredients or components), and the cost of delivery (e.g., the availability of fuel).

Global marketers must be also prepared to deal with other localized factors affecting pricing. Cultural expectations may dictate what consumers are willing to pay for some products and brands.

Global Marketing Mix: Place (Distribution)

Placement determines the channels used to distribute a product across different countries, taking in factors such as competition and similar brands are being offered to the target market, regardless of its size or visibility, a global brand must adjust its country strategies to take into account placement and distribution in the marketing mix.

Global marketing presents more challenges around distribution, compared to domestic or local marketing. A country’s transportation and economic infrastructure, customs, marketplace conditions, and the competitive landscape can all factor into strategic decisions around distribution.

A global luxury brand would not want to be distributed via a discount chain in the United States. Conversely, low-end shoemakers would likely be ignored by shoppers browsing in an Indian boutique store.

Conclusion

When launching global advertising, public relations, or sales campaigns, global companies test promotional ideas using marketing research systems that provide results comparable across countries. These systems help marketers achieve economies of scale in marketing, since they unravel which messaging or creative elements contribute to a product’s market success.

The same goes with, how to research and understand a target market in domestic settings apply to global settings. Marketing research is essential for marketers to build their understanding of which promotional tactics will be successful in any country or region. Experimentation and trial and error are also good teachers. Once marketers and brand managers discover what works (and what doesn’t) in the promotional mix, they can import this knowledge to inject creative ideas into other markets. Likewise, companies can use this intelligence to modify various elements in their promotional mix that are receiving unfavorable response from global consumers.

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Influence of Demographic Factors in the Global Marketing Environment

Demographics as a Guide to Global Marketing Strategy:

In any international marketing environment domestic or international, demographic factor plays an important role in determining target market and it also helps address consumer needs. Consumer behavior in demographics refer to statistical information about the characteristics of a population.

Marketers typically combine several variables to create a demographic profile of a target market. A demographic profile which is a term used in marketing and broadcasting to describe a demographic grouping or a market segment. Common demographic features which can be considered for global and domestic marketing purposes include the following:

Age: Age groups, such as 18–24, 25–34, etc., are great predictors of penchant in some types of products. For example, few teenagers wish to purchase face whitening cream.

Social class: Social-class groups such as wealthy, middle, and lower classes. The rich, for instance, may want different products than middle and lower classes, and may be willing to pay more.

Gender: Males and females have different physical attributes that require different hygiene and clothing products. They also tend to have distinctive male/female mindsets and roles in the family and household decision making.

Religious affiliations: Religion is linked to individual values as well as holiday celebrations, often tied to consumer preferences and spending patterns.

Disposable Income: Indicating level of wealth and quality of life.

Education: Level of education is often tied to consumer preferences, as well as income.

Geography: Area of residence, urban vs. rural, and population density can all be important inputs into marketing strategy and decisions about where and how to target advertising and other elements of the promotion mix.

Demographic analysis may include a variety of other characteristics used to separate a country’s population into groups that fit a company’s target customer profile. A demographic profile also provides enough information about the typical member of this group to create a mental picture of this hypothetical aggregate. For example, a marketer might speak of the single, female, middle-class, aged 18–24, college-educated demographic.

Demographics typically have two objectives in mind: first, to break the market by subgroups which exist in the overall population; and second, to create a clear and complete picture of the characteristics displayed by typical members of each segment. Once these profiles are constructed, marketers can use them to develop the targeting strategy and accompanying marketing strategy and marketing plan.

With the help of demographic profiles about target segments at hand, marketers evaluate the marketing mix. They make choices about whether to change, decrease, or increase the goods or services offered. Based on demographic data, marketers may adjust product features, distribution strategy, or other factors in order to reach a market segment that has the most potential.

A demographic profile can be very useful in determining the promotional mix and how to achieve maximum results. Advertising is usually part of the promotional mix, especially when businesses are still in the early stages of entering a global market and launching products that are new to that market. Advertisers want to get the most results for their money, and so in global markets as in domestic markets, careful research is conducted to match the demographic profile of the target market to the demographic profile of the advertising mode.

Cons About Demographic Factor in Global Markets:

Demographic factor is essentially a method in making generalizations about groups of people. With all such generalizations, many individuals within these groups will not conform to the large group. Demographic information is aggregate and offers probability about groups and not specific individuals. Critics of demographic mapping argue that such broad generalizations can only offer limited insight.

Conclusion: Marketers must also be careful to avoid interpreting demographic information using the mindset of their own “home” cultures that is stay away from the bias. For example, the generalizations that apply to children (9–12-year-olds) in the U.S. may not apply at all to children in this same age range in other geographies. Similarly, assumptions about how social class affects consumer preferences may be very different in a socially mobile society versus one with very rigidness between groups from different social classes. Marketing research should be done to understand a complete picture of demographic characteristics that tend to influence consumer behavior in a given market, rather than simply applying stereotypes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5WfjTpG46I
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Technological Influence on Global Marketing Environment

Information Technology (IT) has revolutionized the way organizations conduct business by enabling small and medium businesses to level the playing field with larger organizations. Small businesses use an array of technology based on everything from computer server stations to portable mobile devices to expand competitive advantages in the global economic marketplace and marketing environment. So, small & medium business organizations owners are considering implementing information technology (IT) in their planning process for streamlined integration. Thus, this process is leading to future business expansion locally as well as globally. This decision allows proprietors to create smooth business operations using the most effective information technology available. On the other hand, the Internet has further linked the overseas suppliers of goods and services and their buyers. During the e-commerce era, internet traffic is increasing day by day, and e-commerce business is in the hyper growth stage. Information technology tremendously helps to boost the expansion of the current and future of marketing environment; communication technology became faster than ever. Though, globalization creates a little challenge for multinational companies to share resources and knowledge across a number of businesses inside and outside the country. Outsourcing and freelancer ease this challenge because multinational companies recruit talent freelancers and outsource their projects to the highly expert vendors and then the works are done through the team of people very effectively and efficiently.

