Comparison of Domestic & Global Marketing Strategies

Instructor: Lynn Doerr

Lynn has worked in various aspects of marketing for many years and has a Master's degree in Marketing Communication.

There are many similarities and differences between domestic and global marketing. When companies decide to market products globally, they need to take a closer look at customers, culture, regulations, and logistics before launching a successful campaign abroad.

Marketing in a Global Economy

We live in a global economy, and that means products are moving around the world as easily as people these days. It's not unusual to see products jump from country to country, and this type of commerce will continue to increase as countries grow their middle-class segments and the demand for items from soft drinks to medications increase as well.

Global Economy
Global Economy

What happens when a company decides to jump borders and market a product in another country? What elements should they consider before taking the leap?

It can be a complex endeavor, so let's look at some of the areas requiring planning for a global launch to be successful. Domestic and global marketing strategies contain the same basic components - defining an objective, identifying the customer and competition, highlighting the features and benefits, and constructing a positioning statement. But some of these steps become even more challenging, depending on the market.

Let's imagine a vaccine called StopX is developed by a company called Lastra Pharma. Lastra Pharma is based in the United States, and they are considering two new markets for their vaccine - South Korea and Nepal. These markets are very different, so let's take a closer look.

Planning Elements

We'll start with a list of things to consider:

  • Market/Customers: Who are the customers? What are their needs and preferences? What is unique about the buying process?
  • What is important to understand regarding the culture and communication about the product?
  • What are the regulatory/legal issues in the new countries? Will this affect timing?
  • What logistics need to be considered?

Understand the Market

The first step is to understand the market in both countries. This means understanding customer needs and defining the buying process. In South Korea, the market is very sophisticated and similar to the U.S. market in many ways. There is a large middle class, and the health care system is developed. The literacy rate is close to 100%, so it's easier to communicate to the public with information. That is not the case in Nepal where many people are poor, and the literacy rate is around 60%. Obviously, you will not market a vaccine in the same way in these two countries. Whereas an individual in South Korea may receive a vaccination from their physician, in Nepal an individual may only have access to a vaccine that is offered free of charge through an NGO providing medication to low-income countries. In the case of Korea, you may market directly to the consumer and the physician while in Nepal you might actually be working with a non-profit organization that does not reside within Nepal, or you may work directly with the government rather than market directly to the consumer.



It's a big world, and local culture can play a very big part in any marketing campaign. It is just as important to know about culture as it is to know about the customer. Even in the U.S., healthcare culture has shifted with the introduction of the internet. Patients used to follow directions from their healthcare providers, but with information available online, many patients show up for appointments armed with information. This changes the dynamic as to how companies provide information to the market. With new markets, there are new dynamics, and market research can be key to understanding customer preferences. Let's look at the case of Kraft Food and the introduction of Oreo cookies into the China market. At first, the product did not meet sales expectations - cookies were too sweet, and the package was too large for consumers. Kraft did some additional research and tweaked the product for a boost in sales.

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