Global Marketing Strategy: What Is It? How to Deploy It?

Table Of Contents

Global marketing has become an issue of major concern, as today’s world resembles a fusion reactor for diverse cultures, conventions, and above all, nations. If someone travels from one state to another, he/she will learn that there are another set of norms and traditions to understand.

Moreover, on a sub-state level, each district, and region can have its own customs that differ from the neighboring ones which beg the question:

How are marketers going to conduct a global marketing strategy that works in conformity with these different markets to introduce the same product?

This is what we will try to figure out in this blog…

Let’s Start with a Real Case Study for Global marketing — Lost in Translation

HSBC Bank was obliged, in 2009, to launch a global marketing (rebranding) campaign which cost them $10 million, because their tagline “Assume Nothing” was literally translated (or mistranslated) into foreign languages.

Instead of transmitting the awareness that the HSBC Bank has no preconception about the customers’ throughout cultures worldwide, the HSBC Bank tagline was rendered into a phrase equivalent to “Do Nothing” in other languages. 🤦‍♂️

HSBC Assume Nothing

By the time HSBC Bank found the mistake, the marketing campaigns were ongoing full throttle, and the bank was compelled to expend $10 million for the corrective rebranding campaign, which resulted in a new slogan “The World’s Local Bank.”

Translation errors can lead to more than a “simple misunderstanding” between two cultures.

Another bad translation 🤦‍♂️

In 1977, when President Jimmy Carter visited Poland, he made a speech to the Polish nation, which unfortunately had been mistranslated.

President Carter, due to the translation, ended up with statements in Polish languages, such as, “When I left the United States” translated into “when I abandoned the United States,” and “Your desires for the future” was rendered into “your lusts for the future.”

These two statements, shortly thereafter, were taken with fun on both sides!

If you need to avoid such disasters, check the below points… 👇

10 Check Points for Global Marketing Strategy

How can marketers avoid falling into traps like what happened with HSBC Bank and President Jimmy Carter, when introducing a new concept or a product to another culture or nation?

You can set off by verifying that you will thoroughly go through the following 10 principles of international marketing and assimilate the same into your global marketing strategy.

First of all, what your marketing plan should address?

Global Marketing Strategy

1. The Population – Understanding the Buyer’s Persona

The product you are marketing goes side by side with the targeted audience. You have to begin with the community because if you don’t know first who you are marketing to, this can result in marketing a product irrelevant to them.

Best Buy, for example, although their products were selling well out of the country, they did not make big success globally, chiefly in Europe. This is because the way they distributed their products was not organized to comply with the shopping habits of the European consumer.

Global Marketing Strategy

Europeans prefer smaller stores over large ones — Best Buy inaugurated brick-and-mortars that were so big for the European shoppers. We shall talk more about “The Place” later on.

In this case, if Best Buy had conducted their research to better understand the targeted audience, they would have seen that selling electronics at mega stores will not accommodate well with the European shopping culture.

2. The Product and the New Market

You may opt for one of these options, should you discern that the new market won’t resonate with the current presenting of your product:

  1. Stop selling in that market.
  2. Replace your product to convene the native demand

👉 The classic example of this is the restaurant franchise McDonald’s who has 34,480 branches in 119 countries. To penetrate the new markets, they modified their menu for almost every single one of these markets.

McDonald’s arranged the system to comprehend the communities they are going to deal with and had modified their products to suit their taste. In particular, this is an excellent example for those businesses who are planning to expand out to overseas markets.

3. The Pricing Strategy

Most of the time, if you have a product or service that is already successfully selling in a certain region, the price you set won’t vary greatly when compared with the competition in this region.

Most likely, a first-class product would still be first-class to another place. If you sell a more economic product, then it would be a modest-priced product in the new market.

This is for the sake of consistency. It’s problematic to succeed in one market being defined as the highest-priced, first-class product, and be the exact opposite in another. By doing so, you can even jeopardy your brand status.

Suppose that Citizen Watch arrived in the market and has chosen a more reduced price strategy because they recognized that Seiko previously had a complete influence on the first-grade watch market.

This strategy possibly would make them increase sales rate, in the short run, but the extended impact will render people outside Japan to identify them with the cheap products.

Alternatively, can they build an exclusively new, independent brand to sell in other markets? This is a strategy that frequently exercised in worldwide product marketing.

Procter & Gamble (P&G), in the 70s, launched the more affordable product “Fairy” to the Mid-East market. It was a success, and soon became one of the market bestsellers.

Fairy Global Marketing

Evidently, this is a rare example thanks to Procter & Gamble’s wide range of production lines. Among them, they have the ability to produce brands with diverse price alternatives, instead of entirely first-class or entirely economic products.

