12 Global Marketing Strategies & Examples of Innovative Companies

Updated Aug 3, 2022.
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Global marketing has long been considered the preserve of brands with the deepest pockets. After all, how was a small, up-and-coming rand supposed to compete with multinational brands like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s back in the old days?

These days, however, a lot has changed in the global marketing space and much of this change has been spurred by technological advancement. What used to be reserved for the corporate elite is now available to even the youngest startups.

In fact, these days, it is mandatory to compete on a global scale as no company can insulate itself from global marketing by staying in its domestic market or in a select few markets.

If you refuse to expand into international markets, you can rest assured that the competition will expand into your market.

But where do you start with global marketing? What even is global marketing? Read on to find out.

What is a Global Marketing Strategy?

Global marketing is an internalization strategy in which a company designs or modifies its products to suit global consumer requirements. In other words, it involves tweaking a product to focus on the needs of potential consumers in other markets.

The company creates an overarching strategy for the 4Ps of marketing its product, planning, production, placement, and promotion.

As with everything else concerning marketing, successful global marketing comes down to knowing your audience. You must know who needs your product and in what form they need it, as well as how best to market it to them while adhering to the tenets that make up your brand.

A global marketing strategy will require you to carry out fresh market research to identify those countries where your product has the highest likelihood of success. Then you can localize your brand to fit the new market, although this isn’t always necessary.

One thing to note, though, is that global marketing is not the process of creating a standardized process that you then take to a global level.

While some aspects of your brand will be standardized—like your name and logo, though brands sometimes use different names in different territories for myriad reasons—other aspects—like your messaging, packaging, PR, advertising, and preferred channels—might not be as effective for your global marketing strategy and will need to be changed.

As an example, while Facebook marketing might be very effective for you in the U.S., it might be less effective in Japan—where Twitter is more popular than Facebook—or not at all in China—where it has virtually no footprint.

All that being said, there’s a subtle but otherwise clear distinction between international marketing and global marketing and the two shouldn’t be mistaken for each other.

International Marketing vs Global Marketing

While both terms sound similar, they are two different stages of international business operations or internationalization.

In global marketing, all marketing operations are carried out from the company’s headquarters while goods and services are sold worldwide. But in International marketing, the company establishes subsidiaries in their target markets to create and execute marketing strategies that are most suitable for those markets.

There are many other areas in which these two differ and some of them are highlighted below.

  • Scope: In global marketing, the company applies a single marketing strategy for a product worldwide. But in international marketing, the company penetrates the prospective markets and engages directly in the local marketing environment, creating individual strategies for each market.
  • Product or service offerings: In global marketing, the product or service is the same everywhere while in international marketing, the product or service is customized to each market. In this case, an example of global marketing would be Apple or Coca-Cola, both of which sell the same product in every part of the world. Dunkin’ Donuts, however, is a classic example of international marketing, selling Seaweed Donuts in China and Grapefruit Coolatta Donuts in South Korea.
  • Marketing team: Companies that adopt global marketing often employ cross-cultural marketing personnel at the head office. On the other hand, companies that adopt international marketing employ native marketing personnel located directly in the target foreign markets.
  • Marketing R & D: Global marketing always requires intense market research since the company might not be physically present in the target market. But international marketing requires significantly less market research since the company already has a physical presence in the target market.
  • Customer engagement: The distance means that there’ll be less direct engagement with the customer in global marketing. But the local presence and multiple open communication channels necessitated by an international marketing strategy give its practitioners an edge in this regard.
  • Marketing autonomy and budget: In global marketing, the company’s headquarters controls the budget and all marketing efforts while in international marketing, budgeting is performed at the local level and autonomy is devolved to the local level.
  • Social media marketing: A company with a global marketing strategy will have unified social media pages for its global operations while a company with an international marketing strategy will have social media pages for every country in which they have operations.

Why Your Business Needs to Use Global Marketing Strategies

After all that’s been said so far, the question is, do you really need a global marketing strategy for your business? What good would it actually do you and your business?

No matter the size of your business, if a global marketing strategy is properly executed, it can confer several benefits to your organization. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

1. Economies of Scale and Scope

Entering new markets can unlock previously untapped opportunities for economies of scale and scope through standardization in certain areas, resulting in cost savings that you can pass on to the customer to further solidify your competitive position, or that you can allow to flow down to the bottom line.

There are also cost savings that accrue from leveraging the internet to sell globally. From a single contact point such as a blog, website, or even something as simple as a Facebook page, customers from across the globe can find you and you can reach out to them.

2. Greater Competitive Advantage

When you compete on a global level against companies that compete at a local level, you stand head and shoulders above the competition and separate yourself from the pack. You can more readily adapt as necessitated by trends in the global marketplace and customer demands.

3. Improved Products and Services

The more you grow, the faster you learn. And the faster you learn, the better you become at releasing new products and services that more effectively and efficiently meet the needs of your customers.

4. Stronger Customer Awareness

By expanding your business into other markets, you introduce your brand, products, and services to more and more people. And the more people there are who know about your brand, the faster it grows, leading to stronger customer awareness. Think of it as a network effect of sorts.

How to Execute Your Global Marketing Campaign

Before attempting to create a global marketing strategy, you must first take stock of your product or service and answer the following questions as honestly as possible:

  • Is the product suitable for foreign markets?
  • Can the offering be adapted to the needs of new customers that might speak different languages and have different cultural sensibilities?
  • What would be required to get the brand up and running in the new overseas markets? Would you need to establish relationships with physical shipping providers or create those services for yourself? Would you need to upgrade the brand’s current website? Would you need to develop new downloadable digital products? These are just some of the questions you must ask.

