The global marketing. The local markets.

Global firms concentrate their marketing efforts in advertising and promotions. They rely on the power and reputation of their brand and often practice locally a special type of marketing.

Instead of directly engaging their local partners in adapting global strategies to achieve long-term effect and align the goals and results of their campaigns with local culture and local market peculiarities, they emphasise on campaigns with the same creatives, videos and tactics.

Who wins and who loses from such a behaviour?

1.Global companies

Global companies strive for global or regional supremacy regardless of whether they sell FMCG, industrial goods or services. They know that their aggregated results are evolving at a certain pace and tend to be more growth-oriented than long-term validation of their positions in each individual market. More important is whether a country is present on their market map than whether they have true information and a sense of local consumers and whether their long positions in this market are successful. Their brands are known and demanded by the users. These companies are convinced that they are the preferred partner of any local company.

From a similar policy, global companies win rapid expansion and effective advertising campaigns with optimal expenses.

But what can they lose? It is possible that the local culture contradicts the global marketing approach. In this case there could be the following risks for the global companies:

  • Their products to be badly accepted on the local market
  • Their global competitors to be more successful in a certain market
  • Their local competitors to receive bigger chance to take a significant market share.
2. Competitors

The direct competitors for a given market will try to benefit from all your failures – global, international and local companies. They are constantly lurking about the unsuccessful marketing initiatives of their competitors. Sometimes, a marketing project, which is inconsistent with the specifics of a given country and the preferences of the local users, can give a great chance to a local company to develop its business.

There are many examples – in some countries a local Cola-like beverages are sold better than the original Cola, the American car brands are not preferred in Western Europe… Besides local protectionism, this can be explained by the reluctance of big brands to deepen in the needs and habits of the local consumers.

The success of the Bulgarian yogurt in Japan is a good example of the reverse policy. It shows how an unknown product from a distant and small country can become a favorite of generations of foreigners, if you follow a long-term strategy to impose it on the local market, combined with the right partnerships and with respect for local customers.

3. Local partners

The most complicated seems to be the situation of the local partners. Engaging to represent a global company on certain market, in most cases they have gone through a tiring and sometimes humiliating procedure of checking their results, market knowledge and technical capacity.

Often, the demands to the local partners exceed the commitments of the global company, including as a financial investment. They pay for the training or certification of their specialists or to obtain their partner status, and in 90% of the cases they finance the marketing campaigns in the country. Against binding to difficult to achieve trading quotas, under continuous monitoring.

In the majority of the cases, of course, the local partners do not receive exclusive rights and at any moment they may got awaken by the news of one more local competitors in the market or even worse – with the news that the global company has decided to open a direct representation in the country…

4. Consumers

After all, it’s like there’s someone who wins from this whole situation – consumers. Of course, not today and immediately, but in a long-term.

Because the market does not tolerate heedless and pompous suppliers as well as empty spaces. If there is a need for a certain product, the correct supplier will appear! and sooner or later the suppliers, who adjust the qualities of their products with attention to local culture and consumer habits, will prove to be the preferred by the local customers. And the consumers will get their irresistible offers.

The conclusion is simple and obvious: only global marketing, truly adapted to the requirements of individual markets, can be successful in the long run!

This post was initially published on 20 April 2008 here.



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Pavlina D. Kozarova

Pavlina has worked for 20+ years as marketing specialist and business development manager in several Bulgarian and international IT and consulting firms. Her expertise is in the fields of project planning and management, business development, marketing & sales, innovation development and commercialization. Pavlina runs consultancy business with www.primavera88.com