We recommend reading 👉 The 14 Pricing Strategies for Your eCommerce Business

4. The Promotional Strategies

Outlining the most efficient schemes for marketing your product in a foreign country doesn’t differ that much as to delivering it domestically.

Even if the merchant(s) resides where they are marketing the product, he still has to carry out little inquiries to reveal the mediums wherein your target audience can be found.

For example, Vietnam, Brazil, South Korea, China, Poland, Japan, and Russia. In these countries for the first decade of the 21st century, as a minimum, Facebook was not everybody’s favorable social platform. Only regional social sites such as Orkut and Twitter among others achieved success.

BY no means, we suggest that you should not advertise on Facebook, but this information implies that concentrating more energy on the primary platform, like Instagram, in a similar situation, could be more helpful. Particularly if this is the favorable platform of your demographic segment.

Just like countries across the Mid-East vary in respect to which channels are most efficient, countries around the world have their own partialities on channels and mediums.

As previously said, it needs thorough research to estimate these status quo situations.

You need to ask these questions 👇

  • Are Bogo Offers (2 for 1) declared by stores acceptable in the new market?
  • Is the email operational in the region we are planning to reach?
  • Does the new intended market prefer vouchers?
  • Which is better for advertising, TV channels or YouTube channels, in this market?

These questions are simply some of many others a marketer should ask in advance of launching any marketing campaigns in a new market.

5. The Place

It is so significant to decide where the marketer will launch the new product, also to locate the correct place to physically sell your product is equally significant.

A big question the merchant should address is: can they sell their product(s) online? In fact, the majority of the buyers in several Mid-East countries favor shopping by themselves instead of online shopping?

There are many reasons for that, dependent on the state. Some buyers prefer to purchase in person to see and touch a physical product. Otherwise, they merely could have customer loyalty to a specific shop.

For example, shoppers in Jordan and Lebanon still prefer to shop in person, more than in other Arab countries. While, in KSA, Egypt, and UAE, it is quite the opposite, according to Payfort.

Similar to the “Best Buy” incident in Europe, the merchant may need to alter the area and the design of the store to meet the consumer’s shopping habits. Furthermore, the marketer must decide the effort to invest in online stores.

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6. The Packaging

The manner of finishing the product, and furnishing an adequate appearance, can considerably differ from place to place. When the merchant decides what way to package the product, the color will be of major importance. The reason is that many nations around the world identify each color with specific meanings.

For example,

  • In the Mid-East, people consider the red as color of danger and agitates an alarming feeling. Indeed, some individuals consider it a color of evil. ❌👿
  • In contrast, Asian societies associate red with good luck, and pleasure. 🤩

Therefore, to choose the suitable color(s) to wrap the product, it is important for the marketers to conduct adequate research on the color psychology pertinent to each tradition before launching any product.

Along with the design, the message on the packing is no less crucial. As we saw above, with HSBC Bank and Jimmy Carter, translation mistakes are very frequent.

The merchant should review these crucial checkpoints, before working on the package design and the company’s slogan:

  • The international brand names are important to distinguish a product.
  • The labels and packages have attractive colors for the buyers in the new market.
  • Product instructions are written in official language as required by law or traditions.
  • The product ingredients and the Country of Origin (COO) are clearly stated.
  • The product weight and volume are expressed by using the local system of units.
  • Check whether each article must be individually labeled, and what language the label should be written with.
  • Keep in mind, the local taste and culture always matter.

7. The Market Positioning

Whether preparing a local or a global marketing strategy, the marketer must deliver the message that will resonate with the buyers, because positioning is highly essential when competing in a foreign market.

In case the merchant fails to establish an initial market positioning, any rescue effort to reposition the flopped product could be detrimental and without any guarantee to be efficacious. Therefore, it’s crucial to make it accurate at phase 1.

A major element(s) of the company market positioning shall be manifested in the messages conveyed via marketing campaigns. The messages must be derived out of your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), or Unique Value Proposition (UVP) which is supposed to express the following merits:

  • Related: The way this product will fulfill customers’ needs or enhance their lives.
  • With Value: What are the product’s distinctive advantages?
  • Distinguishable: The qualities that make the prospective customers buy this product other than the similar ones.

Suppose, a merchant runs a health products company that is trying to arrive into the Egyptian market, with its newly invented mouthwash.

Since this merchant conducted the market research, he finds that there is a prospect in the Egyptian market for a new mouthwash that helps alleviate gum inflammation. The merchant invented a mouthwash that exactly fixes that and called it “Wonderful” (a very generic name).

Thus, the product’s UVP would be something like this 👇

Unique Selling Proposition of  Mouthwash

“Wonderful” is a mouthwash that helps to enhance the health of your teeth and gums, so you can avoid the undesirable conditions of gum inflammation.

