Global marketing is defined as the process of adjusting the marketing strategies of your company to adapt to the conditions of other countries. Of course, global marketing is more than selling your product or service globally. It is the full process of planning, creating, positioning, and promoting your products in a global market.

Big businesses usually have offices abroad for countries they market to. Currently, with the proliferation of the internet, even small businesses can reach consumers anywhere in the world. If a business chooses not to extend internationally, it can face domestic competition from international companies that are extending their international presence. The presence of this competition almost makes it a requirement for many businesses to have an international presence.

There are many benfits of global marketing, when it is done right.

  • First, it can improve the effectiveness of your product or service. This is because the more you grow, the more you learn, and the faster you learn, you become more effective at producing new product or service offerings.
  • Second, you are able to have a strong competitive advantage. It is easy enough for companies to be competing in the local market. But there are very few companies who can do so on the worldwide arena. Hence, if you can compete in the worldwide market and your competitors cannot, you have become a strong force in your industry!
  • Third, you increase consumer awareness of your brand and product or service. Through the internet, consumers can keep track of your progress in the world.
  • Finally, global marketing can reduce your costs and increase your savings. In focusing on other markets, you can attain economies of scale and range by standardizing your processes – not to mention the savings that you get when you leverage the internet!

Companies evolving towards global marketing are actually quite gradual. The first stage has the company concentrating on the domestic side, with its activities focused on their home market. Stage two has the company still focusing domestically but has exports. By stage three, the company has realized that they need to adapt their marketing geared towards overseas. The concentration moves from multinational. Thus, adaption has become crucial. The fourth and last stage has the company creating value when it extends its programs and products to serve worldwide markets. Definitely, there are no definite time periods to this evolution process.

Global Marketing: Strategies, Definition, Issues, Examples

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After defining global marketing (including its uses and evolution), this article will be discussing the different aspects of global marketing: its strategies, campaign development, issues and mistakes, as well as standout examples.


Global marketing strategies are actually important parts of a global strategy. In order to create a good global marketing strategy, you must be able to answer: “What I am trying to achieve in an international market?” “What are my company’s strengths and weaknesses for that market?” “How can I counter challenges in the market?” “What potential will I have in this market?”

Moreover, a good global marketing strategy incorporates all the countries from all regions of the world and coordinates their marketing efforts accordingly. Of course, this strategy does not always cover all the countries but should be applied for particular regions. For example, you can break down regions like North America, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, and Africa.

Beyond its breakdown per country or region, a global marketing strategy almost always consists of several things: (1) uniform brand names; (2) identical packaging; (3) similar products; (4) standardized advertising messages; (5) synchronized pricing; (6) coordinated product launches; and (7) harmonious sales campaigns.

As a whole, these two are the most well known global marketing strategies used by companies expanding internationally:

  • Create a consistent and strong brand culture. Creating a strong and consistent brand that always seems familiar to customers is a priority for companies growing internationally. With the ever-more rising and expanding internet, brand structure has become more of a brand culture. To be more specific, it has become more prevalent nowadays that the brand you support reflects your culture. It can be damaging if you compromise your brand culture. For example, Google found out the hard way when it launched a self-censored search engine in China, even though China subjects its new media to government blocks. Google’s brand has been known to make the world access information at anytime. How can Google set up something in China against its own culture? As a result, customer backlash versus Google was substantial.
  • Market as if there were no borders. Due to the proliferation of digital platforms, brands cannot always adopt different strategies per country. In a way, due to the internet, companies have to adopt a marketing approach that is more or less unified.


In order to develop your campaign globally, there are a few things you should keep in mind. You have to know the market, you have to create a marketing plan, you should tailor fit your approach to marketing, and you should localize your communications.

Know Your Market

As soon as your company decides to extend your marketing worldwide, you have to understand the context of where you will be working. Every region has various behaviors and norms as it deals with marketing messages; how people would like to be contacted; and what is appropriate for that place, and the like.

You have to make sure that you research how the market will respond to the marketing strategy you have, so you can get much leverage from your new market.

Create a Marketing Plan

Becoming successful worldwide is not merely altering your language. You have to make your global marketing plan consistent with your local efforts. Yet it still needs to be customized, according to your regional knowledge. Once you have an insight of the global environment, draft a marketing plan that details your actions.

First, identify your objectives and goals. As soon as that has been established, draw a map that covers the overall strategy and techniques to attain those objectives.

Tailor Fit Your Approach

Keep in mind that what may have worked for your local audience may not translate as well to your foreign audience. Try to adapt your initiatives to your audience, giving them a tailor fit experience. Definitely, what works for one country may not work for another.

Localize Your Communications

It is not only relevant to know the language and cultural hurdles and adjusting your communications for every market, it is also critical to know all the cultural references and relevant holidays and events. You need to create a more personalized experience.

But make sure not to make international marketing mistakes when translating your brand message.


Companies, especially their marketing teams, often face the following issues and mistakes when expanding worldwide. These can become hurdles in achieving international success.

Non-Specification of Countries

Many businesspersons usually think of foreign markets vaguely, like they want to shift to Asia or they want to increase their growth by offering their products to Europe. It is problematic to take things too simply. Europe can mean the European Union, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and so on and so forth. Consumers always identify themselves at the local level and marketing teams have to remember that each country has its own norms, laws, payment types, and particular business practices.

By being specific in the start, companies can prioritize the markets they want to get into, generate a staffing plan, and allocate the budget. These are all important for a business to attain its global objectives.

No Focus on Internal Information

You have to conduct specialized and complicated market research when you are going to create a global market entry strategy. You would need to consider the potential opportunity in the market, how easy or hard it would be for your business to work in that market, and how successful you already are in the market.

