At its core, marketing is about understanding humans. Effective marketers think about business in terms of customer needs and satisfaction, working to identify the interests and concerns that may draw them toward a particular product or service. Or, marketing teams may endeavor to create a need where one did not previously exist – and then find innovative ways of satisfying it.
So the ability to read human interactions and analyze their implications is central to the practice of successful marketing – and it dovetails nicely with the study of liberal arts. If you’ve chosen to study abroad at John Cabot and are pursuing a B.A. in Marketing, you will put your understanding of human history, politics, and culture to work in a diverse environment that truly represents the globalized nature of today’s marketplace.
Capitalizing on Globalized Markets
Digitization has made interacting with cross-border consumers easier than ever. Social media allows us to reach contacts in countries across the globe, and sophisticated communications systems allow companies to establish and control outpost divisions in far-flung geographic locations. It’s not surprising then, that many businesses are seeking to extend their reach through international marketing efforts – looking to identify, satisfy, or create demand for their products in different countries. They want to tap into new and emerging markets. And now that these markets seem closer than ever, ignoring them would be tantamount to neglecting customers in one’s own back yard.
Adapting to Difference
It’s important to note that although humans are drawn closer together by technology like the internet, there are still distinct differences that can make international marketing challenging across borders. Not only must marketers deal with differences in input costs, price, advertising, and distribution in the countries in which a firm elects to market its goods, they must adapt to differences in how business is done – distinct culture, customs and language that will impact how the marketing strategy is developed and implemented. Studying at an American university in Rome – a city with a distinctly international flavor – genuinely helps students hone their ability to adapt to difference and appreciate diversity.
Conducting Market Research
This is where the marketing student’s liberal arts training really takes center stage. In order to truly understand new markets, businesses must conduct thorough market research. Remember that essentially, good marketing comes from a genuine understanding of what motivates consumers – their core needs and wants. And while marketers often identify commonly shared characteristics among target groups, consumers in different countries will most definitely demonstrate distinct traits. So, international marketers will examine behaviors, analyze data, and investigate the culture of new markets – synthesizing and organizing what they find, and communicating conclusions to team members. All trademark skills of the liberal arts graduate, and abilities John Cabot students learn well while they study abroad in Italy and explore its unique and fascinating cultural history.
What do you think is the most exciting aspect of a career in international marketing?