Time To Do Away With Cookie-Cutter Approach To Marketing
Global Customers Have Different Needs
eing a marketer means being constantly able to take a peek into the behaviors and motivations of your target audience. A few of your observations might have led you to a realization that they (all of us, actually) yearn for the same things — love, peace of mind, and validation. However, things are much more different when you put your customers in the context of buying a product or service; you will see that each of them has different priorities and needs.
A comprehensive research from Boston Consulting Group lists down three major factors that drive customer choice around the world. Marketers like you should take note of these things to avoid falling into the trap of making one-size-fits-all marketing strategies. After all, we have to assume from the get-go that every human is unique and has different needs and motivations.
Despite globalization, the mindsets of the customers remain local
Why do a lot of global marketers believe that customers have a lot in common when buying a product or service? Primarily, this is because marketers have assumed that globalization has caused customers of a certain demographic to share some common traits. For instance, you might have this prevailing belief that the Gen Z customers here in Singapore will be very much the same as the Gen Z consumers in the Philippines, in the United States, in Sweden, or anywhere in the globe. However, the research dispels the narrative.
In one of BCG’s findings, they discovered that Westerners exhibit greater individualism. However, the same philosophy does not resonate that much with customers in Japan and China. Another finding says that 86% of Chinese consumers agree that they are conscious about what others think about their purchases; people in the west, however, do not share the same sentiment.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to this truth: customers groups in different countries face different situations and economic circumstances. Understanding these situations is key to crafting a relatable brand message.
Look first into the needs of your global consumers before creating a playbook
If you’re marketing your brand across different countries, the first thing that you may plan to do is to create a global marketing playbook. But before you do that, you need to determine first the categories in which your global customers are the same.
BCG’s research has found that in only a few categories did consumer needs remain relatively similar across the globe. The categories include luxury retail, leisure travel, and content streaming. BCG thinks that supply is the reason. For instance, Netflix, Amazon, and other competing streaming services offer similar titles around the world. In the case of luxury goods, the similarities in global needs may be a reflection of the demand for premium products and brands from specific countries. Just picture this: there will always be consumers in China, Japan, USA, Singapore, and the United Kingdom who will want and buy a Louis Vuitton or Balenciaga item.
Context should always be considered
BCG’s research has also found out that attitudes and demographics often do not directly serve as factors that make consumers buy a certain product. Context also matters.
To make it easier to understand, take a look at yourself as a regular customer. You may have this favorite restaurant. But you know that you cannot always buy their food since you have to take into account your needs during the specific time you’re in, the people you’re going to eat with, and your budget.
With that, you have to accept the fact that even your most loyal customers may buy a competing brand’s product especially if one of their family members need it or it is only what their budget can afford at the time of the purchase.
So what’s next?
The next thing that you need to do is to strengthen your targeting strategy. Reconsider your parameters and incorporate BCG’s three insights into your metrics. More importantly, always go back to this age-old piece wisdom: humans are unique and have different needs, and you should not always box them in specific categories.