10 Reasons Why Your Global Marketing Is Failing

For companies, the key business plan component is usually the promotion of a product or service. This is why it is important to create effective result-oriented marketing and advertising strategy, especially if the product is to be sold internationally. If so, the company can use global marketing to sell products and grow the customer base, build brand recognition, and increase profits.

Global marketing features a standardized marketing approach that can be used internationally. If done right, this type of marketing strategy generally works for different cultures and countries, aids product or service promotion. By developing a single marketing strategy that is effective across most countries, the company can save both time and money on its marketing efforts, as separate marketing strategies are usually not needed in each country or region.

That being said, there are always exceptions and ways in which one does not fit all – even most experienced marketers tend to forget that not every target market has the same wants and needs. Sometimes miscalculations and oversights can make global marketing strategy fall flat.

These 10 missteps can doom your global marketing:

1. Poor research and preparation.

Thorough and extensive research is a foundation of successful global marketing – if it fails your strategy may crumble. Most, if not all, flaws that are discovered after a global marketing campaign hits target markets are due to poor research. Make sure to look closely into the target market’s distinctive features, customer needs, prominent competitors, etc. before launching your campaign. If you will involve an asset within your company to perform translation of your web resources and marketing materials, make sure they get acquainted with job ahead and invest in proper tools for it in order to eliminate any potential future mistakes and go into the job prepared. Online courses and programs for translators are worth checking out in a case like this. These are the steps that must be taken ahead of time in preparation with your expansion to a global market.

2. Missing target audience.

Many researchers skip this basic step, as they wrongly assume that the target country’s audience is the same as in their own country. Assumptions are dangerous and, if not supported by research and facts, can bring down even otherwise thought-through and well-tailored marketing strategy.

3. Standardization fail. 

Again with the assumptions! Some marketers don’t think twice about it and implement their standardized marketing strategy for all target markets without identifying and recognizing local differences, cultural backdrops, and other peculiarities of local markets. This is a no-no for a modern world that strives towards diversity appreciation.

4. Biting off more than you can chew. 

Sometimes companies decide to go all in and target many local markets at once. Of course, it doesn’t pose a big problem if your execution is flawless, but that is rarely the case. Global marketing on such a large scale tends to expose mistakes that were done somewhere along the way and missed because attention was directed elsewhere.

5. Celebrating victory early.

After a campaign is launched successfully marketers tend to think that all troubles are over, where in reality they may be just around the corner. Many things can go wrong along the way and, if discovered it time, issues can be fixed. The successful launch should not discourage from further monitoring, data gathering, and evaluation.

6. Know your competition.

There is a lot of fish in the sea, but is there a great white shark that will chase you out of its native waters? Before delving into target markets make sure to learn about your competitors, both local and global.

7. Inability to adapt.

Each market is a dynamic environment. In modern times businesses need to be able to tailor their global marketing strategies to specific local markets when needed. Your global marketing strategy may be perfect, but it will fail if you are not willing to adapt or recognize the need for change when it is already too late.

8. Bad translation. 

Translation guides are your friend when working with foreign markets. Incorrect translation can often be seen, and it had put a damper on many successful marketing campaigns, from Coca- Cola to Mercedes-Benz. Even these global market giants fail to transfer meaning behind their slogans and promotions, which resulted in serious international drama. Bad localization is dangerous for brands, it can be perceived by the target audience as laughable or even disrespectful. If you want to avoid their mistakes, reach out to professional translation services, which will help you understand how to avoid marketing translation mistakes. Businesses mentioned above could survive this, but will yours?

9. Insensitivity (cultural, racial, religious, etc.) 

This issue goes hand in hand with poor localization. Your research should go beyond studying market and economic conditions to ensure that your campaign is internationally acceptable.

10. Wrong delivery. 

Once your global marketing campaign is launched you may notice that it doesn’t give you the results you were hoping for. This can be to do with poor delivery. Standard delivery channels don’t always work best for every market, one should often check local channels that can provide better results. For example, when marketing to a Russian audience you should use not just Facebook and Instagram for your social media marketing, but also VK, the same as WeChat for China.

Global marketing is tricky. It allows great opportunities for business, which are in no way outweighed by challenges. Companies maximize their efforts to reach a global audience and sometimes they fail, but other times efforts pay of and the result is truly incredible. Failure, however, should never discourage someone from trying and shouldn’t stop anyone on their way to success.


Mark Blackwood

With a background in business translation, freelance content creator and researcher Mark Blackwood strives to create informative and engaging content. His passions are marketing and learning new languages. Mark loves to share his insight on the internet and welcomes any feedback about his work.