Global and Domestic Marketing

Jeanne Grunert
Consider many factors before marketing globally.

As you seek to promote your products, global and domestic marketing concerns need to be addressed. Depending upon where and how you market your products or services, you may need to consider domestic factors, global factors, or both global and domestic marketing factors.

Understanding Global and Domestic Marketing

When it comes to promoting a product or service, one size doesn't fit all. Certain aspects of the marketing plan may need to change depending on whether you are marketing domestically or globally.

Domestic Marketing

Domestic marketing means selling within one's own country. Typically, this is the first area where companies seek to market their goods or services. Because the market, customer needs, tastes, geography, demographics, and distribution methods are likely familiar, it's often the easiest place for companies to launch a product. The four P's of marketing - product, price, place and promotion - are often easier for companies to determine within the domestic market.

Global Marketing

Global marketing means to offer one's goods or services worldwide. Most companies begin marketing their goods or services within their country, and expand to the global market to capture greater market share and open up new avenues for sales.

Global Marketing Considerations

Global marketing is more complex, and must take into consideration numerous factors, including but not limited to:

  • Language and translation: While some countries share similar languages, every country has nuances of language that must be considered before marketing globally. English, for example, is a language spoken in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other countries, yet certain words mean certain things. Spanish is another language shared by millions worldwide, yet the Spanish spoken in Mexico differs from the Spanish spoken in Spain. Be sure to share marketing pieces with native speakers in the countries you target, even if the language is the same as your domestic market. You can avoid laughable mistakes and serious marketing blunders by having someone review marketing pieces.
  • Cultural considerations: As with language, cultures vary worldwide and marketing pieces must reflect cultural nuances accordingly. Some cultural differences are quite dramatic, while others are more subtle. In the United States, advertisements depicting scantily clad models sell everything from shaving products to soft drinks. In more conservative cultures, such advertisements would be offensive or even banned. Some cultures value abstract, clever advertisements, while others prefer direct messages. In addition to checking linguistic differences, it's wise to use a service that will also examine the cultural context of your marketing campaigns to avoid gaffes. Spending money on such a service may seem like an extravagance, but it will save money later by helping you avoid costly advertising and marketing mistakes. Many translation companies also offer cultural evaluations of marketing pieces.
  • Price and payment methods: Pricing products for a global marketplace can be tricky. In addition to online sellers needing currency converters or payment processing systems that accept multiple currencies, sellers must be aware of pricing sensitivities by country, by product and by market. Before launching your product into any global market, be sure to investigate the competition and competitive pricing models. Make sure your intended customers can afford your products. You may need to price them different depending on whether or not you are selling domestically or globally.
  • Marketing methods and the media mix: Some marketing methods, such as websites and print advertisements, are used in most countries. Other methods, like direct mail, are new. Many countries with large rural populations, such as China and India, may not have as robust a mail service as industrialized countries. Other countries may rely more heavily on radio or television rather than printed messages to share new and information. Be sure to know and understand the audience in the countries you are targeting before investing in any media. As with all aspects of marketing, knowing the audience for your products and services as well as you know yourself is the key to success.
  • Distribution methods and shipping concerns: Worldwide shipping must take into consideration costs, time delays, and country restrictions. Each country has its own laws governing what goods may be imported. Companies must comply with all importation laws, and must be willing to invest the time into learning the various rules and regulations concerning exports and imports. If your company is located in the United States and you are shipping globally, check the U.S. Postal Service's website to learn about any restrictions. The site offers guidance on restricted goods and services and other considerations.

The Global Market

With the Internet offering information worldwide 24/7, anyone, anywhere may visit your website and inquire about the goods, service, or information that you offer. Be sure to do your homework and thoroughly research language, culture, marketing, and shipping considerations before actively pursuing global business. Investing the time and effort prior to global marketing launches ensures that any money spent on the actual marketing campaign is worth the effort, and helps companies avoid costly mistakes. Global and domestic marketing each offer advantages and disadvantages, and only after carefully studying all aspects of the business can you determine if marketing domestically or globally is right for your company.

Global and Domestic Marketing