Is a global marketing strategy really necessary for your business? If you were to develop an ad campaign in the United States, do you think the same campaign would be effective in France?
Here we examine why it’s important to create a global marketing strategy for your business, no matter the size, and the benefits of crafting one.
First, it's important to note what global marketing isn’t. It’s not a standardized process that you take to a global level. Some aspects can be standardized, such as a logo, but others, such as packaging or advertising strategy, may or may not be effective in a global marketing strategy.
A global marketing strategy is one component of a total global strategy. It must incorporate all functional aspects of a business from finance to operations to R&D. It must also carry a well-defined objective because without officially declaring where you are going, you will never get there.
To do that, be honest with yourself and your team. Ask: What are we trying to accomplish in an overseas market? What are the weaknesses and strengths in that market? How will we overcome them? What upside potential do we have? Together with your team, answer the questions to draft a global marketing strategy.
The more detailed the objective, the clearer and more focused the global marketing strategy becomes. For example, when a target market is selected (e.g., France), the market mix comprising of price, package, and promotion, that is already in place must be evaluated to determine what parts can be standardized and what parts must be adapted to meet the target overseas market requirements. Don’t think for a moment that you can minimize country-to-country differences. Embrace them and develop your strategy in such a way as to complement the differences.
If a global marketing strategy is done right, it can have many benefits for an organization. Here are four.
Improved Product and Service Effectiveness
The more you grow, the faster and more you learn, the more effective you become at rolling out new and improved product and service offerings. With Facebook’s IPO, the company did a remarkable job servicing the needs of the North American market and making money. Its next expansion effort was in India. What Facebook had discovered was that Internet advertising made up just 3 percent of India's advertising market, compared to 17 percent in the United States. For Facebook to develop a global marketing strategy in India, it required improving on their already existing North American strategy to monetize all the users in India in terms of their revenue base.
Stronger Competitive Advantage
Many companies are naturals at competing locally, but how many companies can compete globally? If you do business on a global basis, but your local competitors can't or don't, you become a force they can't compete with.
As you move forward with your global strategy, if it’s well-articulated, everyone gets on board, allowing for a better-informed and more focused organization as a whole worldwide. Further, it allows you to adapt quickly wherever needed based on customer demands or trends in the global marketplace.
Heightened Customer Awareness
With the Internet, customers can track the progress, or lack thereof, of a product all over the world. Apple has a uniform and consistent message with its products: deliver exceptional design and experience through superb user interfaces. The “WOW” factor also plays into the heightened customer awareness throughout the world.
Cost Reduction and Savings
By focusing on new markets, you can achieve economies of scale and scope through standardization in some areas. Not to mention the savings from leveraging the Internet globally. Customers from all corners of the world can find you, and you can reach potential customers with one single point of contact, such as a website, blog, or Facebook page. The cost savings can help you serve customers better worldwide.
Whether you run a one-person shop or an organization with 300 employees, open and honest conversations with yourself and your team about your goals will help you create a global marketing strategy, build collective commitment, and achieve an enduring global enterprise.