The matter of standardization or adaptation in advertising has been an important issue of discussion among the best specialists in the field of marketing and advertising all over the world.
Despite of the fact that both concepts have their pros and cons; it is believed that adaptation is a more effective method of advertising when referring to advertising campaigns in foreign countries. Indeed, the concept of adaptation in advertising is relatively new, and it is a result of developing through the global economy need to advertise products across national boundaries. The world has become more opened due to the process of globalization, which is the process of denationalization of markets, politics that leads to the raising of global economy. Globalization is a general, complex and mix of relations between people, businesses, institutions and markets that appears in widening of production lines, technologies and financial instruments, in predictable growth and strengthening of influence of international institutions, in global activity of international corporations, in considerably widening of size of the communicational and informational resources.
Nowadays, exactly globalization is what dictates how companies should behave through operating in the world market. It is clear that advertising was also affected by it. Markets of the majority of countries are now opened, and large multinational corporations can enter them with successful factors. However, entering a market is not enough to reach a success. Absolutely it is necessary to attract the attention of people since people is what makes business a success. If a foreign company does not receive customers in a foreign country, then they will get a pointless to stay there. Thus, thoroughly planned and correctly implemented advertising campaigns are effective at attracting potential costumers. What pattern to use for an advertising campaign is depending on the company’s decision.
The main purpose of this study is to speak about arguments for “adaptation” versus “standardizations” of advertising campaigns when a company is aiming at developing global communications strategies. Difficulties, which might be faced by the companies while conducting advertising in a foreign country, will be also analyzed further in the study. Standardization versus Adaptation in Advertising For many years advertising used to be an effective tool at attracting people’s attention and making them buy this or that product. Early advertisements were just verbal laud or approval of a certain product expressed by one consumer to another one. As the time went by certain techniques have appeared to make advertising a separate field of economics with constantly growing profits and expenses. By means of advertising goods and services become popular with people, who later become loyal customers. However, it takes a lot time, effort and money to make consumers’ loyal to the company. But the first and the most essential step is appropriate introduction of a product at the market, which is done with the help of advertising campaigns. Specially created advertising agencies may be involved in developing advertising campaigns at home or abroad. Indeed, it is a completely different process when a company is advertising a product at the foreign country. Such factors as language, culture, religion, political and social settings of the country have to be taken into consideration while developing an advertising campaign across the national boundaries.
Adaptation in advertising is a process of localization or a process of adapting the message and the major issue of an advertisement to cultural and historical sides of a recipient country, in order to make it more clear and understandable for people with varies cultural, political and social views on their life. However, Standardization is a standard approach; a standard set of techniques of advertising used without changing in the receipt country.
The argue concerning the effectiveness of either of the two approaches continues, but the existence of certain arguments in favor of adaptation in advertising grants and accepts the latter certain advantages. Historically every country obtained its own cultural heritage, which is more stable and very hard to make any change under any circumstances. Indeed, “cultural influence has been recognized as one of the most important variables in the standardization vs. localization debate” . In this case localization is a synonym of adaptation, which implies fitting and suitable general methods and tools of advertising into foreign environment. Even countries with similar cultures possess certain strangers, which allow distinguishing one nationality from another one. Advertising is not required to fully recognize all of such differences; however, it might be quite effective. People like their culture to be known and respected, thus, they tend to buy the goods that not only satisfy their needs, but also don’t conflict with their cultural views and thoughts. Understanding of the impact of advertising on foreign consumers is of great importance of the people minds and region environments.
There are several and different thoughts, comments and opinions which summarize at the last as theories in the world markets. “Theodore Levitt” said that: “a powerful force drives the world toward a converging commonality and that force is Technology”. Almost everyone, everywhere wants things to be heard and done through the new technology. Vanished are accustomed differences in national or regional preferences. And vanished are times, days when prices, margins and profits abroad were generally higher than at home. The globalization of markets is at hand. With that, the multinational commercial world nears its end, and so does the multinational corporation. The world wide communications carry everywhere the constant drum beat of modern possibilities to lighten and enhance work, raise living standards, divert and entertain. The republic of Technology is convergence, the tendency for everything to be more like everything else.
One argument that opposes globalization says that flexible factory automation will enable plants of huge size to change products and product features quickly, with stopping the manufacturing process.
In “Zou “paper the Standardization has been conceptualized in different ways. For example, it can mean the same marketing strategy is applied in all markets, or it can mean the domestic marketing strategy is applied to a foreign market. In Zou paper we will see the positive and negative aspects of Standardization. The most important benefits of international marketing standardization include significant cost savings, consistency with customers, improved planning and distribution, and greater control across national borders. Despite the benefits of standardization, there are a number of drawbacks associated with a standardization strategy. As Douglas and Wind found out that the global marketing standardization is feasible only under certain conditions. These include the existence of a global market segment, potential synergies form standardization, and availability of a communication and distribution infrastructure to deliver the firms offerings to target customer worldwide.
Difficulties Faced by the Company When Conducting an Advertising Campaign across National Boundaries.
Advertising campaign is not just the right choice of pattern of advertising, it is a thoroughly planned process, which has certain objectives and methods to achieve objectives. A company needs to plan budget, to fame an advertising agency, to create and develop a message and choose a type of mass media it will use before conducting an advertising campaign. The arguments stated above in the study to support adaptation have proved its effectiveness, however, certain difficulties do exist and might be faced by the company when it is conducting and advertising campaign across national boundaries. Nature of such difficulties may lie in the following: language differences and complicated translation; different cultural and religious beliefs; laws and regulations controlling what products are appropriate to be advertised; significant costs of advertising campaigns; available types of mass media and advertising agencies that a company can use; buying power of potential consumers and others.
