Dealing with world-wide globalization trends is new to all of us. Everything is in a state of flux: demands, labour, know-how and capital are all flowing to where the biggest hopes for future lie, with the resultant standardization of production technologies, business strategies, marketing plans and management styles. Although tourism production is tied to local conditions, the tourism industry cannot avoid being affected by globalization. Tourist products, and even whole destinations, are becoming interchangeable; continental and inter-continental transport networks determine the direction and speed of development; distribution channels and reservation systems are increasingly a decisive factor in success (Muller, H. 2001).
Worldwide excess capacity in all departments of tourism-carriers, accommodation, adventure and leisure parks, sport facilities, cultural events, etc. -is a key driving force in globalization. Drops in tourism figures in highly differentiated national economies (Austria, Switzerland, Germany, etc.) are largely due to the fact that almost all national economies worldwide have discovered tourism as a development-promoting factor and been drawn into the globalization maelstrom through the competitive situation (A. Lockwood, et.al, 2001).
3.1 Globalizing marketing
Formulating and implementing a global marketing strategy is a complicated task. Expanding overseas will bring trouble sorting out the many complex issues involved, even for those who have great experience in local markets. Good market data on customers and competitors across the globe make the task easier. But perceptive analysis of such data requires some managerial rethinking about customers and competitors.
A strong argument for companies to standardize marketing was made by Ted Levitt, who in 1983 argued that markets were globalizing because of two factors: global communication and technology diffusion. With satellite TV broadcasts beaming the same programs all over the world and with instantaneous global communications, the world is moving inexorably toward greater homogeneity of markets. At the same time, the increasing speed of technological innovation and diffusion make todays production soon outdated by the onslaught from global competitors able to incorporate the latest product inventions. The joint effect of these two forces makes product standardization not only possible but the preferred alternative. (Johansson, J.K., 1997)
Because of the soft and impressionistic data that usually underlie a proposal for global marketing, the global marketers need to develop and present a more qualitative argument in favour of global approach. The focus should be the degree to which a convergence of preferences is under way (W.J. Keggan, 2002). There are at least three important driving points in an analysis of the global convergence of preferences:
- Recognize that customer preferences are dynamic and changing.
- A major driver of changing preferences is new products on the market.
- The new standard-setting products are first introduced and tested in leading markets.
In addition to the analysis of common customer needs there is also need to analyze competition. The analysis of global competitors adds a level of complexity to the analysis of domestic-only competitors. The global competitor usually has available a wider repertoire of competitive actions, which makes for a stronger competitor and makes prediction more difficult. Global competitors are always a threat to enter any local market where they at the moment might not have a presence (Johansson, J.K., 1997).
Globalizing marketing involves global coordination of marketing activities. It involves taking a global management perspective on the marketing operation in any country. Most typically it involves a certain degree of marketing standardization. There are several advantages and disadvantages of marketing standardization.
Table 3. Advantages and Disadvantages of Marketing Standardization. W.J. Keggan (2002)
AdvantagesDisadvantagesCost reduction. Cost reductions gained by scale economies constitute the primary benefits from standardization. Because of the longer production series there are considerable savings to be gained in manufacturing as well as purchasing. Off-target. Standardized products, services and promotional mix are likely to miss the exact target in terms of customers preferences in any one country, because customers in different countries have widely dissimilar tastes and needs. Enhanced customer preference. Positive experience with product in one country naturally encourages a consumer to buy the same brand elsewhere. Lack of uniqueness. Of customization or exclusivity is one of the overriding purchase considerations, a standardised offering is in a weak position. Improved quality. Since additional recourses can be focused on the product development effort and design, the standardized product or service is likely to be more thoroughly tested. Sensitive to protectionism. Where country makers are protected be trade barriers, local manufacturing may be necessary and the scale benefits from standardization cannot be reaped. Global customers. There are an increasing number of global customers who demand uniform quality and services wherever it happen to be and buy. Strong local competitors. Globalization can also fail simply because local competitors are capable and manage to mount a strong defence. Global segments. Standardization fits with the emergence of global segments.
3.2 Global promotion
Global promotion involves a variety of activities, ranging from in-store point-of-purchase displays and Sunday newspaper coupons to satellite TV advertising to sponsorship of symphony orchestras and athletic events. The global sales promotion, public relation, and publicity have also become powerful promotional tools because of developments in global communications and the opening up of new markets. Then there is participation in international trade fairs, direct marketing, and personal selling, the last typically more localized, but still important (W.J. Keggan, 2002).
Public relations professionals with international responsibility must go beyond media relations and serve as more than a company mouthpiece they are called on to simultaneously build consensus and understanding, create trust and harmony, articulate and influence public opinion, anticipate conflicts and resolve disputes. Public relations practices in specific countries can be affected by cultural traditions, social and political contexts, and economic environment. In developing countries, the best way to communicate might be through gongman, the town crier, the market square, or the chiefs courts. Even in industrialized countries, there are some important differences between PR practices. In the United States, much of the news in a small, local newspaper is placed by means of the hometown news release. In Canada, on the other hand, large metropolitan population centres have combined with Canadian economic and climatic conditions to thwart the emergence of a local press (Johansson, J.K., 1997).
Effective personal selling in a salespersons home country requires building a relationship with the customer; global marketing present additional challenges because the buyer and seller may come from different national and cultural backgrounds.
Sales promotion laws and usage vary around the world but may consist of any of the following: promotional pricing tactics, contests, sweepstakes and games, premium and specialties, dealer loaders, merchandising materials, tie-ins and cross-promotions, packaging, trade-shows, and sponsorship (W.J. Keggan, 2002).
Table 4. U.K. Institute of Sales Promotion.
TacticGermany FranceU.K.NetherlandsBelgiumOn-pack price reductionsYesYesYesYesYesIn-pack gift?? ?? Yes??
?? Extra product?? YesYes?? ?? Money-off voucherNoYesYesYesYesFree prize contestNoYesYesNoNo
KEY: Yes-legally allowed;?? - under review; No - not legally allowed.
The usage of direct mail, the most popular type of direct marketing, varies around the world based on literacy rates, level of acceptance, infrastructure, and culture. In countries with low levels of literacy, a medium that requires reading is not effective. In other countries, the literacy rate may be high, but consumers are unfamiliar with direct mail and suspicious of products they cannot see.
3.3 Global advertising
The most visible promotional activity is perhaps global advertising. Global advertising can be defined as advertising more or less uniform across many countries, often in media vehicles with global reach. In many cases complete uniformity is unobtainable because of linguistic and regulatory differences between nations or differences in media availability, but, as with products, localized advertising can still be basically global. In contrast, multidomestic advertising is international advertising deliberately adapted to particular markets and audience in message and/or creative execution (W.J. Keggan, 2002).
There are several traditional problems facing the decision maker in global advertising. One is how to allocate a given advertising budget among several market countries. The other is the message to use in these various markets. A third is what media to select.
But even before tackling these management decisions, the advertiser needs to define the objectives of the advertising in the different countries. And before doing that it is imperative that the decision maker identify what can conceivably be expected from the global advertising effort. Thus, the logical starting point