International Marketing vs Global Marketing (10 Differences)

Global Marketing

Global Marketing vs International Marketing – I have noticed, are perceived the same by several marketers worldwide. However, they are definitely not the same. International marketing involves the marketing tactics adopted by knowledgeable marketers in different countries specific to the markets of those countries. Global marketing, on the other hand is a marketing concept which involves the marketing efforts put in for the unique worldwide market.

We can understand that these two terms sometimes sound similar to most people most of the time but actually they are not. They aren’t analogous by any means. In the words of Oxford University Press, global marketing is when an organization utilizes an exact promotional tactic all over the world – like Nike or Wal-Mart. Under its purview, the entire world is deemed one market and does not adjust the products or services, distribution channels or the communication to regional requirements.

Alternatively, International marketing refers to a situation wherein a company opens a subsidiary in a new country and permits that subsidiary to look after the market in that region and pay consideration to local customs like religion, dietary and lifestyle habits.

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International Marketing vs Global Marketing

Here are some of the key differences between the two terms that show that these are not similar:

  1. Service or Product offering

In global marketing, a company provides the exact product or service offerings to the customers in all countries that it operates. For example, banks, insurance companies and big retail chains such as Wal-Mart. In international marketing however, each of the individual market is served with specific tailored products especially suited to the customers in that market only. Let’s talk about the Sharia finance products that are only offered to Muslim customers in Muslim countries or non-Muslim countries for that matter.

  1. Marketing personnel

The marketing staffs of companies employing the global marketing strategy work at the company’s head office and are generally quite different from each other in terms of ethnicity, age, gender and also nature of work. They have distinct skills from each other which when combined produce effective results for the company and its global view.

On the other hand, in international marketing, there is much less dissimilarity amongst the team members and hail generally from the country of origin of the company itself.

  1. Marketing Budget

The marketing budget of a company adopting the global marketing policy is finalized and approved from the corporate headquarters. For example, Nike finalizes a said amount of budget at its headquarters which then drops down to local branch offices subsequently.


However, in international marketing, the budget gets segregated into each of the subsidiary offices which can also formulate its own budget as well. For example, McDonald’s runs ads in local languages and according to local traditions that can be found in those regions only.

  1. Promotion tactics

In global marketing, the company tries to make and air (on TV and radio) ads that are in sync with the worldwide audience and similarly does other marketing efforts. An appropriate example for this would be the ads that were aired on television during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. It was a mix of all: global event, passionate viewers and the game of football.

In international marketing, all the marketing efforts including television commercials are tailored for the local market.

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  1. Marketing Autonomy

In global marketing, every marketing strategy is devised and implemented from the corporate headquarters whereas in international marketing the marketing efforts are generated from within the domestic markets.

  1. Use of Social Media

Just by reviewing their social media pages, one can contemplate as to what type of marketing policy the company has adopted. For example, brands like McDonald’s have separate Facebook pages for numerous countries such as Malaysia, Brazil, Italy and Spain. Whereas, companies like Nike and Caterpillar have just a solitary Facebook page for their customers irrespective of any region or country.

  1. Customers’ engagement

Customers’ engagement is more visible in International Marketing. A company can better connect with its customers by installing in place better communication channels. Global marketing is also as effective when it comes to customers’ engagement only the international marketing strategies are little different. However, it is proved that international marketing seems to create greater amount of engagement than global marketing does.

  1. Advertising

In the global marketing concept the advertisements are typically aired on worldwide mediums; however in international marketing companies tend to air the advertisements in local markets or markets with similar characteristics. There are some global marketing products which respond well to global advertising, however there are others that which cannot exist in certain countries due to legal restrictions.


  1. R&D and marketing research

In real terms, marketing research and R&D are as thorough and widespread in global marketing as they are in international marketing. There are some instances when companies don’t do their international marketing research properly and thus their products fail miserably in the global market. For example, the Ben-Gay Aspirin, McDonald’s Arch Deluxe, and Redux Beverages’ Cocaine Energy drink.

  1. Hybrid Structure

This point is not a direct comparison between global and international marketing but it emphasizes the fact that a hybrid structure of the two forms of marketing can be very useful for companies. For example, in the early days Coca-Cola successfully adopted this tactic and now every company seems to be following it. For example, Frito-Lay, Proctor and Gamble, McDonald and Mercedes Benz, all have taken to this approach.

International Marketing Definition

International market is the marketing approach in which a company sellsInternational marketing products in more than one country.

Marketing Environment of International Marketing

  • The Political Environment: These kinds of government comprise the political & ethical base such as democracy, socialism, dictatorship, monarchy, or consumerism.
  • The Legal Environment: The ruling of goods and services by the administration is very important to an international marketing organization. If the market is driven by the law, then it supports the price and circulation of products and services.
  • Cultural Factor: The culture of any country is hugely significant in international marketing since it helps the organization to know the international marketing features that they must keep in purview. In the event of developing countries this is not the case, as foreign goods are highly liked as compared with locally made ones.