When you’re certain that your brand can be more successful by going global, then you can get down to creating purpose-built global marketing campaigns for your international audience.

Let’s examine how to do this.

Know Your Local Markets, Local Culture, and Buyer Persona

Taking your company global requires that you understand the context of where you will be working.

Every region has its peculiar cultures, traditions, and behaviors when it comes to dealing with marketing messages, how they prefer to be contacted, what is considered appropriate and what is not, and so on. To succeed in any market, you can’t afford to ignore these things.

This is why it is vital to perform global market research before taking your product or service global.

You must find out everything that you can about your target audience, including their local culture, interests, age, gender, personal interests, and any other important demographic information to help you create a detailed buyer persona and nail down a solid global marketing strategy.

Understanding the local culture is extremely important. You must recognize and understand the differences in languages, dialects, politics, terminology, holidays, and even seemingly trivial things like units of measure so that you can create content that different international audiences can relate to and engage with.

Data analytics tools like Google Analytics will prove useful for helping you capture and analyze the demographics of your audience, including audiences from other countries. Google Analytics is particularly useful for showing what parts of the world you get most of your traffic from.

The point of all these is to understand your customer because, at the end of the day, they are the sole judge of how successful your marketing is. And there’s no better way to understand your customer than by creating a buyer persona.

There are many ways to create a buyer persona but most of them follow a similar process, although they might employ different techniques. At its core, the process can be distilled into four distinct steps.

Step 1: Determine Your Persona Research Criteria

Buyer personas help you dig deeper into who your target customers are and their motivations, as well as their vocabulary or lingo, the influencers they follow, where they hang out online, the marketing strategies that they respond best to, and so on.

A lot goes into creating a single buyer persona so it might not be practical to try to create several of them just yet. But sometimes, you’ll have to create multiple buyer personas, especially if you offer a B2B product or service that involves different types of buyers.

But for a start, you should focus on research criteria that target only your most ideal customers. For existing businesses, a client audit is the best way to determine who your most valuable customers are and, therefore, who you should create your buyer persona around.

For the most part, you’ll want to focus on only the handful of customers who bring in the most money for your business—remember the 80/20 rule.

You should also take this a step further and identify negative personas—that is, those clients with the lowest scores. These are clients that you want to avoid targeting.

Doing this allows you to focus on targeting and serving clients that will move the needle in your business.

Step 2: Gather Reliable Data on Your Ideal Customer Base

Now that you know who your ideal customer is, you can start gathering customer data. Whatever you do, you must focus on collecting primary data rather than operating off conjecture and assumptions.

Your intuition most likely won’t serve you well here. Studies show that most businesses do not understand the core concerns and motivations of their customers. So, unsurprisingly, 34% of people in the US have ended relationships with brands because of poor, irrelevant, or disruptive marketing messages.

This is why it is important to base your buyer personas on real data that goes beyond ordinary demographics and includes details about their work, goals and objectives, obstacles, objections, and every other piece of information you can lay your hands on.

There are several ways to collect reliable data about your customers and you can combine some or even all of them to get as much data as possible. Here are a few of them:

  • Interview those members of your team that interact directly with customers: This includes salespeople, managers, customer support, etc. You can do this by sending out surveys, holding workshops, holding one-on-one meetings with your top agents, senior sales or account reps, or other key customer-facing staff.
  • Interview a sample of your clients, both good and bad: This can be quite demanding to pull off, but your customers are the most reliable source of information about themselves when it comes to building personas. Talking to clients that you’ve had bad relationships with is equally important because it will help you better understand what’s wrong with your value proposition. You can use incentives like coupons, gift cards, and so on to make customers more willing to talk to you. You can also hold the interviews over the phone to reduce the friction involved in getting them to give you feedback. Just bear in mind that face-to-face interviews are often much better as people open up to people. To avoid wasting a lot of time on this stage, you should limit interviews to five people per persona, or at least stop interviewing more people when the answers start becoming predictable.

Step 3: Organize All That Data

Now, you must organize all the data gathered into a spreadsheet. Some key data points to focus on at this stage include:

  • Demographics: These include details like age, gender, job title, income level, and so on. They help you understand your customers on a more granular level and tailor your marketing accordingly.
  • Firmographics: You use these when creating personas for B2B buyer personas. Data gathered here include company type, industry, revenue, location, size, number of employees, etc.
  • Titles: Assigning titles to a persona adds a layer of depth to your personas and improves your targeting. You won’t pitch a 6-figure employee the same way you would pitch a 60-year-old stock market investor. So, they would have completely different titles.
  • Goals and challenges: These help you to know what makes your ideal customers tick. What keeps them up at night? What do they really want to accomplish? How can your business help them accomplish these goals?
  • Real Quotes: These will be real, direct quotes from your customers. They come from interviews with customers and are particularly useful for creating irresistible copy that’ll make your targets feel like you can read their minds.
  • Common objections: Ignoring objections—such as price, a lousy reputation, quality issues, etc—will only create gaps in your marketing. You must tackle them head-on; think of them as a great way to identify gaps in your value proposition.
  • Elevator pitch: This is a pithy, persuasive pitch that summarizes your value proposition by combining your product/service with the motivations of your persona. The best ones are simple, free of fluff, and straight-to-the-point.

Step 4: Model the Persona

After gathering and organizing your data, you need to turn each customer segment into a visual buyer persona. This is important because it’s much easier to use a visual persona than a spreadsheet.

That said, you can’t incorporate every piece of information you have on your target audience into your visual persona. Instead, you should keep things simple and focus on the most important factors like their behavioral drivers (goals and objectives), obstacles (objections and concerns), and mindset (expectations and preconceived notions).

