Persuasion is a first step managers can take to deal with the three problems we’ve outlined. Even a decentralized multinational may decide, however, that to protect or exploit some corporate asset, the center of gravity for certain elements of the marketing program should be at headquarters. The increasing degree to which consumers in one country are exposed to the company’s products in another won’t enhance the corporate image or brand development in the consumers’ home country. Multinationals shouldn’t, however, use their agencies as Trojan horses for greater standardization. In 1982, the Parker Pen Company, forced by competition and a weakening financial position to lower costs, more than halved its number of plants and pen styles worldwide. Manufacturing and R&D scale economies can result in a price spread between the global and the local product that is too great for even the most culture-bound consumer to resist. Recently, Fiat and Philips N.V., among others, consolidated their worldwide advertising into a single agency. While Shutterfly has gotten creative with personalized emails and subject lines, one unique thing it did recently was personalize item offerings on its app. Likewise, marketers in countries with restrictions on mass media advertising have developed sophisticated point-of-purchase merchandising skills that could be useful to managers in other countries. A bottom-up rather than top-down approach will foster greater commitment and produce superior program execution at the country level. The project team countered that capitalizing on potential scale economies, its pan-European marketing and manufacturing programs would be superior to any programs the subsidiaries could develop by themselves. Some companies assign promising local managers to other countries and require would-be local managers to take a tour of duty at headquarters. Here are 7 brand campaigns that did it right: DoggyLoot; DeepSky; Coca-Cola; Target; NakedWines; Amazon; Spotify #1 Nikeid: One popular example of a successful business which has implemented mass customization successfully and made a profit … When the local managers tightly control marketing efforts, multinational managers face the three critical issues. Emphasize the general management responsibilities of country managers that extend beyond the marketing function. There is a difference between customerization and customization. For example, John Deere’s European headquarters has developed advertising for its European country managers for more than a decade. (It helps to build trust if headquarters can send out the same staff specialists for several years.). Multinationals that direct local managers’ marketing programs usually do so out of a sense of urgency. Most packaged consumer goods are less susceptible than durable goods like televisions and cars to manufacturing or even R&D economies. First, subsidiary managers who joined the company because of its apparent commitment to local autonomy and to adapting its products to the local environment may become disenchanted. In completing the Exhibit 1 planning matrix, management may decide that it can sensibly group countries by region or by stage of market development. In this case, managers in the United States can learn from British and Canadian country managers about how to deal with the pressures for extra merchandising support that result when a few powerful retailers control a large percentage of sales. If the field has traditionally been as important a source of new product ideas as the central R&D laboratory, the company may find itself short of the grassroots creative thinking and marketing research information that R&D needs. Dunkin Donuts. The answer is to focus on means as much as ends, to examine the relationship between the home office and the field, and to ask what level of headquarters intervention for each business function, product, marketing mix element, and country is necessary to close the gap in each. Often using a matrix or team approach, headquarters shares with country managers the responsibility and authority for programming and personnel decisions. Copyright © 2020 Harvard Business School Publishing. In the 1980s and ‘90s, when the company first emerged onto the global stage, standardised products and messaging resulted in a backlash against American imperialism. Slow response time is an especially serious problem with products for which barriers to entry for local competitors are low. Procter & Gamble has established so-called Euro Brand teams that analyze opportunities for greater product and marketing program standardization. In addition, within the product category in which they specialize, the directors have influence on line management appointments in the field. Since the market potential in each country was small, they said, they did not have the time or resources to launch Sista. Shutterfly . McCann-Erickson claims to have saved $90 million in production costs over 20 years by producing worldwide Coca-Cola commercials. Sometimes direction is needed to prove that global marketing can work. Personalized Marketing Examples. The big issue today is not whether to go global but how to tailor the global marketing concept to fit each business and how to make it work. As one German headquarters executive commented, “Those managers in the field who can’t adapt to a more global approach will have to leave and run local breweries.”, In the postwar years, as Coca-Cola strove mightily to consolidate its territorial gains, its efforts were received with mixed feelings. As we’ve seen, Coca-Cola takes the same approach in all markets. Local managers thus have to be concerned about their relationships with headquarters. In the field, regional managers often focus on representing the views of individual countries to headquarters, but at headquarters they become more concerned with ensuring that the country managers are correctly implementing corporatewide policies. On the other hand, while a country manager can reject a product director’s advice, headquarters will closely monitor his or her performance with an alternative program. The least threatening, loosest, and therefore easiest approach to global marketing is for headquarters to encourage the transfer of information between it and its country managers. If headquarters gives country managers total control of their product lines, it cannot leverage the opportunities that multinational status gives it. 94% of customers and marketers consider personalization important today, but how do you do it effectively? Any systematic headquarters effort to influence local managers to apply standardized approaches or introduce new global products while the managers retain their decision-making authority is a persuasion approach. There is no better way to learn than to take in the knowledge from more experienced brands. In the best of all possible worlds, marketers would only have to come up with a great product and a convincing marketing program and they would have a worldwide winner. As Exhibit 2 indicates, headquarters can intervene at five points, ranging from informing to directing. Seagram motivates its country managers to stay interested in the global brands by allocating development funds to support local marketing efforts on these brands and by circulating monthly reports that summarize market performance data by brand and country. Nestlé has transferred to its central marketing staff many former local managers who had succeeded in their Nestlé businesses and who now influence country executives to accept standard new product and marketing ideas.


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