Impact of information technology in the development of global marketing:

Information technology (IT) systems and computer science are used by business organizations to perform various tasks. Some use IT to provide for the basic processing of transactions, while others enable customers, distributors, and suppliers to interact with the organization activities through various communication technology systems such as the internet and intranet. The term of information technology (IT) systems in an organization are composed of four distinct parts which include an organization, data & information in an organization, and information technology and information technology systems within an organization. The important impacts of information technology in the development of global marketing world are described below. Also, several areas of global marketing environment in which businesses are taken into consideration and discussed how IT has already helped or can help these businesses in particular areas in future.

There are different types of e-commerce such as:

B2B model

B2C model

C2C model

C2B model

B2G model

M-commerce

B2B model is the buyers, sellers, and transactions involve only organizations. It covers a broad spectrum of applications that enable an enterprise to form electronic relationships with its distributors, resellers, suppliers, customers, and other partners. This is the type of e-commerce that deals with relationships between and among businesses. B2C model, here transactions take place between consumers and business houses. Here individuals are also involved in the online business transactions.

C 2 B model, here individuals who use the Internet to sell products or services to organizations and /or seek sellers to bid on products or services they need. These transactions involve reverse auctions, which empower the consumer to drive transactions. C 2 C model which is used by consumers to sell their product/services directly to other consumers. This type of e-commerce is characterized by the growth of electronic marketplaces and online auctions. M-commerce (mobile commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services through wireless technology. The advantage of this model than others is delivery over wireless devices becomes faster, more secure, and scalable.

Information Technology (IT) and Corporate Marketing Strategy

Information technology (IT) takes in business processes related to information technology or communication technology including decision making. For example, IT adoption would include having an organizational intranet, having enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems installed, using e-mail for the type of external communications, Video conferencing with vendors or suppliers and so on. The formulation of an effective marketing strategy in business for a business firm is not merely an easy task. Strategic and organizational requirements for person-system- organization fit is, therefore, becoming an important area of competitive advantage through deepening computer science related engineering skills, knowledge of technology, rigid financial backing, learning new technological skills and information, building up the competencies and capabilities for organization design that can distribute and serve a large customer base. The Internet is creating a wider global market place which is totally free from any geographical boundary. E-business or e-commerce is just a virtual mouse click away no matter where devices are physically located; allowing desired online buyers to compare shop from several alternatives globally. Actually, the information technology (IT) has not changed the fundamentals of marketing strategy it is still regarding wining in both the competitive edge and in the capital markets.

Information Technology (IT) and Cultural Diversity in Marketing Environment

In the global map there are European, American, Asian, African countries, they are having cultural distance; which means the distinction between a country and its cultures. The cultural and distance has become a very vital factor in global marketing environment. Organizational cultures have become more and crucial to the development of globalization and virtual organizations. Cultural distance intensifies the role of IT adoption on globalization. In recent years, the interpersonal relationship is becoming more and more important HR factor for organizational effectiveness of technological innovations. Moreover, significant recruitment opportunities for both men and women in many countries around the world can be achieved by enabling firms to access an increasingly global client base. Besides, the employer can train their employees in the respective field using information technology such as via Webinars or e-learning, etc. It is very true that employee development is a pillar of the enterprise-value framework for advanced global companies, equal importance to shareholder support or customer loyalty. IT & computer science nowadays can play a very pivotal role in knowledge sharing particularly in an environment of cultural diversity. Regarding this referred an example of IBM’s Think Place program, catalyst where human resources post ideas on an intranet site within their own network and invite comment or support advice from other people. This approach could be adopted to nurture the ideas within the organization and their own atmosphere.

Information and communications technology (ICT) are increasingly part of our daily life and a digital driver of economic growth, social stability, and sustainable development. ICT has no borders between cultures, countries, regions, and sectors. It is universal and cross-sectoral. Due to Increased access to ICT, internet services (broadband) particularly with high speed, aids to deliver improved business operational services and financial services, as well as social services, such as health and education. It brings efficiency, effectiveness through minimal prices and it reduces the cost of these services and helps to save money and time, and in turn, enables a positive marketing environment which is beneficial to private sector investment or in other sense public-private partnership that can be possible nationally or internationally.

Improved Communication and Increased Productivity in Business Information technology helps small; medium businesses improve their communication processes. Emailing, texting, websites and apps, for instance, facilitate improved internet communication with consumers. Using numerous types of information technology communication methods allow companies to saturate the economic market with their message. Here, some companies may also receive more customer feedback through these electronic communication methods For Example, Chapman’s way of course evaluations. Technology also improves inter-office communication as well. For example, social intranet software gives employees a centralizes portal to access and update internal documents and contracts and relay relevant data to other departments instantly. These methods also assist companies to reach consumers through mobile devices in a real time format. The small & medium businesses can increase their employees' productivity throughout the use of information and computer technology and market the products worldwide. Modern computer programs and business software usually allow employees to process more information than manual or conventional methods. Global business owners can implement business technology to reduce the amount of human labor in business functions. This allows small & medium businesses to cut additional labor costs along with employee benefits. For example, by placing employee-performance appraisal information in an online framework, managers can easily create successful objectives for their employees to reach in the desired level and sustain company goals. Thus, world business owners may also choose to enlarge their business operations using information technology rather than employees if the internet technology will provide better production output in time.

The business information technology allows companies to outsource business functions to other businesses in the national and international business environment. Outsourcing service can help companies to do their projects through lower costs and focus on completing the business function via the desired time frame on what they have skills best. Also, companies can hire international marketing freelancers from different online marketplaces; the employer can hire them on an hourly basis or fixed contract basis with their own budgets. Employers may save money, time and their stress but they should monitor timely manner and instruct them on how to do work successfully and effectively. Small business owners may consider outsourcing some operations if they do not have the proper facilities or available manpower. Outsourcing technology also allows businesses to outsource the function to the least expensive areas possible, including foreign countries. So far, IT Graduates or Software & Hardware Engineers are coming into the international market; many jobs opportunities are creating for themselves. They are giving their best innovative efforts and designing new software and develop computer applications and mobile apps, phone hardware, these would superbly be developing the total IT business internationally. Also, global marketing environment create these IT advantages for the development of their business niches. With the help of IT, an international collaboration for business entrepreneurs with new business owners or existing business owners can create a successful business venture in recent times. In this area, business entrepreneurs may search their business partners from across the world via LinkedIn, Skype, Email, Twitter, whatsapp, Viber, Imo and others.