Due to our special constituents in our mouthwash, “Wonderful” can mitigate your gum inflammation from damaging your teeth, in addition to preserving their hygiene.

In contrast to other mouthwash in the Egyptian market that only wash the mouth, Wonderful will maintain your mouth healthy and without pain.

As you can see, the UVP will then have an impact on the global marketing strategy.

8. Physical Evidence

Introducing a new service into a foreign market needs a careful arrangement, as most of the Services are regarded as intangible assets, in terms of marketing.

Thus, if there is no product that has to be modified or reformed to match the demands and desires of the new market, then the merchant has to focus on the physical evidence in the setting where people will receive your service.

The physical evidence can be subdivided into three discrete components as follows:

a. Physical Environment

In other words, the material components of the business (e.g., showcase, organization of departments, etc.), of the service (e.g., annual report for a chartered accountant, account statement, checkbook, or credit card for a bank), or identifying the staff, which is an integral part of the production for a service (e.g., uniform or staff uniform).

b. Presentation

Clients form impressions in part through physical evidence such as buildings, accessories, layout, color, and goods associated with the service such as briefcases, labels, brochures, labels, etc.

It helps create the “environment” and “atmosphere” in which a service is purchased or performed and to shape the perceptions that customers have of the service, in essence making the service tangible.

c. The Space Layout

Let’s take a Karaoke Saloon, for more demonstration of the impact of the physical layout of the space in which the merchant shall offer his service.

The karaoke saloons in the USA normally install the karaoke machine in a visible space, in such a way that any person can notice the person’s performance.

The case is not the same in Japan. Karaoke saloons there are quite different, the mainstream Karaoke saloons consist of confidential chambers (hence the name karaoke saloons) for groups of individuals to lease for a limited interval of time.

Accordingly, instead of singing out the lyrics of Kenny Rogers “Lady” in an open space, in Japan, you will be in a rather confined space to avoid embarrassment if any.

Regression to the Best Buy case we will find it well equals this condition, where their consumers in Europe found their large stores overwhelming because of how big they were.

9. Local Teams  

Do not overlook the locale team. This is one of the biggest global marketing teams fails would commit.

“One of the most disappointing mistakes that I’ve seen companies make is that they hire highly competent, intelligent local people to serve their overseas markets, but then fail to consider their input when making strategic decisions,” says Kelly in the article.

Many marketing executives underestimate the vital role of the local marketing team they have employed. Not only the marketer should emphasize that the local team be assimilated into the global marketing strategy, but also should refer to their opinion as a valuable resource.

We in ExpanCart advise the marketers to strengthen their current relationships and always pay great attention to their feedback. The local marketing team is to a great deal the best trustworthy consultants.

10. Relevancy  

Building trust with the new society

The foundation for all the above global marketing principles, there is the familiar premise of trust-building with the clients.

The merchant should regularly ask about their demands and desires.

  • What is their priority?
  • What really attracts their attention?
  • What do they need to facilitate their lives?
  • What is the exceptional product he/she is giving to them?

Responding to all of these issues and integrating them into the global marketing strategy will help increase sales. Keep in mind, the marketers should not retain focusing only on short-term revenues, as it is not a maintainable strategy.

When the merchant is entering into a foreign market, particularly in a different state. It is crucial to ensure that the environment they are operational in will be flourishing in the long-term.

In other words, brands would achieve better success on the global aspect if they adhere to a triangle of — customer, environment, and profit.

For example, Benban Solar Park (Aswan-Egypt) assimilated most of the working power of Aswan Governorate and the nearby communities into the project, in the construction phase, and in the later phases.

Showing gratitude to society establishes a more sustainable relationship that serves your business and the surrounding community within it to thrive. Over 60% of young people said they would like to work for corporations that endeavor to return favors to the community.

This involves your staff too, who respect working for corporations that appreciate giving to the society. Therefore, if a company is spreading out to a foreign market, a wise question to ask themselves is:

Can they prepare a plan to develop the community?

Many enterprises include contributions and donations into their marketing strategy. In the long run, this is a step every merchant must take in each society they inaugurate their business in.

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In Conclusion

Taking into account the range of the global market(s), comprehending each country can be an intimidating duty. In so many cases, corporations consider the foreign markets as if it is an extension of their own markets, and consequently failed to take a prominent footstep into other countries.

Even in public information media, campaigns that depend on literal translation strategy will eventually reach a halt, and thus new campaigns which incorporate native themes prepared in the nation’s own social environment must be carried out to achieve the best outcomes.

The translators and interpreters have to absorb the core concepts of the organization and the envisioned brand value to convey the same vision to the prospective customers.

Also, for online campaigns, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be customized to fit different cultures and countries, in other words, there is no universal message that equally works for all nations.

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