14.1 Why It Matters: Marketing Globally

Why identify issues that organizations face and approaches they use when marketing to different countries and cultures?

Suppose you are in the marketing department of Nova Scotia’s highly successful, global food company Clearwater Seafood. You’re in a brainstorming meeting about expanding into China, and the discussion is starting to get heated. Should you lead with your company’s best-selling cooked lobster to take China by storm? Or would it be better to start out with a developing a retail prepared dish such as lobster sandwiches or clam chowder instead, because it’s so quintessentially Nova Scotian and it’d be a great way to introduce the Chinese to the tastes Atlantic Canadians love?

Or would something else be a better fit?

Each culture has favourite flavours that will impact the success of any food product. With China being one of the world’s largest consumer AND producer of seafood the decision has many risks. Here are China’s top seafood dishes.

It’s time to vote: your manager wants everyone on the team to name their favourite dish or product for China they want to lead with. What are you going to choose?

Watch this short but very interesting video on how even “snacks” from recognizable brands have very different products.

You can view the transcript for “Chinese Flavours for American Snacks” (opens in new window) or the text alternative for “Chinese Flavours for American Snacks” (opens in new window).

So . . . how did you do? How close did you come to favourite flavours in the video? Were you in the ballpark? Are you ready for a career developing foods for global markets?

If you’re like most North Americans, your recommendation probably wasn’t very close to the mark, and you’re probably thinking that many of the flavours that are delicious to Chinese consumers sound a bit odd to you. Well, now you know how a lot of Chinese consumers probably feel when presented with Lobster Parmesan or Lobster Mac and Cheese. A little queasy.

Hopefully this scenario helps highlight some of the challenges of global marketing, as companies start selling products in other countries. How should you enter a new market? Are you offering products that consumers in other countries will want to buy? What should you do to make sure your product–and the rest of your marketing mix–is a good fit for the global customers you want to attract?

Global marketing is a complex and fascinating business. In this module, we can’t cover everything about global marketing–not by a long shot. But we will introduce key challenges, opportunities, and factors to consider when marketing to target audiences outside your home country.

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Introduction to Marketing II (MKTG 2005) by NSCC and Lumen Learning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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