On the international level, marketing communications must be handled with extreme care. Context is key, and context between cultures with opposing sentiments it is paramount. An organization must understand that its actions do not exist in a vacuum, and its approach must be tempered with an understanding of the foreign country’s macro environment. Social, cultural, political, environmental, economic, and ethical considerations should lay the groundwork for any communication strategy.
The choice of media should take into account a number of factors stemming from the macro environment of the country in question. For one, what media channels currently exist, in what frequency, and what types could be created? For example, local legislation may forbid the use of particular services, such as certain social media platforms in China. Regarding current channels, What, if any, type of competition exists? Additionally, What local resources can be co-opted for the organization’s purposes?
Out of the macro-environmental influencers listed previously, grasping the local culture can be the most elusive. Carl Jung & Kenneth Burke both stipulate that human beings convey meaning through symbol systems. The issue is, symbols do not hold a universal definition. They are imbued with meaning by our hand. Language, itself, is the best example of this. The shear number of dialects that exist – each with its own system for the construction and transmittance of meaning – is daunting. In order to communicate effectively, nothing must be lost in translation.
When it comes to international marketing, choice of media is key, especially with the diffusion of information through various channels of distribution. We will tackle how each method of digital, social, and traditional media has been used successfully and unsuccessfully through our analysis of various international marketing campaigns. We will also compare and contrast how companies run their campaigns for a single product based on whether the campaigns have to vary by nation or regional targeting. While making their campaign decisions, companies must also factor in the 4 Ps of Marketing: Product, Price, Promotion, and Placement, when communicating their product or services in a given country, across different cultures, behaviors, and beliefs, and we hope to analyze the degree of application each of these factors in communicating an international marketing campaign in order to create enough noise that provides success and positive feedback. We understand that implementation of a successful marketing campaign may be vastly different, depending on the country. Therefore, we hope to compare and contrast various campaigns and their use of communication strategies and media, with the intention of presenting the readers of this blog with information that they can extrapolate for use in a successful international marketing campaign.
Joseph Naidoo and Andres Vaca are MBA students at Chapman University. If you have any issue as to the validity of the information that is presented in their blog, your complaints can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org