Lars Perner, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Marketing
Department of Marketing
Marshall School of Business
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0443, USA
(213) 740-7127

Consumer Psychologist Facebook Forum

International Distribution

Promotional tools.  Numerous tools can be used to influence consumer purchases:

Promotional objectives.  Promotional objectives involve the question of what the firm hopes to achieve with a campaign—“increasing profits” is too vague an objective, since this has to be achieved through some intermediate outcome (such as increasing market share, which in turn is achieved by some change in consumers which cause them to buy more).  Some common objectives that firms may hold:

Note that in new or emerging markets, the first objectives are more likely to be useful while, for established products, the latter objectives may be more useful in mature markets such as Japan, the U.S., and Western Europe.

Constraints on Global Communications Strategies.  Although firms that seek standardized positions may seek globally unified campaigns, there are several constraints:

Some cultural dimensions:

Advertising standardization.  Issues surrounding advertising standardization tend to parallel issues surrounding product and positioning standardization.  On the plus side, economies of scale are achieved, a consistent image can be established across markets, creative talent can be utilized across markets, and good ideas can be transplanted from one market to others.  On the down side, cultural differences, peculiar country regulations, and differences in product life cycle stages make this approach difficult.  Further, local advertising professionals may resist campaigns imposed from the outside—sometimes with good reasons and sometimes merely to preserve their own creative autonomy.

Legal issues.  Countries differ in their regulations of advertising, and some products are banned from advertising on certain media (large supermarket chains are not allowed to advertise on TV in France, for example).  Other forms of promotion may also be banned or regulated.  In some European countries, for example, it is illegal to price discriminate between consumers, and thus coupons are banned and in some, it is illegal to offer products on sale outside a very narrow seasonal and percentage range.