Automation and future global marketing atmosphere

As large-scale innovation in automation has traditionally been limited to the production side of global society, the information technology (IT) will have far reaching implications in future. Amazon’s automated online grocery store, eliminating the need for cashiers, and marketing executives physical hardworking has been one of the first major and very advantages tech triumphs of the era. The online store has proven itself very successful as an efficient option for global shoppers in its primary location. The current cost of this technology, conversely, puts it out of the reach of pretty much any other store. As the technology continues to develop, consumers can imagine that pressure sensors & cameras that automate pay and alleviate long lines in stores will be coming to groceries and pharmacies close in the next few years. The innovative visual conversations between buyers and sellers in order to buy-sell goods and services in the forthcoming years. This is buyers and sellers price bargaining scopes. This can be truly possible if 6G, 7G, 10G Internet connections with fastest and speedy internet network be available to international internet users through cellular phones as well as via computer networks.

Facilitating Global Marketing Business Monetization through Globalization

Due to rapid upgradation and improvement of Information technology (IT) and globalization, marketing businesses have been able to monetize more than past. In the past era, these facilitate were entirely absent; consumers had to walk on foot or via vehicle spending more time and money into a business center or shopping mall and pay hard cash for a purchased product. After that, they could telephone call in order to confirm an order to buy a desired product or service. In today’s time, with the help of the internet, online shopping became a better option for shopping lovers. At present, gratitude must go to the technological scientists as they gave global users which uses widespread array of smartphones and tablets which are Wi-Fi and internet enabled; where businesses using social media advertising options easily and can offer their targeted customers to buy their goods or services through a wide variety of mobile apps. Ultimately the retailers, international restaurants, travel, and tourism agents and even online gaming companies offer consumers all the better option to pay through mobile apps in a fastest and highly secured medium.

Digital Currencies and Cryptocurrency in Global Marketing Businesses

After the invention of Bitcoin’s in Coin market, the meteoric price jumped in the year 2017 and in current year Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH) , Ripple(XRP), etc., major tech players have begun to take cryptocurrencies seriously because these digital currencies are very useful to transact via online to buy-sell products or services. Together with major preliminary Coin Offerings that have hit major news outlets like Ethereum (ETH), less important coin companies are developing Stable coins that provides all the pros of cryptocurrency transactions except the quick price fluctuations in the entire global coin market through cryptocurrency system. As these coins are useful to exchanges even it seems there are quick fluctuations in prices, expect these assets to be typical methods of payment in recent years which will help marketing environment a lot.

The most successful organizations will optimize the usage of all their IT and human resources, for competitive advantage. To ensure smooth service or operation in risky zones, human made robots will be used first in more industrialized situations. On the other hand, while human made machines are very excellent for consistency, efficiency, performance, predictability, and safety; they can’t match human skills in ingenuity, novelty, art, creativity, emotion, and to address variability and provide context. As we gain access to nearly infinite information from multiple sources, digital ethics will be the solution in risk management. With everything connected in the information technology (IT) and billions of human made smart machines like drone, robots, automated (self-driving) car or vehicle, the opportunities to do the wrong thing such as ignoring privacy, favor machines, steal data, information, etc. will constantly be there though computer scientist do not want these to be there.

Conclusion: Due to the rapid expansion and revolution of Information Technology (IT), the globe has now become a global village as many small, medium and large countries are united and entered under one umbrella. International borders and communication barriers are going to vanish. Information technology (IT) is an immense truth of the modern century, and it has a great impact on the global marketing environment arena. Multinational organizations which are implementing IT based international marketplace like Amazon, eBay, other internet-based E-Business, E-Trade, and associated technologies are enjoying a competitive advantage over the organizations which do not do the same business through Information Technology (IT).

https://www.cnbc.com/video/2017/12/27/amazon-is-planning-a-push-into-digital-advertising-in-2018.html

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The Influence of Government and Regulations on Global Marketing Environment

Political Stability

Business activity thrives and grows when a nation is politically stable. When it is politically unstable then multinational firms can still profitable Business activity tends to grow and thrive when a nation is politically stable. When a nation is politically unstable, multinational firms can still conduct business profitably but there will higher risks and higher costs associated with the business operations. Political instability makes a country less attractive and hence foreign and domestic companies doing business in such countries must frequently pay higher interest rates on business loans, higher insurance rates and higher cost to protect the security of the employees and operations. Alternatively, in countries with stable political environments, the behaviour of consumers and markets is more predictable, and organizations can rely on governments enforcing the rule of law, meaning that governments do not exercise power arbitrarily. Instead, they adhere to established, recognized, and well-defined laws.

Domestic and Global Business Law

Governments around the world regulate business practices. Some of these laws and regulations are designed to create a stable environment for business (both domestic and international) with the establishment and enforcement of property rights and contracts. Others are designed to protect consumers and the environment, requiring businesses to adhere to responsible, safe, and ethical practices. Still other laws and regulations privilege domestic businesses and protect or partially shield them from foreign competition. There are even laws and regulations that affect what marketers are allowed to include in marketing communications.

Marketers should become familiar with the political and regulatory environments in the countries and world regions where they operate, and specifically the laws, regulations, and legal processes that may affect business and marketing operations. For example, it is common for countries to maintain laws and regulations in the areas. Contract law governing agreements about the supply and delivery of goods and services. Trademark registration and enforcement for brand names, logos, tag lines, and so forth. Labelling for the purposes of consumer safety, protection, and transparency. Patents to enforce intellectual property rights and business rights associated with unique inventions and “ownable” business ideas. Decency, censorship, and freedom-of-expression laws to which marketing communications are relied on. Price floors, ceilings, and other regulations regarding the price organizations can charge for some types of goods and services. Product safety, testing, and quality control. Environmental protection, conservation, and the use of permits and other regulatory tools to encourage acceptable and responsible business practices. Privacy, including laws governing data collection, storage, use, and permissions associated with consumers and their digital identities. Financial reporting and disclosure to ensure that organizations provide transparency around using sound business and financial practices

In some cases, international laws and regulations also seek to govern these issues, looking out for ways to manage the friction that can surface between national governments, as well as ways to serve the common interests of regional allies and economic partners.