Give your buyer persona a name and a face to bring it to life. But don’t worry about finding the perfect name or face. Even a made-up name is excellent and the image can pretty much be a royalty-free image downloaded off a stock photo website like Unsplash or Shutterstock.

Finally, you can use a persona generator tool like Hubspot’s persona generator to create a nifty visual persona in mere minutes.

Here’s an example of an excellently executed visual buyer persona:

Buyer Persona Template Example
Source: Suttida

Tips for Performing Global Market Research

  • As much as possible, collect data directly from the foreign market you intend to enter through interviews, surveys, and any other means of direct contact with your potential customers in those markets.
  • Where you cannot gather information directly from customers in your target foreign markets, stick to gathering data from authoritative sources alone. Data from government agencies are usually freely available and are some of the most reliable sources of information.
  • Another place where you might find the data you need is in publications from your industry’s associations in your target foreign markets. These professional organizations often publish emerging trends of consumer preferences and technology, market statistics, and many other bits and pieces of information that you might find helpful.
  • Be wary of places where there is too much competition. While you’ll want to enter markets with the highest potential for profitability, you’ll also want to avoid excessive, cutthroat competition. While you’re at it, consider your competitors’ prices and pricing policy.
  • In addition to evaluating the competition and the profit potential of your target market, make sure to also consider economic forecasts for the region, political stability, and industry-specific reports.

Having performed your global market research, you should be able to confidently answer the following questions:

  • What foreign markets are most in need of your offering?
  • Who are your competitors in those markets? How established are their brands? How are their products priced? What is their unique selling point?
  • What—if any—certifications, testing, and standards are you required to have to operate in those markets?
  • How—if at all—must your offering be modified to meet the legal or consumer requirements in those regions?
  • Can your offering be reasonably priced so that it can be afforded by consumers in those markets and still generate a profit?
  • What are the other possible costs that you might incur from your incursion into the new markets?
  • What would be the best means of distribution for your company?

Your answers to these questions will help you decide if moving into your target markets would be worth it or not.

Differentiate Your Product Offering if Buyer Preferences Differ Significantly

Head into a McDonald’s in India and you might be surprised to see McSpicy Paneer—which is a fried curd cheese patty topped with red cabbage, lettuce, and tandoori sauce served on a sesame roll—on the menu.

In Japan, you’ll find the McDonald’s Cheese Katsu Burger.

And in Italy, you’ll find Crock Brie, which are triangles of deep-fried, oozing brie cheese covered in breadcrumbs.

These are all products that you might not find in any McDonald’s in any other country. The point is that McDonald’s understands the importance of localizing its menus to suit local tastes.

They know that there’s nothing universal about consumer tastes, interests, and preferences; these things differ between countries, customs and traditions, climatic zones, and GDP levels.

On the flip side, McDonald’s also recently faced backlash and boycotts threats in India for serving halal meat in a country where 84% of the population is Hindu, proving again—albeit from the negative side—the importance of paying attention to differences in buyer preferences across markets.

Several other brands also adopt this wildly successful local flavoring strategy to great success.

For example, while Domino’s Pizza uses seafood for its toppings in much of Asia, it uses curry in India to match local preferences.

Dunkin’ Donuts has its Dunclairs in Russia, its Grapefruit Coolata in South Korea, its dry pork and seaweed donuts in China, and its Mango Chocolate Donuts in Lebanon.

The automobile industry also isn’t left out. An example is the Japanese automaker, Suzuki. Suzuki’s SX-4 model is available in European markets as a hatchback, in the US as an SUV, in India as a sedan, and in many other markets as a crossover.

In each case, the fuel variants, engine power, and other design specifications were altered to suit local preferences. As such, it has been one of the most talked-about vehicles since its launch in 2006.

The bottom line is that what sells well in one country might not sell as well in other countries.

Factors That Could Influence Your Need for Differentiation

Before attempting to expand into other markets, you must first work out the following:

  • Do your product’s brand and messaging translate well in local languages? It is crucial to ensure that there’s nothing that can be misunderstood or considered offensive in the local language of your target market.
  • Are there any existing trademarks that might affect your business? This could require you to alter your brand. For example, in Australia, Burger King is known as Hungry Jacks because there was already another restaurant called Burger King there.
  • Are there any government regulations that might apply to your offering that you need to be aware of? Every government has different trade and marketing laws. So, you need to ensure that there are no laws preventing you from entering your target market (such as excessive tariffs or an outright embargo on your kind of product). You should also consider local tax implications.

Logistics could also be another factor that forces differentiation on you. In such a case, it could be an opportunity to work with new, local suppliers and generate buzz about how you’re helping the local economy by supporting local businesses.

A natural extension of working with local suppliers, one way to quickly master the market and create properly differentiated products is to partner with a local company that understands that market really well. In most cases, this is faster than having to develop that expertise on your own.

In fact, no amount of money spent on mass media campaigns and pumped into marketing and distribution can replace a deep understanding of the market. It’s a prerequisite for success and the best and fastest way to acquire this market knowledge is through a partnership with a local company in the same industry.

One example of such a successful joint venture is Starbucks’ foray into India, which was accomplished via a joint venture with Tata.

These joint ventures can be for a specified period after which both companies can go their separate ways and launch independent brands.

Create a Thorough Localized Marketing Plan

Just as your product has to be localized to fit different tastes in different markets, your marketing also has to be localized. Any marketing campaign that does not consider and respect the cultures, traditions, and sentiments of the consumer is bound to fail.

