Global Marketing

Global Marketing Strategy Failures

Some objectives of marketing strategies are increased brand awareness, brand consideration, and sales. However, poor marketing strategies can do the opposite and decrease consumers' perception of the brand. It is especially important to take time to learn about a foreign country before doing global marketing. This blog post will explore some global marketing strategy failures and tips to avoid making these mistakes. 

In 1971, American Motors replaced their “Rebel” model with their new model the “Matador”. They gave the new car a facelift with a “beefier” look. To market their new car they ran an advertisement called “What's a Matador”. Consumer research poles found that consumers thought of the Matador with “virility and excitement”. However, when they brought their new car to Puerto Rico, the word “Matador” translates to “Killer” in Spanish. Needless to say, this model did not sell well there.

In 2018, Dolce and Gabbana released a series of videos on social media. The ad shows a male voiceover giving a Chinese woman instructions while she struggles to eat Italian food with chopsticks. It was perceived terribly by Chinese consumers which hurt Dolce and Gabbana because Asian markets were 30% of earnings in 2017. Chinese consumers were quite offended by the ad because of the racial stereotypes and the male voiceover sexually suggestive lines. Due to this ad, Dolce and Gabbana sales went down 98% from a year ago.

In 2016, BMW aired an advertisement in the UAE with a local football team singing the national anthem at the start of their game. They hear engines revving outside and leave the stadium to the BMW vehicles. Consumers were upset by the advertisement because it suggested that BMW vehicles were more important than the national anthem. On Twitter, there was a “Stop BMW ads” hashtag that began trending with many upset. 

Companies need to first do research for their new markets and target audience. Markets even differ from city to city within countries, making it even more important for companies to do their research. This can save the company time because there may not even be a need for the product/service because the market does not line up with the company. 

Learning the language and culture is extremely important when developing global marketing strategies. Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory gives insight into differences between country's cultures. This will give context to who they are marketing to and allow them to adjust accordingly. Localizing marketing content is very important rather than just translating. We see this in the “Colgate Max Fresh: Global Brand Roll-Out” case where Colgate Palmolive changed both flavors and names in Mexico and China to appeal to those markets. Firms should cross-reference with individuals they are marketing to before releasing advertisements to get that local perspective.