Free Trade 

Free Trade refers to the free exchange of goods and services across international borders without governmental restrictions such as quotas (which limit amounts of goods that can be traded), tariffs (which are taxes charged for imported or exported goods), and other restrictions. Many nations encourage free trade by inviting foreign firms to invest in and conduct business without severe disadvantages or restrictions compared to domestic businesses. Often these same governments encourage domestic firms to engage in overseas business. When governments have a strong free-trade orientation, they typically prefer not to enact regulations that strictly limit imports and discriminate against foreign firms–at least not in most product and service categories. When countries enact free trade agreements with one another, they agree to allow advantageous terms for the flow of goods and services between designated countries.

Regional trading blocs represent a group of nations that join together and formally agree to reduce trade barriers among themselves. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) enacted between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico boosts export sales between these countries by enabling companies to sell goods at lower prices because tariffs are reduced or eliminated. The EU Single Market attempts to guarantee free trade between the twenty-eight member states of the European Union. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is an example of a regional trading block. This agreement allows for the free exchange of trade, service, labour, and capital across the ten independent member nations. In addition, ASEAN promotes the regional integration of transportation and energy infrastructure.

Trade Policy and the World Trade Organization

Countries engage in international trade for two basic reasons, each of which contributes to the country’s gain from trade. First, countries trade because they are different from one another. Nations can benefit from their differences by reaching agreements in which each party contributes its strengths and focuses on producing goods efficiently. Second, countries trade to achieve economies of scale in production. If each country produces only a limited range of goods, it can produce each of these goods at a larger scale and hence more efficiently than if it tried to produce everything. While international trade has been present throughout much of history, its economic, social, and political importance have increased in recent centuries, mainly because of industrialization, advanced transportation, globalization, multinational corporations, and outsourcing.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) was formed to supervise and liberalize international trade on January 1, 1995. The organization deals with the regulation of trade between participating countries. It provides a framework for negotiating and formalizing trade agreements and a dispute resolution process aimed at enforcing participants’ adherence to WTO agreements.

Trade Sanctions

Trade sanctions are penalties imposed on one country by one or more other countries. Allied countries may impose sanctions on their enemies. On occasion, the WTO authorizes trade sanctions against a specific country in order to punish that country for some action. An embargo, a severe form of externally imposed isolation, is a blockade of all trade by one country on another.

Trade Barriers

Although there are usually few trade restrictions within countries, international trade is usually regulated by governmental quotas and restrictions and often taxed by tariffs. Tariffs are usually on imports, but sometimes countries may impose export tariffs or subsidies. All of these are called trade barriers, which are established by a government that implements a protectionist policy. If a government removes all trade barriers, a condition of free trade exists. The WTO helps arbitrate and settle disputes about trade barriers between different countries.

Fair Trade

The fair-trade movement promotes the use of labor, environmental, and social standards for the production of commodities, particularly those exported from developing countries to industrialized nations. Importing firms voluntarily adhere to fair trade standards, or governments may enforce them through a combination of employment and commercial law. Proposed and practiced fair trade policies vary widely, ranging from the common prohibition of goods made using slave labor to minimum-price support schemes such as those for coffee in the 1980's, to industry-focused marketing schemes to boost consumer demand for fair trade products. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) also play a role in promoting fair trade standards by serving as independent monitors of compliance with fair trade labeling requirements.


Governmental rules and regulations pose a significant risk for international marketing environment
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Impact of Culture in Global Marketing Environment

What is culture?

The impact of religious, family, educational and social systems on oneself and on people that is the way they live and the choices they make. Marketing exists in an environment that is shaped by culture. Domestic or International Marketing both needs culture to thrive. There are many organisations that intend to market their products in different countries, must be sensitive to the cultural factors at work in their target markets. Cultural differences between different countries or different regions in the same country seem to be very small, marketers who ignore them, faces failure risk when they implement their programs.

Culture is very complex in nature and it takes significant time, effort and expertise to conquer the market. Different features of culture can create illusion of similitude, but marketers need to dig deep to make sure that they truly understand the people and environments in which they work. Even a common language does not guarantee similitude of interpretation. For example, in the U.S. people purchase “cans” of various grocery products, but in Britain it’s “tins.” In India, where English is officially recognized language after national language Hindi, “matrimonial” is used instead of dating website in conversation, referring to personal advertisements in newspapers seeking marriage partners.

Several dimensions of culture that require particular attention from global marketers are listed below.

Language

As we have seen above, the importance of language differences cannot be under rated, and there are nearly three thousand languages in the world. Language differences can be a challenge for marketers while designing campaigns, product labels, brand and product names, tag lines, and so on. One single brand name can work universally in terms of meaning but it has its own challenge. Correct and proper grammatical usage in marketing communication is essential for a product, brand, or company to be viewed as credible, trustworthy, and of high-quality.

Language is more complex when a country has more than one official language. To illustrate, in India and China, more than two hundred different dialects are spoken. India has more than twenty officially recognized languages. Mainland China’s official spoken language is Chinese. Meanwhile in Hong Kong and Macau, Cantonese Chinese, English, and Portuguese are the official languages. Hence, language can become a very complicated issue for marketers.

Finally, global marketers should be atpar to what they communicate when they choose which languages to use–or not to use. Products that carry label may suffer accordingly.

Customs and Taboos

Every culture has its own sets of customs and taboos. It is important for marketers to learn about these customs and taboos so that they will know what is acceptable and unacceptable for their marketing campaigns. For example, in China, the number eight is considered lucky and green colour which is colour of infidelity is avoided in many functions and celebrations. In Middle Eastern countries where Islamic law is strictly observed, images displaying the uncovered arms or legs of the female body are considered offensive. Meanwhile in Egypt, where many women wear the headscarf or hijab in public, an increasing number of younger women are in work and educational settings where gender segregation does not exist. Marketers struggle with whether to portray women with or without the hijab, knowing that they risk offending some of their target audience with either choice. Marketers should seek guidance from local experts familiar with local culture and customers. Marketing research can also help marketers understand these complex issues.