This is why it pays to employ local talent in marketing and branding; local talent will bring a greater understanding of the peculiar tastes and attitudes in the region to the campaign and ensure that the right messaging is delivered in your branding and marketing promotions.

One extremely important thing to take note of when branding across different countries is the meaning of your brand name. It is vital to perform research on what the words in your name mean in your target countries. Many brands have failed miserably because of this.

For example, Chevrolet’s Nova failed miserably in Spain despite being a good product because its name ‘nova” translates to ‘not going’ in Spanish which isn’t a good name for an automobile by any stretch of the imagination.

In France, Colgate’s brand, Cue, couldn’t escape the association with a popular, similarly-named pornographic magazine and failed as a result.

And Nike once had to recall its products that featured a logo that resembled ‘Allah’ in Arabic.

Improper branding can damage a company’s reputation and cost it all its marketing efforts.

This is one reason why many brands often sell their products under different names in different countries. For example, Rexona is known as Rexena in Japan and South Korea, Sure in the United Kingdom, Ireland and India, Shield in South Africa, and Degree in the United States and Canada.

In addition to paying attention to what your branding could mean in other regions, here are some additional tips for localizing your marketing plan:

Localize Your Messaging

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it bears repeating that every region will respond to marketing messages differently. There could be subtle differences like how Burger King does not use any emojis on its Facebook Ads in the US while its Australian arm, Hungry Jack’s uses them in all of its Facebook Ads.

Or it could be the pain points addressed in your copy that you localize, just like QuickBooks does. In the US, the homepage of its website talks about saving time with the organization you get from using the product while in the UK, it talks about taking VAT returns digitally.

As you expand globally, you must pay attention to such seemingly small details in your messaging and find out what resonates the most with each distinct audience.

Take Advantage of the Power of Social Media

The most powerful tool available today to reach a global audience is undeniably social media. Facebook would be the appropriate medium for campaigns that contain lots of images and videos with mess text while Twitter would prove more effective for industry marketing news globally, especially for B2B products.

There’s no major brand today that doesn’t have a stellar social media presence, including Coca-Cola, Samsung, Unilever, PepsiCo, Glaxo, and so on.

Maximize Events and Promotions

If there is one thing some of the biggest brands in the world know, it’s that sports and entertainment events are excellent avenues for promoting brands. And no one exploits this better than Red Bull.

Red Bull has parlayed its wildly successful strategy of sponsoring extreme sports events globally—like the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, UK’s Red Bull Air Race, and many others—into a whopping 43% share of the global energy drinks market.

Pay Attention to Pricing and Packaging

People in emerging and frontier markets are more sensitive to pricing than those in developed markets and this makes sense, seeing as income levels are generally lower in those countries.

So, while it might make sense to sell shampoos and oils in 250 – 500 ml bottles in more developed countries like the US and Canada, you would see greater patronage if you offer the same in smaller sachets of 50 – 100 ml in less developed countries to cater to lower-income customers.

By changing the size of the packaging, you can make the product more accessible for those that earn lower incomes.

Another industry that shows the disparity in price sensitivity between countries is the fast-food industry. In most North American and European markets, fast food is considered inexpensive. But in emerging markets, that’s hardly the case.

In fact, it’s possible to have tea and snacks in India for just 15 rupees ($0.20) while the simplest snack at KFC may cost upwards of 50 rupees ($0.67).

Utilize Areas of Local Strength to Maximum Advantage

In many developing countries, there aren’t as many large malls and commercial centers as in developed nations. But there is usually a strong network of smaller corner shops and convenience stores—known as konbini in Japan or kirana in India.

You cannot afford to ignore the strength of these sales networks in your marketing strategy if you must succeed in those markets. Even Amazon delivers its products through local konbini in Japan.

This is just an example of how you have to take advantage of the strengths of any given market to achieve your marketing goals.

Allocate Marketing Budget for Each Market, Customer Segment, and Product Segment

No matter how much money you throw at a marketing strategy, it won’t be successful unless you spend money on the right things. Allocating your marketing budget strategically is crucial to successful marketing and it can get overwhelming if you’re not sure how to go about it.

But even before you start deciding how best to allocate your marketing budget, you must know how much you intend to spend overall. The size of your marketing budget will be determined by your goals and how much you have.

That said, one good rule to keep in mind here is to only spend money that you can afford to lose because results are never guaranteed in marketing. Keeping this rule in mind will help you avoid overspending and regretting it later.

After determining your marketing budget, you can then get to work on how best to allocate it following the four steps outlined below:

1. Set Marketing Goals

Setting goals for your marketing strategy is the crucial first step to creating a successful plan for your marketing budget. It is your goals that will determine what channels and strategies you will use and how best to allocate your budget to those strategies and channels.

Your marketing goals must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound). For example, a SMART goal could be to “increase profit by 25% by the end of the quarter” or “generate 15 new leads by the end of the month.”

2. Create a Marketing Plan for the Year

After setting your goals, the next step is to create a rough marketing plan for the year, making sure to keep your marketing goals and the buyer journey—how the customers go from first learning about your brand to becoming loyal customers and evangelists for your brand—at the top of your mind.

You need to select marketing channels based on your target audience’s preferences and how they prefer to be engaged.

Some segments are digitally native and would prefer a sales process that occurs 100% online while others will respond better to a direct mail sales campaign. You must focus on those channels that garner the highest engagement from your target customer segment.

Consider channels like search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, conversion rate optimization (CRO), email marketing, and social media marketing.

You also have to think about who will help you apply these tactics. Will your internal marketing team do the work or will you outsource it to an agency or freelancers? You could even use a combination of these methods.