Language differences is one of the primary difficulties that a company may face while entering new markets and advertising new products. Accurate translation of the message predetermines the outcome of the whole campaign. Sometimes it might be rather complicated for a company to find a person to translate the message who would have sound knowledge of the foreign and native languages, necessary skills for translating and substantial knowledge of advertising. Cultural and religious peculiarities of the recipient country constitute the following difficulty, resulting in the necessity to alter the basic content of an advertising campaign in order to adapt it to the foreign environment. As it has been mentioned above, culture is a very serious argument that is necessary to be considered while dealing with any aspect of human life. The following possible difficulty is legal system of the recipient country represented by laws and regulations issued and controlled by the government. Before starting an advertising campaign in a foreign country a company should examine basic concepts of legislation in order not to violate it by accident. Even not knowing the laws a company would have to take on full liability in case of violating them. Significant costs of advertising campaigns are the next difficulty that may even prevent a company from conducting an advertising campaign abroad. Indeed, a company should possess certain amount of financial resources, which can be spent on advertising, because millions of dollars nowadays are spent on advertising. As the usage of mass media is the most important instrument in advertising, the lack of it might be another difficulty that a company would need to overcome to conduct a successful advertising campaign. The last possible problem is buying power of the people, which determines whether consumers will be or will not be able to pay for certain goods and services even if they like them.
Concepts of Globalization and Standardization
The European Union has performed a number of steps in order to make the influence of the World Market on the advertising business stronger. Global measures are performed in the way of standardization in the world advertising. The EU has developed two types of measures in the field of standardization.
Indirect measures also have extremely strong impact on the advertising market. The elimination of obstacles on the way of free move of goods and services in the world trade naturally leads to standardization in everything that deals with them, including advertising sector. At the same time demand for cross-border advertising services has significantly increased that leads to the appearance of new specialists in this field. Expending the world market lead to the cost reduction in many fields, connected with trade, and advertising sector in not an exception. Changes in the global market led to the changes in strategies and operational activities of the advertising agencies all over the world. “The major changes in the strategic and operational activities of the advertising agencies are thus a consequence of the way the creation of the Internal Market has influenced both the marketing and communication strategies of clients, and the organization and performance of the carriers of advertising services, such as the broadcasting industry” (Bocconi, 154). The users of the advertising services long the standardization of advertising services. Such a demand can be explained by the lower cost of standard advertisements and their better usability in the world trade market. There are three factors, which significantly influence the growing popularity of advertisement standardization. These factors are: the convergence of consumer’s behaviors, the internalization of the media system, and participation in the process of the World Market integration.
The convergence of consumer’s behaviors is a proven fact. Researches made in many countries prove that all over the world people like and dislike similar things. It’s necessary to take into account peculiarities of certain regions, of course, but in general it became possible to talk about the portrait of the standard consumer of the certain type of goods or services. Levitt (1983) states that the increase of the world travel and development of mass media made consumers all over the world very alike. The internalization of the media system made it possible to organize international advertising companies. This gives two additional opportunities. First of all, one of the benefits of this internalization is the ability to develop one advertising company, which can be used in several countries. Standard advertising allows using international advertising resources, such as TV, radio, etc. Standardization gives a lot of benefits to both – those who use the services of the advertising agencies and advertising agencies themselves. “The benefits from standardization are particularly relevant to the opportunity to exploit the same brand image across Europe and the possibility of obtaining economies of scales in campaign productions” (Bocconi, 203). Standardization also gave the opportunity to use copy strategy in advertising. The research shows that standartisized products are more functional, reliable, and up to date. In addition, they are sold for lower prices. Standardization is extremely profitable for international companies, which work in several world countries.
In conclusion, Levitt paper demonstrated that the global company will shape the vectors of technology and globalization into its great strategic fecundity, and the tow important vectors shape the world are Technology and globalization. The first, helps determine human preferences; the second, economic realities. The Zue paper has mentioned that the international marketing literature r deals with globalization of markets and with the extent of which a company’s international market strategy can be standardized. Furthermore, Zou paper has demonstrated the positive and negative aspects of standardizations.
So, it is necessary to emphasize that both adaptation and standardization in advertising are widely used nowadays. However, if a company is planning to increase sales volumes by attracting more customers from foreign countries it is better for it to refer to adaptation as it considers differences in languages, cultures and other characteristic features of foreign countries. Standardization is appropriate when a company is planning to conduct an advertising campaign in relatively close in cultural aspect countries. It does not require such significant costs as adaptation does, but it is not so effective when advertising across national boundaries.
Luxton, Sandra. “Time for Advancement: A Framework for
Standardization of International Advertising Strategy”.
Onkvisit, S., Shaw J. J. Shaw. “Standardised International
Advertising; A Review and Critical Evaluation of the Theoretical and Empirical Evidence.” Columbia Journal of World Business, 1987.
Harris, G. “International Advertising Standardization: What Do
the Multinationals Actually Standardize?” Journal of International Marketing, 1994.
Bloch, Brian. “The Language-Culture Connection in
International Business.” Foreign Language Annals, 1996.
Solberg, C. A. “Educator insights: Standardization or
Adaptation of the International Marketing Mix”. Journal of International Marketing, 2000.
Theodore Livett. “The globalization of markets”. 1983.
Shaoming Zou. “Standardization of international marketing strategy by firms from a developing country”. 1997.
Bocconi Luigi. “Impact on Services”. Advertising, New York,
NY; Free Press, 2000.
Levitt, T. “The globalization of markets”, Harvard Business
Review, Vol 61. No. 3, 1983
Stubbs, Richard, and Geoffrey R. D. Underhill. Political
Economy and the Changing Global Order. Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press, 2000.