Join Doug Ladd for an in-depth discussion in this video The rise of the global consumer, part of Marketing Foundations: International Marketing.
- If you're thinking this is the time to expand your business to new geographic markets, there's something you should know about the consumers you'll encounter. Increasingly, they have more and more in common. The speed at which fashions, trends, information and ideas travel around the globe is accelerating. And as a result, we're seeing the rise of the global consumer. Our TV shows often reflect what advertisers believe to be the average family. Those families looked a lot different 20 years ago than they do today in America.
What did they look like then? Husband and wife of the same race, two smiling kids, a dog, you get the picture. Now think about today's Primetime television shows. I think you'll agree it's very hard to describe the average consumer in America as the number of ethnic groups and household demographics have shifted. Nowhere is this more apparent than the global teenager. Thanks to the wide-spread use of smartphones, today's music, fashion, politics, arts and games, you name it, circle the globe in minutes.
As young people capture what strikes them at the moment, comment on it and send it on to the rest of the world. These global teenagers have significant purchasing power, too. As you are thinking of expanding internationally, think about ideas to reach and engage teenagers in a positive way. But what if teenagers aren't your target market? That's okay. The rise of the global consumer means marketers now can find ideas, concepts and messages that have global appeal.
And often, these can be developed, tested and refined right in your home market before going international. There are many themes that now have global appeal. For example: regardless of the continent where you reside, concerns for the environment and a topic of climate change are in the news daily. Social networking on computers and smartphones is common, regardless of the continent. Just about every industry has companies that are tapping into this theme with Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and YouTube channels.
Clearly, as you expand into new countries, you need to explore ways to connect with your new consumers using these channels. The human desire to create, innovate and improve applies globally. The widespread availability of electronic media, including the tools and apps that people now have right on the phones in their pockets or purses, makes this even easier. Think of ways to position your product, service or business as something that helps spur that creative human element.
So here's how to put this concept to work within your company: I want you to create a grid that has your products and services listed across the top. Then along the side, list some of the global themes as you see them. For example: let's say you have a business selling clothing made of a new fabric blend, and you want to expand out of the U.S. Across the top of this grid, you put your product categories that today consist of gym workout gear and hiking gear.
On the side, you list some of the global themes, such as healthy lifestyles, environmental consciousness and looking fit. Your next step would be to fill in the blanks with some insights that strike you about these global themes and how you can tap into them for your business. I encourage you to do this exercise, and get others in your business to help you brainstorm insights to fill in the boxes. By doing this exercise, you're going to have the beginnings of a framework for how to position and promote your product internationally.
The course also investigates options for global expansion, such as exporting, licensing, joint ventures, and direct investment, and details how to put together a successful marketing mix using distribution, promotional methods, and translation. Plus, learn where to turn for more information about your specific target markets.
- The rise of the global consumer
- Learning about customers in global markets
- Accessing foreign markets
- Adapting products
- Balancing risks and rewards