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind when choosing marketing channels is the 70-20-10 rule, which means that you should allocate:

  • 70% of your budget to tested-and-trusted strategies that you know well,
  • 20% of your budget to new strategies that will help you grow your business,
  • and 10% to experimental strategies to keep you ahead of the competition.

3. Estimate Your Potential Costs and Marketing ROI (Return on Investment)

Having determined what channels you plan to use for your global marketing campaign, the next step is to estimate your potential marketing return on investment (ROI).

Of course, you can never know exactly how much ROI to expect from a marketing campaign, but an estimate could help you determine how much you need to allocate to each channel in order to achieve your goals.

Whatever you do, be careful to account for the less-obvious expenses like software and tools and potential failed attempts (like PPC or Facebook ads that don’t convert).

Possibly the best way to estimate marketing ROI is to look at ROI benchmarks for those channels in your industry. You can also look at the ROI of your past campaigns and the track record of the agency, freelancer, or marketing team you’ll be working with.

It goes without saying that you’d want to invest in higher-ROI strategies and channels.

4. Allocate Your Budget

Now that you have completed all the above steps, you’re ready to split your marketing spend across the channels you plan to use. As time goes on, you’ll want to rebalance the budget across your chosen channels.

For example, you might notice that you’re not meeting your targets for search engine traffic. So, you might shift some of your budget from other areas—such as PPC—to SEO and content marketing.

Whatever you do, make sure that your marketing campaigns target people that are most likely to buy from you. Saturation marketing is a surefire way to drain a marketing budget quickly and most inefficiently.

In other words, blanketing an entire trade area with advertising is expensive and a low-ROI strategy because only a handful of the people exposed to your marketing with this strategy are actually qualified customers.

Track Your Global Marketing Metrics for Maximum ROI

You must carefully track your global marketing metrics and key performance indicators as your campaign runs to measure its success. It is with these metrics that you’ll know how best to reallocate your marketing budget to achieve your goals.

It might be a good idea to allocate more funding to campaigns that perform well while those that do not perform up to expectation should be re-evaluated. You might consider adjusting your approach, reducing the funding allocated to it, or scrapping that campaign altogether.

As much as possible, you must be careful about pulling funding from a channel that is important to achieving your goals.

As you adjust your marketing spending, remember to compile your campaign and ROI data so that you can use it to plan next year’s budget.

Known Issues with Running Global Marketing Programs

There are quite a few common pitfalls with rolling out a global marketing program. Here, we’ll examine five of them.

1. Identifying Accurate Buyer Personas

Two people of the same age group from different parts of the world are unlikely to want the same type of car, even though their motivations for buying a car might be the same.

Therefore, you must validate and update any globally inherited personas in a particular region before rolling out a marketing campaign based on that persona. In other words, you must tailor your campaign so that it’s relevant to the local market.

For example, while Norwegian males aged 14 – 25 prefer ice hockey to other sports, the same age group in neighboring Sweden prefers soccer. A marketing team for a sports shoe manufacturer, for example, will do well to take this into account when advertising its shoes in both regions.

2. Handling Customer Data

Even though many companies in the world today are centralizing their user data, it is still quite common that some countries have their own local technology for storing consumer data.

Since each region might have different laws governing data handling, such data often cannot be synced or shared. So, when rolling out global applications, the implementation must be such that there are configurable integrations to the relevant data management tools used by that market.

3. Creating and Agreeing on a Budget

It can be tricky and time-consuming to create and agree on a budget for a global marketing campaign. The key to getting around this problem is to provide proof of ROI.

For example, you can compare the cost of a single implementation estimate to the historical costs of campaigns in each region. So, if the cost of a local campaign is around $200,000, a global campaign that covers 50 countries would be expected to cost around $10,000,000.

4. Developing People and Capabilities

Creating and running marketing campaigns for a single region already takes a lot of skill and time. Tailoring that campaign for multiple regions is another matter entirely. It requires the total alignment and planning skills of a global marketing team.

If this process is not properly managed or some regions do not have the capabilities or requisite knowledge in place, it is likely to fail. But some global companies today still operate in silos and fail to communicate effectively with their counterparts.

5. Localization

Translating content might seem like an easy task that any half-fluent speaker or translator can handle. But you’d be better off using native speakers as they bring several major advantages to your content production.

Of these benefits, the most important is their intuitive ‘feel’ for the language and their unique ability to localize the text rather than just translate it literally.

Localization involves taking important things like idioms, cultural references, grammar, tone of voice, and local humor into account. Translation, on the other hand, ignores all of these things and focuses instead on the literal translation of words without respect for cultural context.

You should use a native speaker to localize all your content. At the very least, you should involve them before the final work is published.

Alternatively, you can have all translations approved by a local agency to avoid potential embarrassment. Pepsi once made such a mortifying error in China. The slogan, “Pepsi Brings You Back to Life” was translated into Chinese as, “Pepsi Brings You Back from the Grave”.

Global Marketing Strategy Examples

1. Red Bull

You always thought that Red Bull was an American brand, didn’t you? Well, it isn’t; it’s Austrian. That’s a testament to how good their global marketing is. It’s so great that many people don’t realize that it’s not a local brand.

But how have they managed to achieve this?

Perhaps one of its most famous and successful marketing tactics is Red Bull's sponsorship of extreme sports events across the world. Red Bull's highly effective event marketing strategy has them hosting events like the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, the Red Bull Air Race in the United Kingdom, and the Red Bull Soapbox Race in Jordan.

Additionally, Red Bull's packaging also adds to its global appeal. Its brand consistency has proven particularly useful for helping the brand go global.

