When it comes to marketing and promotional tactics, the one question that dominates is that of standardization or adaptation; whether to keep your services and promotion consistent no matter the market or develop a different strategy for each of the markets. One is convenient while the other is more dynamic. One helps businesses keep their practices homogenized and easier for employees to keep up with while the other is a window to endless opportunities.
Perhaps chalking out the advantages and risks of each separately can help you better judge what suits your unique business and market needs. Go through the following sections that shed light on the pros and cons of each, aiding you in making the right decision.
Standardization means that there is uniformity in all the organizational practices, including the marketing strategy, notwithstanding the uniqueness of a market or what clicks more with the majority of the people who constitute that market. For businesses that have tighter budgets, this is useful as strategy development entails one time investment and the business takes it in multiple markets. It is also convenient in terms of the effort a business has to put in. Also, when the products fall into the utility category such as the ones used on a daily basis, standardization is suitable since there is minimal risk of losing the market.
Moreover, promotion and advertising is only one part of the whole marketing campaign of a business. When marketing is being considered, we also reflect upon the product features, product packaging, its design and size, its variations and most importantly, its functionality. A standardized marketing strategy would hit upon all of these aspects and keep them consistent throughout a number of markets.
Adaptation means to acclimatize or adjust your strategy to suit the unique needs of each market you take your business to. This implies that everything from the very idea of the product to how it is developed and how it is packaged and presented is completely different from that in the country of origin and other markets. This includes a lot of work and consistent responsiveness towards the changing needs of the market that a business chooses to enter.
The only thing that the business can take help from is the already developed image of the company to convince new target markets to try out your product offering with a different message that resonates with them. The added challenge here is that businesses have to hire human resource that belongs to the local region so that they can come up with unique insights about the wants and demands of their market. So there is an additional major procedure of carrying out effective hiring that helps take forward the adaptation strategy. While this strategy comes with a number of challenges, pulling it off successfully can exponentially increase a company’s foothold in the market.
When it comes to judging what suits your business best, you have to weigh the opportunity cost of each against each other. When standardization makes things significantly easier for your business, the opportunity cost it comes with is that you leave out on deeper connection with the market. When you opt for adaptation, you are letting go of the convenience, spending more time and taking a bigger financial risk. It all comes down to which risk your business can afford to put up with.
April Salsbury, MBA is a strategist, an analyst, an operational guru, a recognized leader and C-suite global healthcare executive with drive and focus for competitive markets. Co-host of The Business Forum Show and regular contributor to various business journals, she possess multi-functional and multi-national competencies with more than 15 years experience in business and healthcare. Her expertise is in invigorating revenue growth and infusing value of lean practices in growing companies through improvements to cash flow and operations management.
Fueling revenue, growth and profit, Salsbury & Co. is a consultancy firm focused on helping businesses and healthcare organizations achieve excellency. Our specialists have executive experience combined with deep functional expertise to provide our clients with services that drive real impact and results.
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