Values

The role of values in society is important where it is followed and it dictates what is acceptable or unacceptable. Values are part of the culture, and they can also be expressed individually, arising from the influence of family, education, moral, and religious beliefs. Values are also learned through experiences. Values can also influence consumer perceptions and purchasing behaviour. For example, consumers in some countries, such as the United States, tend to be individualistic and make many purchasing decisions based on their own personal preferences. In other countries, such as China, India etc. the well-being of the group is more highly valued, and buying decisions are more influenced by the well-being of the group, such as the family. Based on these differences in values, it is not surprising that commercials featuring individuals tend to do better in countries where individualism is an important value, and commercials featuring groups do better in countries where the group’s well-being is a higher value.

Time and Punctuality

Different cultures have different attitude towards punctuality. In some countries, being slightly late to a meeting is acceptable, whereas in other countries it is very insulting. For cultures that highly value punctuality, being on time is a sign of good planning, organization, and respect. In cultures where precise punctuality is less important, there is often a greater emphasis on relationships. The fact that a meeting happens is more important than when it happens.

While there are cultural stereotypes about time management, the best rule of thumb in business is to be punctual and meet deadlines as promised. Also, it is wise not to apply popular stereotypes to individual people for whom the cultural stereotype may or may not be true.

Business Norms

Business norms vary from one country to another and may present challenges to international marketers who are not used to operate according to the particular norms of the host country. In business meetings in most parts of Asia, for example, it is expected that the most senior person representing an organization will lead the discussion, and more junior-level colleagues may not speak at all. The role of alcohol in business meetings varies widely by culture: in Middle Eastern cultures where alcohol is forbidden, it may be insulting to serve or even offer an alcoholic beverage. In China, many rounds of toasts are customary as part of formal dinner meetings.

Similarly, business norms around greetings and physical contact also vary. American-style handshakes have become accepted as a business norm in many cultures, but this custom is not universal. In Asian cultures, a respectful bow is the traditional business greeting, although the handshake is becoming more common. In Islamic cultures, contact between men and women is a sensitive issue, even in business settings. In those regions and cultures, it is best to shake hands with a woman only if she extends her hand first. In India, the namaste (a slight bow with hands brought together on the chest) remains a respectful, if traditional business greeting particularly when interacting with women and older people.

Religious Beliefs and Celebrations

As discussed earlier, religious set of beliefs and practices can have strong influence on what consumers buy (or don’t buy), when they shop, and how they conduct business.  It is important for marketers to understand the influence of religion on consumer culture in the markets where they operate, so that their marketing activities can be appropriate. Failing to respect religious beliefs or cultures can seriously undermine the reputation of a company or brand. At the same time, marketers who well verse about the impact of religion on local culture can find great advantage in aligning marketing messages and promotional opportunities to religious practice.

For example, all the major world religions observe holidays. These festival seasons tend to be prime shopping seasons as well, such as the Christmas season in Western cultures, or Ramadan in Muslim cultures. Religious beliefs lead to sensitiveness about certain products: in the Hindu religion, cows are considered sacred and people refrain from eating beef. Jews and Muslims consider pork unclean, and they consume only kosher or halal meats, respectively. Many religions eschew alcohol: for example, devout Sikhs, Muslims, Mormons, Buddhists etc. all refrain from drinking.

Religious beliefs may cause sensitive issues around revealing images or sexually suggestive material. Religious beliefs associated with different colours may create either preferences for or rejection of certain products and marketing materials. The link between religious practice and gender roles may affect the purchasing decisions. Even if a woman, for example, is not the primary buyer, she may exercise strong influence of many consumer decisions.

In other areas of cultural impact, it is crucial for marketers to educate themselves about the people and their culture, that they are targeting for marketing and doing business in order to use cultural knowledge as an added plus.

China's culture and business practice

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How the political environment can impact international marketing environment.

Every campaign, product launch or global market initiative has the chance/probability to go wrong. The factors that could pose threat to the launch are countless and while some are predictable and can be controlled, many others cannot. In general, the factors that can be controlled are pertinent to the company and its organization and are called internal factors. Those that cannot be controlled are the external factors, or the environment. Politics is one of the main environmental factors and is in general out of companies’ ambit. When a company launches a product, a campaign or operations in a foreign market, it can be entangled in problems if the launch runs into issues that are political in nature.

Structural influences are determined by elements that are already in place and to a certain extent predictable like active legislation, taxation, trade regulations, international treaties and agreements, the ruling party or government in place until the end of the mandate, etc. Public factors pertain to public identities and sensitivities that are linked to people’s political identity and it can be related to ideology, history, nationalism, even mythology; any element that is constitutive of people’s political identity has the potential to backlash if people feel it is being challenged or disrespected or if it undermines their belief. Public factors are far more volatile in nature and are notoriously difficult to predict. However, in the digital age, they have the potential to be even more disruptive than the structural ones as reactions can be shared and spread online in a matter of minutes and regaining control can be very costly and challenging.

Structural Challenges in Political Environment

An environment could help the decision makers during the early phases of the business strategy, PESTEL or PESTLE, with the addition of the Legal and Environmental factors as they progressively became more important from a business standpoint. These factors are tremendously important and they represent huge hurdles on businesses both domestically and internationally. At the global level, all the factors get importance by every country that is part of the business strategy and are added to the international treaties, conventions, customs and practices. The enterprise can be daunting and a detailed analysis of the environment is an absolute must. Obviously, some factors are more stable and more predictable than others, however there is always a potential for change and a continuous scanning of the political landscape can make a big difference when planning a campaign or an international business expansion.