2. Airbnb

Founded in 2008 in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a community marketplace where people can list and book accommodations around the world. The marketplace now boasts over 1,500,000 listings across 34,000 cities across the world.

It owes a large part of its success to a video campaign called “Made Possible by Hosts”. It launched this global campaign to bring its community of guests and hosts closer, referring to the campaign as “a way to highlight the magical experiences that hosts bring to guests”.

The campaign was created by piecing together real videos and photographs from guests to create a video that evokes the sense of nostalgia that comes with traveling.

Across the world, more than 3 million people have either created content, talked about, or engaged in some other way with the campaign. In fact, one of the campaign's videos has racked up more than 3.5 million views and counting.

3. Dunkin' Donuts

Boasting some 3,200 stores in 36 countries besides the US, Dunkin' Donuts has designed its menu to satisfy the tastes of its global customers. While you enjoy a Boston creme in the US, someone in China is digging into some dry pork and seaweed donuts.

Dunkin' Donuts cares enough to celebrate the cultural differences between different parts of the world in its pursuit of international dominance, and this is evinced by its diverse menu offerings, from Grapefruit Coolatta in Korea to the Mango Chocolate Donut of Lebanon and Dunclairs in Russia.

4. Domino's

Domino's has also chosen to toe the path of menu innovation as a means of boosting international interest and brand awareness, much like Dunkin' Donuts.

Since bread is a staple in many countries, all Domino's had to do was change the toppings in each country. Most markets in Asia get seafood and fish while India gets curry, for example.

All it took to deliver such menu diversity and gain international attention was a genuine and conscious effort to better understand the preferences of the markets they were trying to break into.

5. Rezdy

Based out of Australia, Rezdy is a reservation software designed to make onl]ne booking smoother for both travel agents and tourists.

While Rezdy isn't exactly trying to attract global markets—since most of its clients are based in Australia—it understands that its clients have international visitors and thus emphasizes its tool's internationalization features and capabilities.

On the homepage of its website, it boldly declares that it works for operators and agents in 100+ countries. Designed to be used globally, the service boasts hundreds of personalization options for timezone, language, and currency.

6. World Wildlife Fund

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is literal in its approach to global marketing as it has hundreds of offices globally, each with its own goals for the region it covers.

Every year, it goes global with its Earth Hour initiative which is a voluntary event where the participants switch off their lights for an hour to show just how easy battling climate change can be.

The Earth Hour event was specially promoted in Norway as Scandinavian countries experience extreme daylight hours in different seasons, making them particularly suited for WWF's Earth Hour campaign.

To promote the campaign, it placed the Earth Hour banner across Norway's top media sites. One tap of the banner made your screen go black, and swiping your finger across the screen revealed the Earth Hour countdown.

The banner attracted over 1,000,000 impressions and was so successful that it won three MMA Global Mobile Marketing Awards.

7. Pearse Trust

Pearse Trust, with offices in Dublin, Vancouver, London, Atlanta, and Wellington, has grown into an international authority on corporate and trust structures. But scaling internationally takes much more than opening a few offices in other cities and Pearse Trust knows this better than anyone else.

This is why it regularly publishes blog content that engages prospects across its various target markets. The content features international affairs relating to the company's practice areas.

8. Nike

Nike's international presence has been carefully wrought through a selection of international sponsorships like its long-standing partnership with Manchester United. These sponsorships have helped Nike capture global attention for itself.

Nike also places the power of design into its consumers' hands through its co-creation platform, Nike by You. This effectively allows it to deliver customized products that capture the cultural and stylistic preferences of its audiences across the globe.

9. McDonald's

When it comes to global brands, McDonald's needs no introduction. While it keeps its overarching brand consistent, the brand brings a local flavor to each market by offering region-specific items on its menus.

For instance, McDonald's has introduced macaroons to its French menu and McSpaghetti to its menu in the Philippines. And in the Middle East, it serves the McArabia, a flatbread sandwich.

10. Innocent Drinks

Known primarily as the leading smoothie company in the UK, you'll also find Innocent Drinks' products in 15 countries across Europe. And despite this wide reach, its brand remains consistent wherever it operates.

For example, the website is very bubbly and encourages you to “call on the banana phone” or “pop by the Fruit Towers”, which is the name for its corporate office.

Where global expansion and rapid growth have distracted many other companies from maintaining brand consistency, Innocent Drinks has stayed true to itself and thus become a globally recognizable brand.

Best Marketing Software to Support Your Global Marketing Ambitions

1. ConvertKit

Email Marketing Tool With Excellent Features for Global Marketing.

ConvertKit is an Email Marketing Tool With Excellent Features for Global Marketing

ConvertKit is a powerful email marketing service provider that empowers businesses to streamline everything related to email marketing, landing pages, online forms, customer engagement, and much more.

Used by professionals the world over, ConvertKit gives you the tools you need to create online pop-up and slide-in forms to gather leads. You can design customizable landing pages and analyze website traffic via its native integration with Google Analytics.

It offers excellent tools for segmenting audiences, sending targeted content, and analyzing interaction rates via a centralized dashboard. Plus, it boasts numerous out-of-the-box integrations with third-party systems like Teachable, Zapier, Shopify, Stripe, Outgrow, and many more.

Pricing

ConvertKit Pricing Plan

Beyond the basic free plan that supports 300 subscribers, ConvertKit offers two pricing plans, starting at $9/month.

Pros

  • Offers a fantastic user experience
  • Boasts unbeatable, best-in-class deliverability
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Lacks extensive integrations to other e-commerce platforms

Get ConvertKit today

2. Demio

Excellent Webinar Solution for up to 1000 Webinar Attendees.

