As the world has become more interconnected and interdependent through the processes of globalisation, businesses too have sought to market on a multinational basis. Multinational marketing is complex and requires open, innovative thinking and extensive planning. The key contextual distinction that exists within the concept of multinational marketing is the global and the local. Arguments for a standardised global approach point to cost effectiveness and integrity maintenance, while those in favour of local adaptation cite higher returns and brand equity levels.
Multinational marketing is the marketing of brands sold in multiple countries, encompassing advertising or other related activity in those countries.
1. A four-pronged framework can help manage the complex task of global brand building
Building a brand domestically can be challenging enough. Trying to do it globally across multiple markets adds layers of extra complication – such as differences in culture, competition, market position and offerings. A framework based on four pillars can assist marketers in managing the task and balance what is fixed and what is flexible:
- Definition: Global brands must be clearly defined and all the elements that make up its identity captured and expressed in a set of brand guidelines, that need consistent adherence.
- Governance: There must be a process whereby marketing teams can get advice on how to comply with the guidelines and the central team can authorise brand development ideas.
- Execution: The market CMO should have the freedom, based on local insight and market conditions, to develop their own go-to-market plans.
- Evaluation: There must be a common understanding on how to evaluate brand equity with established standards in methodology and reporting.