Learn about techniques that drive global market penetration. Discover considerations within the 4 P’s of marketing that should be evaluated when embarking on globalization. In this course, explore the impacts globalization can have on investments and financial impacts.
Why Go Global?
Laura owns a company based in the United States that has done exceptionally well within the country. She has maximized her market share in all 50 states. However, she seeks additional growth for her organization. After a bit of research, Laura finds that in order to expand brand recognition, revenue potential, and the company’s consumer base, companies will often look to extend beyond domestic borders to penetrate global markets, which are the different economic markets around the world.
Penetrating the Global Market
Laura decided to use the cash flow she obtained through her success in the domestic market to fund her global expansion. But Laura wondered ‘Where do I begin? How do I get started?’ Being the resourceful business owner that she is, Laura found an online course on global market penetration techniques. Although she had a great understanding of market penetration, there were some important considerations specific to global markets that she had not yet taken into account. After taking the course, Laura explored aspects of each of the Four P’s of Marketing (which are Place, Product, Promotion, and Price) to expand the company’s reach into international markets. Let’s look at these four P’s and see what Laura discovered.
Laura first needed to decide which global markets to penetrate. She researched many countries to determine the best location to target. She was able to determine and predict the countries that would have the largest demand for her products. To do this, she gathered demographic data, economic trends, barriers to entry, and current demand potential. Armed with this information, she selected her targeted market. Laura selected China as the target market.
Laura then sought to gather legal, safety, and regulatory guidelines she must abide by in order to sell products in her targeted markets. Although in China there isn’t one specific product safety law, Laura discovered requirements specified in other laws and regulations. For example, Laura discovered regulations within the Law on Protection of the Rights and Interests of Consumers as well as within the General Principles of the Civil Law. She scheduled additional audits and product reviews to accommodate additional regulations and gather necessary documentation for her products and processes. There were a few small changes she had to make in her product packaging to comply with a new industry standard. She had to update the product label to clearly show the country of origin. This is a requirement for product labels in China.
Laura also explored additional product offerings that provided market specific value that complements her existing product line, as well.
Branding is one of the most critical aspects of market penetration. In order to expand brand recognition in global markets, the brand should be consistent. In order for consistency to work, the brand must be one that resonates outside the domestic market. Luckily, Laura’s current brand is one that she created that doesn’t contain words or phrases that have alternate meanings in other cultures and languages. She had to conduct extensive research to ensure the brand, slogan, or symbol did not contain anything that could potentially be culturally offensive. If it had, she’d need to undergo a re-branding effort in order to effectively penetrate the global market.
An example of a company whose brand name and product description did not translate well into the overseas market is Schweppes. An Italian campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water translated its name to Schweppes Toilet Water. It’s safe to say that this wasn’t quite the description the company was looking for. Thankfully, Laura wouldn’t have to assume the financial expense to re-brand her business.
Another aspect of promotion to consider, is localization. Beyond translation, Laura sought to pull cultural details into promotional items, such as packaging, emails, flyers, and direct mail campaigns.
Laura conducting market research and competitor analysis to determine an acceptable price point. She had to learn about the foreign legal and tax system, which included additional fees, taxes, and reporting requirements she had not previously had. She decided to employ a strategy in pricing where the initial product price is set low, beneath competitors’ pricing, in order to attract new customers. This strategy is referred to as penetration pricing.
This strategy will cause customers to abandon local brands to try Laura’s brand due to the lower price. The initial volume will offset the lower unit price. The increased market share will help to advance her brand awareness. However, after the initial period, Laura must be strategic in the way in which she increases prices moving forward, as her new customers were initially drawn to the lower price point.
Impact on Investments
Global market penetration has a direct impact on international investment. Diverse companies, cultures and economies are connected through sourcing, labor, service, and transportation to support globalization. These activities represent investments in various businesses in order to foster and facilitate efficiencies in these areas of business. Therefore, as globalization increases, international investments increase, as well.
In order to penetrate global markets, sufficient research and analysis is required. The Four P’s of Marketing (which are Place, Product, Promotion, and Price) should be carefully evaluated to assess their appropriateness and adequacy within the global market. Special consideration should be given to the target market, product compliance, company brand, promotional materials, and pricing. It is also important to understand and leverage the impact that globalization can have on investments as well as financial resources. Ensure there is adequate financial resources to support the global expansion; this can helped with penetration pricing, a strategy in pricing where the initial product price is set low, beneath competitors’ pricing, in order to attract new customers. The expansion should be carefully budgeted and planned. If planned and executed correctly globalization can result in increased international investment opportunity, brand awareness, revenue potential and market share. This is all because things like sourcing, labor, and transportation connect economies and cultures around the world.