Demio is an Excellent Webinar Solution for up to 1000 Webinar Attendees

Demio is a cloud-based webinar solution that offers many useful features like customizable branding, registration management, screen sharing, video streaming, reminders, and analytics.

The platform is versatile enough to be used for various kinds of events like live, hybrid, automated, or on-demand events. Webinar hosts can upload presentation slides and share videos with attendees.

You can also design registration pages, complete with custom fields, and capture information via forms embedded on your website or landing pages. To make sessions interactive and improve engagement, presenters can create polls and distribute handouts, gifts, or bonuses.

Furthermore, hosts can record their webinar sessions, add custom elements or call-to-action buttons to recording pages, and even let attendees download videos in MP4 format.

Finally, Demio boasts multiple useful third-party integrations like Drip, ActiveCampaign, GetResponse, Mailchimp, AWeber, Ontraport, and many more. There's a mobile app for iOS and support is provided via live chat, email, and an online knowledge base.

Pricing

Demio Pricing Plan

Demio offers no free plan and pricing starts at $49/month for webinars with 50 attendees.

Pros

  • Excellent customer experience
  • Great third-party integrations
  • Supports private chat
  • Supports HD video

Cons

  • No support for window sharing (only supports screen sharing)
  • All sessions close within 10 minutes of host disconnection

Host your webinar with Demio

3. GetResponse

Excellent Email Marketing Software for Creating Automated Sales Funnels.

GetResponse is an Excellent Email Marketing Software for Creating Automated Sales Funnels

Reliable and excellently executed, GetResponse boasts some marketing automation features, an attractive price tag, and a fairly impressive list of enticing third-party integrations on top of its primary email marketing features, and is an excellent choice for SMBs.

It offers several enhancements including email chat, web push notifications, improved automation workflows, and expanded SMS marketing. There's also a clear focus on integrations with third-party e-commerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and so on.

All of these and more, taken together, make GetResponse an excellent choice for any SMB, even though it lacks some of the more advanced features you'll find in a few other email marketing tools.

Pricing

GetResponse Pricing Plan

GetResponse offers an excellent free plan for up to 500 contacts. Then pricing starts at $15/month.

Pros

  • Comes with more advanced features like SMS and email chat
  • Easy-to-use email marketing features
  • E-commerce integrations have been improved
  •  Boasts some pretty powerful autoresponder options

Cons

  • No 24/7 phone support
  • Analytics are underwhelming

Get started with GetResponse

4. Constant Contact

Superb Email Marketing Tool for Small Businesses and Email Marketing Noobs With Small Audiences.

Constant Contact is the Superb Email Marketing Tool for Small Businesses and Email Marketing

In recent years, Constant Contact has grown its email marketing solution to include e-commerce-focused marketing in addition to regular brand marketing. It boasts an excellent mix of starter features, a pretty decent list of third-party integrations, and a very generous 60-day free trial.

All that said, its feature set is most definitely aimed at smaller businesses, despite being easy to use and integrate with other web services. To increase deliverability, Constant Contact has also improved its ability to monitor fraudulent activities. This is responsible for the provider's impressive 90% email delivery rates.

Pricing

Constant Contact Pricing Plan

After the 60-day free trial, you can choose any of the two paid plans that Constant Contact offers, starting at $20/month.

Pros

  • Intuitive and elegantly designed UI
  • Extensive third-party integrations
  • Excellent deliverability rates

Cons

  • Templates can be quite inflexible
  • Pricing quickly adds up as your contacts scale into the thousands
  • Does not offer multi-channel automation

Try Constant Contact

5. WebinarJam

Superb All-in-One Webinar Marketing Platform.

WebinarJam is the Superb All in One Webinar Marketing Platform

Boasting over 30,000 users globally, WebinarJam is one of the best webinar software available on the market these days. The platform supports live streams on YouTube and Facebook in addition to private webinar rooms. Your webinar can be made from existing videos, animations, slides, or by sharing your screen with attendees.

You can register attendees online using pre-designed landing pages that you can either embed on your own website or host on WebinarJam's servers. These landing pages can be customized with specific call-to-action buttons, links to checkout pages for paid sessions, and promotional marketing content.

Its integration with Google Hangouts allows you to automatically create Hangouts sessions for your webinars. Plus, there are integrations with other popular autoresponder solutions like ListWire, AWeber, and more.

Pricing

WebinarJam Pricing Plan

All pricing plans come with a 30-day risk-free moneyback guarantee. Pricing starts at $39/month (billed annually) for 100 attendees.

Pros

  • Offers training videos
  • Comes with customizable webinar landing page templates
  • Boasts a “Panic Button” feature that immediately starts a new live room and automatically transfers all presenters and attendees into it in the event of a technical failure.

Cons

  • No free trial
  • There’s usually a 10-second delay between the live event and what shows on the screens of attendees

Try WebinarJam

6. HubSpot

Best Email Marketing/CRM Software for Inbound Marketing

HubSpot is the Best Email Marketing for Inbound Marketing

HubSpot‘s excellent marketing automation software suite, Marketing Hub, holds all the marketing tools and data you need to create a personalized experience to attract and cover customers.

The platform lets you design, customize, and deliver marketing emails without the help of professional designers or IT experts.

Blogger, B2B business owner, or inbound marketing manager, the drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to arrange your layouts, add CTAs and images, and modify the content structure of your triggered emails, autoresponder emails, and so on.

Pricing

HubSpot Pricing Plan

Hubspot offers several free marketing tools, while pricing for its Marketing Hub starts at $45 per month.

