Place is just one of the four areas of the promotional mix, including promotion, price and the product itself. Placement and/or distribution of the product itself comes down to the decision of whether or not the product will be distributed directly or through intermediaries, how many outlets to use, how to identify competitors, etc. JL Racing should employ its own international sales force to further emphasize the tailor-made, instead of ready to wear, company culture and brand image of its products. In addition, growing internationally for any company calls for a learning experience on the behalf of the domestic company. Distributing products in global markets is something at which many exporters fail because there was a lack of knowledge in the costs and barriers of getting products to consumers. For this purpose, there is a multitude of entry strategies that organizations adopt, such as exporting directly to customers or through an agent, direct investment, licensing and franchising, etc. Global markets present both opportunity and risk for companies looking to enter. Global marketing opportunities must be analyzed and important factors such as political climate, economic status, social structure and technological factors must all be taken into account before adapting a particular marketing strategy or set of marketing strategies. For this purpose, a company can perform a PEST analysis examining each of the aforementioned areas to capitalize on the best global marketing opportunity.
Differences between Global & U.S. Communications
Examining the differences in global marketing and United States marketing involves thorough analysis and knowledge for the target’s culture, societal standards, levels of competition, market intelligence, political systems, currency rates and/or problems, export rates, etc. There will always be a great degree of uncertainty because of the volatility and elements of the foreign market that are out of the hands of the country of origin. Global marketing works best for products that have the ability to be universal, like food and cars. It takes more than just selling a product overseas; it takes performing extensive research and properly executing the four Ps of the marketing mix, just as a company or corporation would do: place, promotion, price and product. The rest of the world is the proverbial oyster for companies to take their products, goods and services to the next level to move consumers along the brand loyalty continuum, and thus, increase profits. However, there are just as many threats, if not more, than opportunities that came with the territory of moving into foreign markets. Opportunities comes from selling in a market where a company has a particular competitive advantage relative to producers that are domestic. Risks and problems arise when foreign markets have competitive advantage that challenges those same domestic firms and the domestic market itself.
Marketing within the United States, even as diverse as it is, has no international phenomenon. Here is where, just like in any other country, products are manufactured and sold. Understanding the political, social, economic and technological climates is important for the development and promotion of new products, but that carries a much smaller risk than it does to evaluate those factors in another country before product introduction and market penetration. Global marketing strategies must not have a strict marketing campaign, however, there has to be a sort of a standardized campaign. Even with the differences in target markets, getting a general idea of the culture allows for the company marketing to developed a standard strategy, usually as a “geocentric approach,” in which the company analyzes consumer choices and behaviors.
There is no difference in the way a company will or should market any new product, good, or service in foreign or domestic markets. It is impertinent that product and promotion are made uniform in a foreign market; however, pricing should, and would, inevitably be different. The company or organization will have to take notice of competition levels, brand positioning, taxes, etc. before developing a successful foreign marketing campaign.
Examples of Difference Between Global and U.S. Communications
For example, take marketing alcohol in foreign countries. The United States has come a long way from the Prohibition era and today, alcohol consumption has become a staple of American life, from weekend cocktails and mimosas at brunch to enjoying happy hour at the bar on the way home from work. Reports from Mintel Oxygen (2016) show that beer is leading alcohol consumption with more than 40 percent of consumers aged 22 years old and older are drinking beer, which enjoys high market penetration. In addition, light beer is estimated to represent nearly half of volume sales in 2015 due to its stronger appeal for drinkability. Alcohol is not nearly as taboo here as it would be in a country with a strict and conservative moral code, like that of Russia. While Russia and vodka go hand-in-hand, it is viewed by nearly half of its residents as “morally unacceptable,” according to a Pew Research Center survey. The 44 percent of people who consider drinking alcohol as “morally unacceptable” could be influenced by the fact “that vodka is a major cause of the high risk for premature death in Russian adults.”
There have been plenty of marketing goofs by companies who have attempted to penetrate foreign markets without a good grasp on the place and the way in which culture, ideals, politics and morals guide life. Fast food brand KFC tried to make a good impression when doing business in China; its popular slogan “finger-lickin’ good,” however, translated into Chinese as “eat your fingers off.” While they got off on the wrong foot, KFC enjoys the reputation of being the top quick-service restaurant brand in China. Another example is Pampers: Procter & Gamble began marketing in Japan with the image of a stork delivering a baby as the package image, something U.S consumers understand well. As it is not a part of Japanese culture and folklore, it was lost on these consumers and it did not catch on with the target market. Some marketing blunders are worse than these, making it impertinent that companies do full analysis of the market they wish to do business in.
For successful global marketing, it takes work before and after campaign implementation in both the domestic country and the target market country. Companies can pave the road to developing global brand strategies by starting with a strong brand culture, looking past borders and geographical limitations with marketing strategy, observation of how products work in different markets, and cutting the ties with rigidity and formality in favor of completely expanding a company’s product, good, or service. Expanding business reach benefits both company, consumer, market and the economy in general. Adapting marketing and communications strategies across the Atlantic Ocean can be these methods, which include but are not limited to appropriately using the target country’s cultural symbols, traditions and holidays to market there, adapting things to the target country’s language (and for the sake of avoiding humiliation, taking heed to any idioms or naughty words), and more. The differences in countries, cultures, societies, etc. can create a fun, new and creative avenue for marketing strategy, but it would do well for a company to not dive-in headfirst.
- Armstrong, G., & Kotler, P. (2012). Marketing new mymarketinglab with pearson etext access card: An introduction. Place of publication not identified: Prentice Hall.
- Brooks, C. (2013, October 7). Lost in Translation: 8 International Marketing Fails. Retrieved June 30, 2016, from http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5241-international-marketing-fails.html
- Mintel Oxygen (2016) Beer – US (market research report). http://academic.minteloxygen.com/
“Russia’s moral barometer: homosexuality unacceptable, but drinking, less so” Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C. (2013) http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/02/06/russias-moral-barometer-homosexuality-unacceptable-but-drinking-less-so/, June 30, 2016.