International marketing and influence of social media
Over the last few decades, social media have received massive usage for various reasons, and enormous use has been domestic and international marketing. In other words, social media have affected marketing in the same way marketers have shifted from traditional retailing to online retailing because of the accessibility, flexibility, and affordability of media to create both product and brand awareness. In a nutshell, in the context of international marketing, some factors affect its usual operations, such as policy and other regulations that vary from region to region (Sheth, 2020). Social media is gaining popularity and usage in international marketing due to its context. It gets encouraged by other traditional media such as word of mouth (WOM) and earned media. People learn about other products and brands through reviews and recommendations from those who have past experiences with them.
Moreover, social media has narrowed the differences between international and domestic marketing. Social media have been at the forefront because of its diversity in delivering content through voice, video, and text. The fast internet makes information flow and reaches most users within the shortest span of traditional media.
Five dimensions provide value creation in international marketing. They are access, affordability, acceptance, awareness, and activation. Access is about getting the product and the convenience of acquiring the product and services (Sheth, 2020). While affordability entails information concerning the consumer’s ability to pay for the product and if they are willing to purchase, it involves product and brand awareness. Furthermore, acceptance comprises psychological and functional, whereby functional: the quality of products and their performance, psychological: customers’ emotional attachments. Finally, activation includes getting promotions and engagement to get past experiences through reviews.
Rethinking international marketing
International marketing has gone domestic due to the general use of social media to transverse every corner of marketing in the world, drawing people closer. In the same breath, word of mouth (WOM) has gone viral because opinions from famous marketers from different communities have been shared via social media platforms. There is the concept of “think local, act global” that marketers and influencers have facilitated by manufacturing local products and selling them globally. The idea of “online first” comes to every consumer’s mind to understand marketing through checking and comparing products’ prices and features. Similarly, the rise in global virtual communities where people from different tribes come together to share ideas online by forming a concrete social media platform facilitates international marketing.
Implications for practice
Social media operates within no borders to enhance future international marketing. It functions effectively with segmentation, targeting, and positioning. Furthermore, it facilitates the growth of virtual communities and increases brand awareness through consumers’ efforts to become brand ambassadors (Sheth, 2020). There is the formational global village due to social tribes and communities forming groups in social media for substantial discussions for common interests.
Implications of research
Social media will enhance data extraction and use to further growth in international marketing. Further, there is a gap in researching the use of Artificial Intelligence for marketing products and services.
Due to the influx of social media users from YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, massive growth in international marketing is likely to go beyond borders and further reduce the gap between international and domestic marketing. Word of mouth will continue to dominate social media purposely to develop marketing mechanisms. Similarly, there is growth in global virtual communities than local communities, improving international marketing.
Sheth, J.N., 2020. Borderless media: Rethinking international marketing. Journal of International Marketing, 28(1), pp.3-12.