Globalization has become a powerful force in business and international trade. Some see globalization as a force for positive change (Thomas Friedman, The World is Flat) and some see globalization as imposing capitalism and western (especially American) culture upon others. Importantly, marketing strategy has become a major driver for companies with global aspirations. Early practitioners of marketing as a driver for global growth include Coco-Cola, Pepsico, Kodak, Sony, Kelloggs, NestlÃ© and Unilever. Today all the Fortune 500 companies have a global footprint operating in most regions of the world.
This course will examine global marketing in the context of global growth strategies firms have successfully adopted. The influence of those global growth strategies have on global brand and marketing strategies is powerful. Therefore marketing should not operate independent of the firms growth strategy. For example, the marketing strategy and brand strategy for McDonaldâ??s which adheres to a franchising growth strategy is quite different from Microsoftâ??s marketing and brand strategy within their organic growth business strategy and heavy emphasis on R&D.
Global brand strategy will be discussed in depth as a range of global brand strategies seem to be effective. The issues often become the best one in light of the global growth strategy and global marketing strategy, not the superiority of one brand model over another. The course will focus on some core ideas such as the need for innovation and the potential for reaching market segments beyond the upper and upper middle class consumers. The course will also explore the interface between culture, consumer insight and key go-tomarket platforms â?? advertising, design, internet and event marketing.
Finally, the course will explore approaches to monitoring global marketing performance. The class will rely on guest speakers from the industry and robust class discussion. Therefore, (40%) of the course grade will be based on class participation and half (60%) on four individual written assignments, two of these written assignments will be analysis of a case write-up. There will be no final exam and no textbook for the course.
It is hoped that students will gain a deeper understanding of the future importance of global marketing, and the building a powerful brand complexities of marketing and brand across multiple countries/regions when contrasted to marketing when there is just a single market focus.
Joseph Plummer was a Columbia Business School faculty member from 2004 to 2016.