Agents of Change
By Jacob Hitt
Marketers seek efficient means to communicate information to consumers that will assist them in maximizing their psychic profit. Marketing plays a crucial role in generating brand awareness and consumer demand. By conveying product information, marketers hope to influence the values of consumers to create a subjective value for a given product. For instance, according to Pete Forester (2014),
According to their own Fiscal Reports, Nike spent $3.031 billion on what they call “Demand Creation.” Nike’s a little fuzzy on what that means (marketing can be anything from a TV ad buy to a collaboration with a niche shop). According to Matt it’s “Nike-speak for ‘Advertising.'” That means that Nike spends about $100 per second on advertising. That’s right, in the time it’s taken you to read this post Nike spend about $4,000 on “Demand Creation.” (Forester)
The value created by advertising is a key aspect of owning a Nike product. If Nike did not spend money recruiting star athletes and advertising their endorsements, there would be little subjective value generated for consumers, and potentially little demand for Nike’s products.
International marketing is riskier than domestic marketing as there are numerous variables and challenges that may devastate a marketing campaign. The uncertainty associated with international business and marketing demands that in-depth research regarding the targeted international market be conducted before engaging in a campaign. For example, advertising in China is vastly different than advertising in North America. If a company from North America fails to recognize the cultural differences, a potential marketing campaign could result in failure (perhaps a marketing campaign that would have been successful domestically). However, a successful advertising campaign may result in the product being demanded internationally and may also influence international cultures.
Eastern countries are influenced by western advertising and culture and vice versa. For instance, McDonald’s restaurants are located all over the world, from the United States to China. When McDonald’s engaged in advertising, they undoubtedly infused domestic Western culture into their restaurants’ appeal. For example, according to Wally Griffith (2008),
The company opened the first drive-thru outlet in November, 2005 and Schwartz says it’s been “very, very successful. (It’s a first) for anywhere at all in China,” he said. “Drive through was a brand new concept anywhere in China. In fact, drive-through was such a new concept in 2005, that many Chinese didn’t know how to use it.”
But companies accessing international markets must adapt to foreign cultures in order to thrive and connect with the new markets they are trying to access. It is important to relate with the consumer in order to convince the consumer that they value and demand the product.
Marketers play a key role in changing the values of consumers by introducing them to new information conveyed through marketing. While some look at marketers and advertising with disdain, they play an important and valuable role for both consumers and producers in domestic and international markets. It is important to recognize cultural differences and seek opportunities presented through cultural difference. Companies face new challenges by expanding internationally and must overcome increased uncertainty and risk. However, marketers can create market demand to vastly more consumers by tapping international markets such as China.
Forester, Pete. (26 July 2014). You Won’t Believe How Much Nike Spends on “Demand Creation”. Accessed from: http://www.complex.com/sneakers/2014/07/nike-spends-3b-on-demand-creation
Griffith, Wally. (15 August 2008). McDonald’s Has a Big Appetite for China. Accessed from: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/26226387/ns/business-cnbc_tv/t/mcdonalds-has-big-appetite-china/#.VGlhksntt8E