The Difference between Global Marketing and International Marketing

Like many marketers, I used to confuse global marketing and international marketing. It’s a common misconception that they are either the same thing or often one approach gets mistaken for the other. Each individual strategy is essential when it comes to growing your business world-wide; however each follows a very different strategic thought process.

What is International Marketing?
International marketing means that marketing decisions are made in the individual countries by a staff that is the most knowledgeable about their target markets. The company will set up offices and headquarters in the other countries with the intent that those offices will influence and shape the marketing decisions specific to those regions and cater the business to the country’s needs.

One of the obvious benefits of international marketing is that the decision makers are usually native to the country and thus are familiar with customs, trends and ideas that are best suited for the company’s target market within the country. They still have to report to the main headquarters in the country where the business originated, but ultimately the marketing decisions are made independently by the specific country’s offices.

What is Global Marketing?
Global marketing is basically when a company looks at the entire world as one market. Whether local or on the other side of the world, global marketing views every market exactly the same. Often times, global marketing is used by huge corporate stores that sell only certain products. There is no consideration of certain religions or cultural groups specific to the particular region. They sell the same exact products all over the world with the exact same things in every single store.

While global marketing may sound like a blanketed marketing approach, it certainly isn’t a simple strategy. To become a global company there are many steps to go through and several factors to consider. Global companies must have a thoroughly devised global marketing plan and build a strong global team.

When a company expands into different countries, they must decide which marketing approach is going to work best for their product and how they wish to portray it. In an effort to broaden my understanding of these two concepts, I’ll be featuring different case studies on global marketing or international marketing in upcoming posts; analyzing how and why things either worked or didn’t work for that particular organization.

Have any brands you would recommend for a case study? Feel free to reach out to me with any research suggestions!

Leave a Reply