Some of those changes are visible in the shifting responsibilities for budget-making, campaign development and strategy and media choices between world headquarters and regional and local offices. Intertwined with that is the media's expansion and reorganization. Increasingly, the media recognize globalization's limits and turn instead to regionalization.
This doesn't suggest a retreat from a global strategy for marketers. Indeed, marketers of some categories-luxury goods, for example-may continue to favor the global approach.
But more than ever, global marketers and the media acknowledge some markets' distinct identities. Jessica Saban, research manager for New City, N.Y.-based SIS International Research, said its study indicates decision-makers "see campaigns of the future as those that are based on a global theme, consistent across individual markets, tailored to suit the needs of local customs, language, consumer characteristics and culture, and adaptable to local media choices."
Significantly, the survey asked marketing and advertising decision-makers to look just two years ahead, as the rapidity of change counters the effectiveness of a greater scope.
This survey was apparently the first to seek out decision-makers at global marketers' headquarters and then to ask the same questions of their key local and regional decision-makers. It intended to sketch a complete picture of the decision-making process by global marketers in the airline, automotive, consumer products, high-tech/telecommunications, hotel and luxury goods industries.
This is an important beginning-but only a beginning. We invite our readers-marketers, agency executives and media representatives-to react to the study, to suggest new approaches to the subject and to improve upon it. Because if there's one clear point emerging from this study, it is how crucial this information is for everyone trying to serve the global marketing community into the 21st century.