Several recent examples of rapid and unexpected changes in the political environment that brought considerable uncertainty to global business operations. Ex: Brexit referendum in the UK has significantly increased the risk factors for certain industries and the international operations. Even for companies that weren’t directly affected by these changes, the increase in the uncertainty and risk factors is bound to impact every international business as it affects the overall economic environment and most of all the financial one.

Some of the questions that the PESTEL analysis will help you answer are:

  • In East Asia the instability caused by North Korea’s erratic policies going to affect the mobile phones market? If there is a launch campaign for Samsung’s phones accessories, then will a business have to wait when political stability is restored?
  • Offices in London and international marketing operations based there, what should a business do after Brexit goes into effect? should the business relocate offices to Ireland or to Amsterdam? Which location offers advantages in terms of logistics, taxation incentives, labour laws, etc.
  • How is the current stance of Elon Musk look towards the current administration after Musk is going to affect marketing campaign for solar panels and electrical storage batteries. Will the new administration try to boost the image of traditional fossil fuel industry? Will they offer incentives to fossil fuel industries that could potentially harm products’ popularity and sales?
  • A language service provider with offices in Barcelona, what is the likelihood of Catalunya gaining independence from Spain? If it happens at all, what are the chances of this being a peaceful, smooth transition? Will an independent Catalunya be business friendly or are they likely to increase taxation? Would a business be better off relocating to Prague, Paris, Madrid or Milan?

Through the use of predictive analysis, companies will not only have certainties but also, they will have to reduce the risk factors considerably and then they will have time to develop alternative strategies if the outcome they were hoping for, becomes more or less likely.

Political Constraints of Public

While structural political factors such as elections, referendum, treaty renewals, etc. are very big factors in the business environment, there are other ways in which political issues can impact companies’ marketing operations, and those are the reactions of the people that are linked to their political identities. These factors are even more difficult to analyse and more unpredictable than the structural political factors.

Examples of these are Google’s repeated gaffes over the labelling in Google Maps of territories that are disputed. It has angered or caused protest, boycotts, petitions and open condemnation from Israel, the Palestinians, China, India, Iran, Nicaragua, Turkey and even the forgotten Sahrawis, just to name a few.

The dispute over territory is particularly sensitive as territories are not just demarcated lines on a map, there is an entire social and psychological dimension that links people to territories. This has deep implications on people’s identities and their ties to social and political groups. Feelings of belonging to a territory, of the motherland, the homeland, of entitlement to a specific territory that have fuelled countless conflicts throughout history and are a major motivation for social and political action. Considering that Google Maps are used as reference by the wide majority of websites who want to indicate their location to the user, it is easy to see how Google has a major responsibility to ensure that naming and labelling on the maps are fair and respectful to the people involved. Moreover, disputed territories often acquire an ideological dimension and other groups, states and political parties will choose sides and might act in defence of or solidarity with the offended party. For example, a worldwide backlash against products that have even the slightest association with anti-Semitic groups.

While often the reaction comes from people, other times it comes directly from the government. Google has had several incidents with the Indian government as well as with the Chinese. With India the clash was both over the attribution of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan in 2005 and then again in 2010 over Arunachal Pradesh, a disputed territory between India and China next to Bhutan. Google had to modify the map after the official complaint of the Indian government, however, not to offend the Chinese, Google had to initially produce 3 different maps and has since changed to 2 versions of the map. Now, to the Indian user Arunachal Pradesh appears as part of India and to the rest of the world the territory is surrounded by a dotted line that indicates the disputed status. The same goes for Jammu and Kashmir, since India’s official policy is to deny its disputed status, Google Maps India shows the region as part of the Indian territory. See comparison from Google maps below. Now, while the dispute over Jammu and Kashmir is quite complex and extremely sensitive both for India and for Pakistan, Arunachal Pradesh is an area close to Tibet that is a very tiny fraction of territory when compared to the size of India and China, and while it might have had some strategic military value in the age of traditional warfare, in the age of long distance ballistic missiles and extensive air to ground warfare technology it is puzzling that the two countries still cling to that sliver of territory and feel offended if their perceived rights are not acknowledged. This clearly shows how the link between people, identity and territory goes beyond the realm of what we would consider a rational calculation of interest and into the realm of the feelings of group identity and belonging that can react to perceived insensitivity and escalate the reaction to a completely different level.


Comparison created by the author by taking screenshots of the Indian Google Maps site and the US one.

Public backlashes to an insensitive campaign can also happen when there will be no direct territorial or political implication, but the reference will be a cultural element that will come to embody a territorial conflict. For example, when Orange Telecom, a former telecom provider in the UK, wanted to open retail points in Northern Ireland, they were faced with huge problems because of the sensitivities that their name and slogan, “The future’s bright, the future’s Orange”, might evoke in a land where the two sides of the conflict have long associated each other with the colours, orange and green. Orange for the Protestants and particularly the members of the Orange Order, and the green for the Catholics and Unionists. The company was worried about the commercial backlash from the Catholic population, but also about possibly sparking violence in a situation where sectarian violence was sporadic but still very much a reality in the daily political life.

Conclusion

Every product launch or international expansion carries a certain amount of risk that, while it cannot be completely avoided, it can certainly be mitigated by extensive research. While retrieving information is easier than it has ever been, unravelling/discerning authoritative material from misleading information can be tricky. With regards to information on political issues this is even more important since political issues can very easily become partisan issues and view the facts though the powerful lenses of political ideology. Although it is not an easy task to understand the political environment through the PESTEL analysis and building strategic scenarios based on political realities in the markets a company is targeting, but is a fundamental step in creating a solid international marketing and busniess strategy.

References
In relation to the issues faced by Orange in Ulster/Northern Ireland see:

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Pricing in International Marketing Environment

For international markets, pricing is one of the most important elements of marketing product mix, generates cash and determines a company’s survival. This blog post sheds light on international pricing strategies in a global marketing environment.

Pricing, as part of the marketing mix, is essential and has been always one of the most difficult decisions in marketing because of increased competition, counterfeit activities, regional trading blocks and volatile exchange rates. Consumers have different perception of the products depending on the price. Therefore, pricing products for consumers is a difficult task, mainly because a high price may cause negative feelings about products, and also a low price can be misleading on other products features such as quality.