Pros

  • Free CRM included
  • Offers a vast selection of social media management tools
  • Boast stellar marketing automation features
  • Excellent integration with other Hubspot tools

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Comes with quite a steep learning curve

Get Started with Hubspot’s free plan today

7. SEMrush

Solid SEO Tool for Small to Mid-sized Businesses.

SEMrush is the Solid SEO Tool for Small to Mid Sized Businesses

Small to medium-sized businesses will get everything they need from an SEO tool out of SEMrush. The platform delivers a cast array of functionalities like ad-hoc keyword research, crawling, and ongoing search position monitoring. It's a solid choice for any SMB.

Pricing

SEMrush Pricing Plan

There’s a free account, after which pricing starts at $119.95/month.

Pros

  • Comprehensive keyword research and domain analytics
  • Extensive backlink tracking
  • Breakdowns for desktop and mobile search
  • SEO campaign structure is project-based
  • Offers keyword suggestions and proactive SEO recommendations

Cons

  • Keyword list management is lacking

Try SEMrush today

8. Ahrefs

The Keyword Research Tool of Choice for Top SEO Experts.

Ahrefs is the Keyword Research Tool of Choice for Top SEO Experts

Although designed with an utter disregard for a pleasant user experience, this full-featured SEO tool is actually quite impressive. Even the name sounds more like a command-line entry than a product name.

This no-frills, no-nonsense solution is targeted at people who know exactly what they're doing when it comes to SEO. In other words, it isn't exactly beginner-friendly. But for those folks to whom it's targeted, it's an excellent offering.

It boasts features and capabilities like ad-hoc keyword research, ongoing SEO monitoring and position tracking, content-specific research, and competitive domain comparison. In all, Ahrefs can do a bit of everything.

Pricing

Ahrefs Pricing Plan

Ahref's pricing is a bit on the high side, with prices starting at $82 per month.

Pros

  • Exceptional web crawling functionality
  • Great ad-hoc keyword research
  • In-depth SERP analysis
  • Extensive domain monitoring and comparison
  • Basic keyword management features
  • Improved keyword suggestions

Cons

  • Unattractive user interface
  • Limited SEO reporting

Find keywords with Ahrefs

Global Marketing FAQ

What is the difference between global marketing and international marketing?

International marketing refers to the marketing plans, strategies, and tactics created for a particular foreign market while global marketing refers to marketing tactics deployed universally to all international markets.

What are the factors affecting global marketing?

There are quite a few factors that affect global marketing. Social factors include the value system of a society, culture, caste, languages, lifestyle, standard of living, climate, marketing infrastructure, and so on.

The economic factors directly impact the survivability of businesses in the region and include factors like the export-import policy of a country, commercial policy, financial system, monetary system, currency restrictions, inflation/deflation, competition, and so on.

Political factors, to a large extent, affect all the other factors, especially the economic factors. Issues like changes in government policy and political stability are huge factors that affect global marketing.

Finally, logistical factors like mode of transportation, cost of transportation, inventory management, material handling, warehousing, and so on, have a huge impact on global marketing.

What are the four global strategies?

The four global strategies that businesses use to expand internationally are International Strategy, Multidomestic strategy, Global strategy, and Transnational strategy.

In the International strategy, companies operate out of a single location and export products and services around the world. It is often the first strategy that companies use to expand internationally. Companies that adopt this strategy include Moet & Chandon, Red Bull, Victoria’s Secret.

The Multidomestic strategy involves changing the product, messaging, go-to-market, and customer support to suit the target market. Companies that adopt this strategy include Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Nestle.

The Global strategyas practiced by companies like Apple, Amazon, and Disney—focuses on as much standardization as possible.

Everything from brand colors to messaging to products to operations and so on is standardized into repeatable, scalable processes no matter which market they operate in. In other words, there’s one brand, one message, and one suite of products from a central HQ.

Finally, in the Transnational strategy, businesses operate a central or head office in one country and several local subsidiaries in international markets, effectively gaining the best of both worlds: one globally cohesive brand and local operations that are optimized for local market preferences and tastes. Companies that adopt this strategy include McDonald’s, Nike, and Coca-Cola.

What are the six global market entry methods?

The six global entry methods are exporting, licensing and franchising, joint ventures, foreign direct investment, wholly-owned subsidiaries or strategic acquisitions, and piggybacking.

Exporting is simply the direct sale of goods and services in another country.

Licensing involves allowing another company in your target country to use your property—trademarks, production techniques, patents, or other intellectual property—for a fee.

Franchising is somewhat similar in that you allow them to use your IP. But the rules for how they carry out business are usually much more strict in franchising than in licensing.

Joint ventures involve the coming together of two companies to establish a jointly-owned business, with one of the owners being a local company. Both companies will then provide a management team and share control of the newly formed venture.

Foreign direct investment involves directly investing in facilities in a foreign market and often requires a lot of capital. It can be done by establishing a new venture or acquiring an existing one.

Wholly-owned subsidiaries are somewhat similar to FDIs in that they involve investing money into another company. However, in this case, the company is purchased outright. The owners then have the option to either continue running the company as is or to take greater control over its operations.

Piggybacking involves a partnership between two non-competing companies working together to cross-sell each other’s products across both countries.

Ready to Take Your Marketing Strategy to the Next Level and Go Global?

Now that you know everything about taking a company global, it’s time to go try it all out for yourself.

Good luck!

Anastasia Belyh

Editor at FounderJar

Anastasia has been a professional blogger and researcher since 2014. She loves to perform in-depth software reviews to help software buyers make informed decisions when choosing project management software, CRM tools, website builders, and everything around growing a startup business.

Anastasia worked in management consulting and tech startups, so she has lots of experience in helping professionals choosing the right business software.