Is Marketing Global?

In today’s world, most businesses are viewed as being global; they do business all around the world. Many businesses start in a domestic market and expand globally over time. Think Amazon, Peloton, H&M. With the expansion of the businesses from a domestic market to a global one, these companies undergo the evolution of marketing. Here, I will break down the five types, or steps, of marketing.

Global Marketing Evolution

Companies start by marketing products domestically. These products are marketed irrespective of the global environment, as they do not sell their products internationally. Target, for example, is a well-known store internationally (or at least in Canada), but yet it only operates in the US. Since they only operate in one country, taking into account the global environment would not be beneficial (having failed to expand to Canada recently, they probably won’t be trying international expansion for a while).

Some companies, however, undergo successful expansion. Potential international customers may ask the company to sell them products, moving them into the export marketing stage. Once comfortable with internationally-selling their products, they can start to create and market country-specific products. This is called international marketing. First and foremost, as mentioned in the previous post, the company must take into account the different cultures. Then, there are different government policies in every country. But if you have come this far and are successful…

Then maybe you should take the next step and realize economies of scale. These companies take on multinational marketing, bucketing different countries into regions based on similarities. These companies are smart, realizing that they do not need to treat every country as a separate entity, and are only one step away from being a global marketing company: full global integration and standardization.

“The multinational corporation knows a lot about a great many countries and congenially adapts to supposed differences….[whereas]…Global corporations knows everything about one great thing”

Theodore Levitt, The Globalization of Markets

Before getting back to the question of whether marketing is global, take a look at these seven marketing fails. These companies translated their slogans into another language without consideration of their true meaning.

So, is marketing global? In short, marketing can be global, however, I do not think it should be. In my mind, to market globally means you are not taking into account societal differences. One can try and find enough similarities between the countries, or sell products most countries are willing to buy as-is, however, the US is different from Brazil which is different from China which is different from India and Russia and the list goes on. As you saw in the above video, even language translation needs to be taken into account. So how do you market one product to all these people the same way? Isn’t it more beneficial to stay in the multinational marketing stage and make minor changes for every market to gain market share while still realizing economies of scale?

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