Global Marketing Definition

Global marketing discusses the marketing actions coordinated and assimilated across numerous markets. Jonny K Johansson has defined Global Marketing as “a bigger brother to international marketing” i.e. it’s just an extension to international marketing. Muhlbacher, Helmuth, and Dahringer have defined it as “Global/transnational Marketing focuses upon leveraging a company’s assets, experience and products globally and upon adapting to what is truly unique and different in each country”.

Global Marketing Advantages

  • Whenever a business turns global, it is empirical that it should take advantage of the myriad opportunities that Internet can bestow upon it.
  • Apart from the limitless sales potential which the business eventually enjoys by keeping a worldwide existence, a particular brand must also invest on Internet resources which the customers can readily relate to irrespective of where they might be.
  • Higher profits, increased sales, fresh knowledge and skill-development are also some marked advantages of global marketing.

 Global Marketing Disadvantages

  • The competitive dissimilarities amongst the various brands and manufacturers.
  • The differences in customer likings such as needs and desires impacted by their own regions.
  • The differences in authorized concerns which may create clashes with that of the native market.
  • There may be language barriers, changed mindset of consumers and/or additional costs incurred in production.

Global marketing is actually a great deal different from international marketing. Although, they are perceived to be similar but when a company really decides to expand and create its business it actually needs to know the actual differences between the two. This way, when the company is really prepared to expand it just needs to know which of the two to adopt and it is good to go, without any further worries.

Global marketing has been defined by the Oxford University Press as “marketing on a worldwide scale reconciling or taking commercial advantage of global operational differences, similarities and opportunities in order to meet global objectives.” Thus, global marketing means to sell your products all over the globe. It is really very close in meaning to international marketing but there are many a differences between the two.

Global marketing does happens when a company deems the entire worldwide market as one. There is no difference between the local market and the market that is 10000 miles distant in the view of the company. It perceives the entire market with the same eye and makes no distinction between any particular markets. Global marketing is followed by large retail stores that sell certain fixed products. The company would not introduce anything new or as per the religious sentiments of the local people since it’s a international brand that is operating in that region as a foreigner. They won’t even bring in certain foods and products that are of the host country but would only sell those found in their own country. Each and every product of theirs is the exact same as you would find in the country of their origin or that can be found in any other country for that matter.

To adopt the strategy of global marketing a company must use the ‘4P’s of marketing’ that are product, price, place and promotion. A company just can’t become a global company overnight, but has to take several steps to become one. First, they must possess a global team. Second, they must possess a universal marketing plan. Naturally, it takes some time (and effort) for a local company to start selling its products on a global level.

International marketing is in many ways different from global marketing. International marketing is when a company that is headquartered in one country decides to start selling its products in another or many other countries. It then opens head offices and manufacturing units in those countries. It is just like opening a new franchise in another country. The company is still in charge of the international marketing business and its operations and marketing goals but the responsibility of the local markets now lies with the local headquartered units of the company which look after them in their own way.

It is still possible to keep a large chain using international marketing. The chain and franchises have the same company logo and missions but sells products that are according to the tastes and religious sentiments of the people of those markets. For example, an American company dealing in international marketing would not just sell American products but French products as well.

International marketing has many advantages too. One of them being the availability of local and competent staff from the country of operation, who have a sound knowledge of the local customs and traditions and thus are of great value to the company. These kind of franchises can still operate and make their own marketing policies but ultimately have to report to the main headquarter in the country of origin to report all the sales and revenue figures. The decision for a new company, that has just started to operate needing to expand its business activities, whether to adopt global or international marketing, has to be taken after considering its nature of products and other pros and cons.

Conclusion – International Marketing vs Global Marketing

Whether a business chooses for international marketing or for global marketing is eventually, the company’s own decision. Ultimately the chosen marketing approach must fit the business’ mission, vision, operational structure and brand policy. It is worth mentioning that a company must attain a safe operational stature before it decides to adopt a global marketing policy.

Most international marketing managers, who decide to enter the global market, don’t evaluate along with their boards, as to how a decision regarding the tactic of marketing the company would adopt would fare. Like, the interpretation of a brochure from English to Chinese is better for global marketing companies than to international marketers, who are better at locating for themselves a decent local copywriter.

We hope that after reading our article, the confusion as to the distinction between international marketing and global marketing in the minds of our readers would have gone. We hope that you also found our article informative and interesting. Many thanks for reading!

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  • Comment Avatar

    Comment It is very impressive and educative,thank you.

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    Thanks for the informative content

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    Very good article. Easy style. Good examples

  • Comment Avatar

    Nice article.. its quite clear reading through this article…

  • Comment Avatar
    Phuong Ton

    The detail explanations are very clear and helpful. thanks.

  • Comment Avatar

    Awesome! Thanks a million, my doubt has been cleared.