There are a lot of companies that concentrated on outside data to help their decision-making, as described above. Nonetheless, you can simply use your own internal information to get the data, on whether there is a strong fit between your product or service and the market. Remember that data from third parties do not understand your company or even know your consumer. Only you have the best input on this.

Lack of Adaptation of Sales and Marketing Channels

Most Western companies think that they can go into new markets by doing the same things that brought them success domestically.

As previously mentioned, it is important to have brand consistency, but differing markets would like particular marketing approaches. Moreover, marketers have to consider at which channels it would be best to market, based on market behavior.

Case in point, for Brazil, marketing campaigns are more successful through Facebook because of its popularity there. However, in Latin America, you can draw in a bigger audience through Twitter. Hence, you may need to check which channels give you the best results through market research.

No Adaptation of Product Offerings

Business can only attain a fit between their product and the market one at a time. However, more often than not, businesses attempt to launch the same products in varying markets. In essence, they are ignoring that they are interacting with a different set of consumers.

Case in point, if a tech company sells a similar product abroad that it sells domestically and if the new customers do not know the advanced features of the product, the company could be in trouble. Alternatively, the company should begin with the basic version.

On the same note, a market that is more advanced might need additional features than what the product already has.

Non-Usage of Local Team Leads

Perhaps one of the usual mistakes companies make in global marketing is failing to consider the input of strong and competent employees in their foreign markets, especially when establishing strategic decisions.

These individuals are significant because they know their country and your company. Since one of the biggest issues businesses face when including local input is communication, the marketing team must have a system that guarantees that local perspectives are gathered and distributed often.

Lack of Knowledge on Global Logistics

Marketers often make use of software that allows them to publish website content, send email, publish updates on social media, and accomplish other marketing-related activities. However, these tools do not always support each market. For example, you have payment solutions only for a couple of countries, but your customer relationship management system has many contacts coming from a hundred countries.

Marketers have to guarantee that they could market to customers in the countries they are entering. They should consider how to display the local currency, how to email consumers in particular time zones, and how to support the languages of the consumers.


If you are searching for inspiration on how to market your company successfully in the international arena, check out these examples from well known companies.


Airbnb is for people who book and list accommodations all over the world. Generally, it is a community marketplace that has more than a million listings in more than 34,000 cities in the world. Airbnb became very successful globally because of social media. In 2015, Airbnb began a social media campaign using the #OneLessStranger hashtag.

This social experiment had Airbnb asking its community to do random acts of hospitality for people they did not know and take a photograph or video with them and share by making use of the hashtag. In only 3 weeks after the campaign was launched, more than 3 million people created content, engaged, or talked about the campaign.


Even though Coca-Cola is a big corporation, it also concentrates on programs in small communities and infuses a lot of funds and time in small charities.

Case in point, Coco-Cola built 650 clean water installations in Beni, Suef in Egypt and sponsored meals (Ramadan) for children in the Middle East. Moreover, the brand goes with an emotion that everyone knows — happiness.


Domino’s positioned menu innovation in the forefront to increase its international awareness and interest. They have consistent items for the pizza in all markets like their sauce, bread, and cheese, where it works anywhere.

They just update the toppings for every market. If it is Asia, they have fish and seafood, for example.

Dunkin’ Donuts

Did you know that Dunkin’ Donuts China has seaweed and dry pork donuts? With thousands of stores in over 30 countries worldwide, Dunkin’ Donuts updated its menus to satisfy its international consumers.

In Lebanon, they have the Mango Chocolate Donut; in South Korea, they have the Grapefruit Coolatta; and in Russia, they have Dunclairs!


H&M almost always increases its store openings by 10 to 15 percent each year. One of the secrets of their global expansion is maximizing their online experience.

Innocent Drinks

A leading smoothie company in the United Kingdom, Innocent Drinks can be found in 13 countries all over Europe. Even with its wide reach, they still maintain consistent branding.

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Kentucky Fried Chicken was able to do something quite interesting. In Japan, they were able to connect their products with Christmas. So every Christmas, Japanese line up at their nearest KFC for some chicken!


Even though McDonald’s keeps its branding consistent, McDonald’s tries to bring in some local flavor to particular menu items. McDonald’s has the McArabia in the Middle East—this is a flatbread sandwich. It also introduced France to its macaroons and included the McSpaghetti in the Philippines. In Mexico, they have a green chili cheeseburger and in South Korea, they have bulgogi burgers.


Nike has evolved his international presence by carefully selecting international sponsorships.

Even though spending for sponsorships is quite unpredictable, demand costs usually rise sharply because of triggers such as tournaments and championships. This has captured the attention of the international arena.

Red Bull

One of Red Bull’s successful techniques is hosting extreme sports in the world. They have the Red Bull Air Race in the U.K., the Red Bull Soapbox Race in Jordan, and the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.


Starbucks adjusts its menu for local tastes. For Hong Kong, they have Dragon Dumplings, for example. The company has had a wide reputation for the engagement of local cultures.

Unger and Kowitt

Unger and Kowitt is a law firm that focuses on traffic tickets in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Although its focus is in Florida, the business knows that the U.S. has many languages and cultures. So its website is translated to English, Portuguese, Spanish, and Creole.

World Wildlife Foundation

The World Wildlife Foundation or the WWF is known for its Earth Hour initiative and moved it to the mobile audience of Norway. Earth Hour is an international voluntary event wherein participants turn their lights off for 1 hour to show the ease of fighting climate change. Since Norway experiences long daylight hours, it is a great candidate for WWF’s initiative.

By using Mobiento, a digital agency, the WWF positioned their Blackout Banner on the top media sites of Norway. When someone would finger swipe on the black screen, it would gradually show the countdown for Earth Hour. This banner got around a million impressions. The campaign also received marketing awards for its ingenuity.

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