Sanjeewaka Kulathunga presents a marketing strategy to master the global landscape

Thinking global and acting local is a popular marketing strategy that has become more applicable and relevant in the context of globalised business, where there are few geographical or national boundaries in relation to the free movement of goods and services.

Businesses are no longer in a position to avoid the reality and importance of incorporating ‘glocalised’ strategies to their set of marketing tools.

Due to rapid economic globalisation, companies are compelled to follow and adopt creative global marketing strategies, in order to seek and expand their potential customer base around the world – and grow their businesses.

Popular global brands such as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and KFC have successfully executed a glocalised strategy to build their business empires around the world.

Designing global marketing strategies requires substantial capital investment, and human and technological resources, to understand the various markets, cultures, local traditions and etiquettes of different countries that influence consumer tastes. For instance, McDonald’s has made variations to its menus according to local tastes – e.g. green chilli cheeseburgers in Mexico and teriyaki burgers in Japan etc.

There is a huge weight on the shoulders of marketing professionals to expand their reach and engage with prospective consumers in various countries. Prior to crafting a unified global marketing strategy, a major effort is required to conduct marketing research on potential consumer behaviours and preferences by considering various factors and thereby create an effective global marketing plan.

When marketers decide to take their products and services to the global arena, they need to have a complete understanding of the business environment in which they’ll operate and compete with rival companies.

Succeeding in the global market doesn’t merely mean a change in language to reach consumers in a prospective region. Marketing and brand managers should design a global marketing plan that is consistent with specific consumer requirements – and indeed, the social, cultural and economic environment in the region – by adjusting their products and services in a marketable way.

Having acquired insights into the global market environment, marketers will be capable of outlining a course of action to be implemented while achieving specific, measurable and realistic marketing objectives within the expected time frame.

In reaching global consumers through the internet and digitalised platforms, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter, marketers are ever ready to embrace changes that occur in terms of consumer behaviours, and the social and economic environment in a targeted market, and to be proactive to adapt and customise their marketing strategies according to a given scenario.

Furthermore, a strategy that is effective in one potential market may not be relevant and successful in another. In this case, the most important marketing initiative is to tailor consumers for products or services by customising their experiences and feelings with respect to the products.

Simply designing and executing a global marketing strategy based on a plan does not mean that marketers will localise their marketing efforts to reach global consumers. It is not only about being aware of language barriers to amend the marketable message for every potential market; it’s also crucial to understand the various cultural and social values.

Based on the above, global marketing strategies are required to be tailored to create a more personalised consumer experience that is endemic to social, cultural and economic backgrounds.

In global marketing, the categorisation of potential markets based on nationality and geographical region isn’t sufficient. Several factors need to be considered – and they include a uniform brand name, identical packaging, similar product and service quality, standardised but customised advertising initiatives, synchronised pricing, and harmonious sales and marketing campaigns for productive global marketing.

Globally renowned corporations have been able to create a consistent and strong brand culture across various markets around the world. Accordingly, these companies have been successful in making their brands familiar to customers.

With the rapid expansion of the internet, brand structuring has been transformed into more of a brand culture with which consumers are starting to interact more than ever before. Brands that are marketed globally should have a local identity while ensuring consistent product or service quality across borders.

Making sure that global marketing strategies are backed by up-to-date global knowledge and local insights will be the key to successful penetration of markets around the world.