This post was exclusively written for http://www.consumergoodsclub.com where I am a pro blogger. The post was first published on that site.
Global marketing management is all about figuring the sweet spot and the nuances behind what’s global and what’s local. Global marketers want to leverage the global brand at the same time as retaining local market engagement. How companies provide their consumers with a consistent brand experience across all of the regions in which they operate is a challenge that more and more companies have to address.
Every marketer today either works for a global brand or competes against a global brand, so it is important to understand what’s happening in the market.
This is a global challenge and one that has been responsible for the creation of a new structure within many businesses: the global marketing organization, and a new corporate role: the global marketer.
The number of global marketers increases daily. I checked Linked In researching for this blog. There were 739, 346 people with global marketing in their title. Of these 113,034 have the title Vice President. That’s more than 113,000 people on Linked In alone in leadership roles in global marketing.
One of the objectives of the Global Brand Project is to look at the drivers of change and the responses to those changes within the global business context. In part one of this post, we will look at some of the reasons why global marketing is becoming so important. Part two will look at the organizational changes needed to respond to these changes.
There are very few functions within business that have been forced to completely reinvent and reorganize themselves in the way that marketers have over recent years. Marketers sit right at the core of the modern matrix organization. It is likely marketers will have to continue to change in the coming years as globalization continues.
I am not suggesting that the fundamentals of marketing have changed, they have not. Marketers still need to drive innovation, develop powerful and meaningful positioning and manage their products, portfolios, packaging and communications.
It is the context and environment into which these skills are delivered: It is the Market that is different. Compared to only 20 years ago, the market has changed radically, and it continues so do. Let’s look at product life cycles. Once, it was possible to introduce a new product, gain market leader advantage and allow the competition to catch up after sales had been established over a few years. Apple Launches ipad The Apple iPad was launched 12 months ago (yes, it’s hard to believe it was launched in March 2010). It already has some 100 plus competitive products and launched a revised version this month. iPad #3, #4 and #5 are no doubt planned to ensure that Apple achieves the return on investment required to justify its R&D spend in developing this product.
and H&M bring new collections to market within weeks of designers finding inspiration from a fashion show. With digital photography and web connections, a designer can be making samples in a factory in China within hours of a trend watcher first identifying new styles.
We are so used to things happening this quickly today that we tend not to think about the implications of this. Humans adapt to changes very quickly, and as the changes are often incremental we fail to see the leaps and bounds that our world moves on.
The pace of change has radically altered the way in which products and brands are marketed. With product life cycles being so short, even the most impressive innovations become commoditized at a much faster rate than ever before; increasing the pressure to introduce new and relevant innovation and differentiation.
Do you agree? Have you experienced the same quickening of pace so that your new innovation failed to deliver competitive advantage in the way you expected or planned?
I got inspiration for this post from a number of sources, but wish to give credit to The Global Brand CEO, by Marc de Swaan Arons & Fran van den Driest.