The commercial actions of companies in the international arena should be preceded by a careful marketing strategy, as it brings some challenges. The “science” behind these actions and their implications is known as global marketing (or international marketing) which, according to some definitions, is a process that aims to optimize resources and guide the goals of an organization through the opportunities of a global market.
According to Philip Kotler – widely recognized as one of the currently leading authorities on the subject – marketing is “a social and managerial process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating, offering and exchanging products of value with others.” This is a general definition, and we know that, from this concept, management of marketing involves several aspects, like planning, research, market knowledge and segmentation, among others.
In order to understand global marketing, we should start from generic marketing and then distinguish the peculiarities in its “international version”. It can be said that, from the international point of view, the main difference between global and local marketing is the target market, which happens to be in another country. Most other components of marketing remain the same, with a need to tailor strategies to the characteristics of each particular nation, in its economic, socio-cultural, political/legal, financial and technological aspects.
Global marketing is, then, very important to internationalize a business, and preparing a good strategy for it has obviously some advantages:
- reduction of cost inefficiencies and of duplication of efforts between national and regional subsidiaries;
- opportunities to the transfer products, brands and ideas to other subsidiaries;
- appearance of global clients;
- improvement of the ties between national infrastructures, leading to the development of a global marketing infrastructure.
Global marketing requires a”think globally and act regionally” strategy. Given that this type of marketing has all the components of traditional marketing (like the need for planning, market and trends research, product definition, and communication strategies), but requires an adaptation to distinct aspects such as social, racial, regional, political, economic situation, respect for international and exchange rules, it is necessary to conduct a thorough research on target country or countries, to anticipate every situation, avoid mistakes, and ensure that the market plan is ready and strong.
To know a bit more about this subject, check the FAO's Guide to Global Marketing.