There are many pricing objectives that lead to different strategies. Some of the ways of pricing a product is: premium and penetration pricing, price skimming, economy and psychological pricing, product bundle pricing etc. However, the situation is further complicated when it comes to pricing for international and global markets. Setting prices for international markets is not an easy task. Decisions with regards to product, price, and distribution for international markets are unique to each country. Furthermore, other factors such as: the ROI, market stabilization, demand and competition-led pricing, market penetration, early cash recovery, company and product factors, market and environmental factors, as well as economic, political, social and cultural factors, have to be considered in the decision-making process. This Blog post examine factors that affect pricing decision making process for international/global marketing environment as a consumer behavior variable.

Pricing for international markets involves other factors related to foreign customer behaviors such as: economic and political aspect of target market, education and technological, values and attitudes, social and cultural, language, religion and beliefs, legal as well as competitive factors to mention a few.

Products have to be distributed through the most appropriate channels and priced according to local market environment conditions. Local market conditions may be different and companies have to adapt to the needs of local customers. The PEST (Political, Economic, Social, Technological) factors have been used to analyze foreign market opportunities.

Environmental monitoring should continue throughout the business cycle. Since marketers must comply with the law, an understanding of governmental policy and the process by which it is created is central to effective marketing decision-making. 

To operate, international firms must understand the policy-making process and different categories of laws, and marketers must also investigate the general policy climate and local laws that affect the operation of their business. The main objective of marketing strategy is pivotal to customer satisfaction, financial performance, and compliance. 

Political Factors

Pricing is influenced by laws and regulations which necessitate product modifications, in compliance with health and safety standards, environmental regulations, measures systems etc. Government policies influence the legislative and economic frameworks. Perhaps the most sinister cloud from the political arena is the threat of wars.

Economic Factors

The level of GDP is the main measure of economic attractiveness of foreign markets. As GDP increases, the demand for goods and services increases too. Furthermore, marketers consider the distribution of income within a country, in order to identify niche and segment markets. Marketers always watch not only the present economic prosperity of a country, but also its future development in terms of population and density, inflation and economic growth, age and distribution of income, level of urbanization as well as other economic activities that will affect markets and pricing.

The economic environment of the foreign or host country influences pricing decisions. It has a significant impact on firm’s costs, determines demand potential for a particular product/service, in addition to the prices that local customers can afford and are willing to pay. For example, some products that are considered essential in western countries, are viewed as luxury items in my country (India), and most of the Asian countries.

Social Factors

People from different cultures have different tastes, buy different products and respond in different ways to the same service or product. Therefore, the demographic structure of a foreign market should be considered. The aging of population in major western markets, and the increase in population in several countries such as India and China, is another continuing development that will affect international marketing. As teens around the world are becoming a global market segment today, pricing strategies will have to adapt to social factors, that is, when pricing for international markets, one has to take into consideration of local material culture, language, aesthetics, education and religion, as well as attitudes and values. Firms/Markets need to examine carefully target market, country’s characteristics and purchasing behaviors, required to select appropriate pricing strategy. Price level is an important criterion used by consumers in evaluating competing products. Other criteria such as product quality and performance are important to customers. Thus, in developing pricing strategy, firms/organisations must be aware of foreign consumers’ preferences, perceptions, and purchasing behaviors with respect to various price levels.

Technological Factors

Firms/Organizations need to analyze the technological environment of foreign markets. Well-developed communication infrastructure is an important factor to respond rapidly to customer’s needs. International Firms/Organizations often rely on existing local distribution infrastructure in order to transport and distribute their products to consumers. This may have significant impact on costs, and in turn may influence price, as well as profits. Technological change is another dynamic but ongoing phenomenon. A perfect example is the internet. Internet allows online contact with the Firms/Organizations customers, suppliers, and partners and subsidiaries around the world, but it may also increase the opportunities for existing competitors and openings for new competitors. Therefore, technology provides both opportunities and challenges. Pricing is a strategic choice, and it will be partially influenced by environmental factors.

PRICING STRATEGIES

 Price is the amount of money charged for a product or service. Price is sum of product, service, profit & brand. Price includes the cost of producing product, providing any needed services that may accompany the product, the amount of profit in order to stay in business. Often the Firms/Organizations are trying to portray the best quality or the lowest price. Therefore, price can be a direct reflection of quality or even perceived quality. There are several basic pricing strategies:

 Economy and Premium

Premium pricing is adopted when there is a substantial competitive advantage, and the product or service is unique (Concord flights), and economy pricing strategy is adopted when the cost of marketing and manufacture is kept at a minimum.

 Penetration or Low Price

Low profit margin will penetrate the market. It is designed to grab market share quickly. Penetrating the market with an exceptionally low-priced item creates a broad customer base. It also provides high value-for-the-dollar to the customer. Penetration is used when prices are set first low in order to attract new customers and to gain market share, and then the price is increased after the market share has been achieved. To penetrate the market and gain market share, international businesses set a low price in comparison to other competitors. Note that also low price is sometimes perceived as indication of low-quality product. It may also be difficult to increase price in the future without incurring loss.

 Skimming

 This is appropriate for some product to be priced as high as the market will bear. However, few buyers are attracted, and lower sales volumes can be achieved when price is such high. This strategy is often used when a new product is introduced into the market, and is in great demand. For this strategy, the product or service is charged high because of a substantial competitive advantage. This high price tends to attract new customers into the market, and then falls due to lower unit cost as economies of scale are achieved. Skimming is the opposite of penetration. The idea behind this pricing strategy is to return high profits, even at the cost of losing a large number of customers. Typically, when a company launches a new product, they charge higher prices in the beginning to help recoup R&D expenditures as fast as possible. To be successful, Firms/Organizations must have a unique product that's in demand. For example, “chip manufacturers” often use this methodology during the introductory phase of a new proprietary product. Another aspect that closely resembles “skimming the cream,” is the high cost option. Companies like Mercedes-Benz or BMW are good examples. Customers purchase products from them knowing they probably paid too much. But these companies have the prestigious reputation of high-quality products and customer service.

Competitor’s Pricing

To attract the largest number of customers and generate consistent turnover, it may be necessary to set price not too high, not too low, just in line with other competitors. Prices are tagged to the competition and profits are acceptable. In the long run, no single pricing strategy will always work best, and producers should be prepared to adjust to any opportunities or threats that may arise in the ever-changing market.

Price Quality
LOW Economy Penetration
HIGH Skimming Premium
  LOW   High  

Even though premium pricing, penetration pricing, economy pricing, and price skimming are the main pricing strategies for marketing mix, there are other strategies to pricing such as: psychological pricing- product bundle pricing, marginal cost pricing strategies etc.

Marginal Costing

In highly competitive markets, some companies may want to consider turning to marginal costing in order to ensure that their products are competitively priced. Marginal costing ignores the fixed cost incurred by companies, on the assumption that these costs will be incurred by domestic sales anyway and therefore, only variable costs need to be considered in pricing. Ignoring fixed costs will naturally reduce total costs, enabling lower prices to be set. Where possible, however, companies should not resort to this method of pricing.

Psychology of Pricing

Value Bundling and Discounting Psychology plays an important role in the marketing world. It helps build the perception of price and value. The psychology of retail pricing is probably more important than the price itself. For example, the psychology of not using values ending in “0” or “1” in the price gives the customer the perception of saving. For example, $19.99 is viewed as a greater value over a product priced at an even $20. Logically, the customer knows the difference is not great. But there is still that sense of saving. Value Bundling gives the customer the feeling of getting something. For example, buy one, and get second free. Discounting also builds loyalty and encourages bulk purchases. Percentage off the normal retail price attracts customers and, the greater the discount, the happier the customer would be.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION: 

Pricing is probably one of the toughest problems for a decision maker, when trying to price a product or service. It may include the cost of producing and providing the product, the profit that you need to make to stay in the business. Proper pricing takes into account costs, market demand and competition.  In domestic markets, few companies are free to set prices without considering their competitors' pricing policies. If a foreign market is serviced by many competitors, you may have little choice but to match the going price, or go below it, to win a share of the market. If your product or service is new to a market, you may, however, be able to set a higher price. Pricing in the international marketplace requires a shrewd of market strategy and companies need to define their pricing strategies, know their products, and understand host country’s environmental factors.

                                        Figures:

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Challenges in Global Marketing Environment

What are the biggest challenges that global marketers are facing today? It’s of real significance if one can work in the complex world of global marketing environment.

Bigger brand names have more links in the chain. Many Big Global brands for ex: Colgate, Disney etc. have historically struggled with rolling out marketing campaigns across multiple markets/territories. In today’s world we have technology and communication tools and hence greater is the expectation for relevant, local execution. Internal co-ordination of different campaigns across business units and regions remains a key challenge for global marketers.

Campaign models must have key ingredients such as adoptability and adaptability. But question remains the same that is how to achieve the results. Some brands choose a decentralized model whereby local markets still hold a lot of autonomy. Other brands prefer a more centralized approach and give little or no leeway to local markets. For ex: when Chinese do business, they like to have centralized approach (Disney case).

Importance of Local Market

The creative concept that aligns in one territory may fall flat in another for any number of reasons. Adapting an idea to suit diverse cultures while remaining true to the key messages behind the campaign remains a major challenge for global brands.

Conveying these creative, intellectual and emotional elements safely across different markets is one mighty task. But our digital media -with all the technical, channel options available – makes the scenario even more complex.

Driving local consumer at the highest possible level is an ongoing work in progress. It is not astonishing to me when considering the different levels of marketing maturity, legal and cultural issues across the globe.

How marketers can measure and improve

Measuring ROI is a challenge for all marketers especially for global marketers as they need to report on campaign performance in different regions, with large budgets at stake. Lastly global marketers are judged on the performance of their campaigns, how ROI can be achieved.

It’s clear that key performance areas (KPA) from the beginning is essential for balanced outcome. Yet, at the same time, global marketers have to be flexible regarding the interpretation of data which comes from several different environments that can make it meaningful and comprehensive. Delivering consistent results across plethora of channels and geographies remains a challenge, particularly when there is requirement for short-term results.

If a marketing campaign does not perform well, a deep dissection needs to be carried out so that lessons can be learnt and measures can be taken to improve the future campaign.

Creativity

Another challenge is to strive for global campaign consistency, at the same time to have focus on local market. The crux of acting on global platform while thinking on local market aspect remains a central tenet for global marketing directors.

Localisation is the big idea for different markets worldwide. But the methodology for doing so is somewhat polarised. Whichever route people are taking, it’s clear that focus on local market and smart implementation are firmly on the agenda while devising marketing campaign. Whether you carry out your global campaign in-house, or trust a partner agency to adapt a campaign, it’s important to put as much effort in the implementation of the campaign, as you would in the creative development.

Customer wants and needs

Global marketers need to align their campaigns to cater diverse cultural and social needs. It’s just part of the puzzle that marketers need to bring together. But target messages should reach on global scale in order to requires a deep understanding of how industries, geography and demographics will react to the messages.

Brand affinity and consumer behaviour are affected further by the strength of country’s economy which is another aspect of complexity.

Exhaustive market research is required to validate not only the creative idea but also the tactics deployed to bring the brand message to market. Research and Testing is a crucial step towards global campaign success.

Digital, Social and Technological Outcome

Integration of social elements into a wider campaign remains a key for many global marketers. Reliable report about the impact of social awareness and sales remains murky despite the voluminous data. Such report is sometimes hard to align with the more traditional ROI indicators from advertising or direct marketing.

Technology has made global marketers’ lives a lot easier. Yet there is risk to it. It should be made of creative ideas, following a strategic and operational vision. Digital Asset remains a tactical challenge. It’s also important to know which assets are being used, which are needed, and which assets can no longer be used due to expired usage rights. Technology can facilitate the validation process by using cloud validation tools which allow local and global marketers to review market performance. Before switching to any new technology, it is always recommended that carrying out a trial to ensure the technology works because what may work for one brand, may prove difficult for another.