Predictions 2017: Globalization is here to stay
For years, the world has been shrinking, and I’m not just talking about the polar ice caps (we’re laughing through our tears at that one). I’m talking about globalization, which has been accelerating as technology and communications advance. In the marketing world, we’ve seen the results of globalization in a few critical ways:
- Companies in EMEA who are seeking new markets in the U.S. are opening offices or moving headquarters here;
- Companies in the U.S. are seeking partnerships with companies around the world to tap those markets; and
- Global reach – or at least, global savvy – are qualities that are highly valued in executives and agencies alike.
With all of the upheaval in the political spectrum this year, many are questioning what the global community will look like moving forward. The next administration speaks of its plans to cut trade deals and re-shore manufacturing in the U.S., imposing huge tariffs on imports and incentivizing companies to stay here. We’re going out on a limb at Corporate Ink and making some bold predictions. Namely, globalization isn’t going to stop – or even slow down – in 2017, no matter what anyone says.
- The globalization monkey is out of the bottle: What made globalization possible can’t be stopped. The monkey can’t go back in the bottle, and Pandora doesn’t go back in the box. The internet and advances in digital technology are making people more connected every day, and that connectivity is what drives a global marketplace, and a need for exposure to global audiences. Companies that fail to recognize the global marketplace will struggle – and private companies looking for bigger audiences for their products will force interactions that no isolationist policies can prevent.
- China’s going to start leading the way: For many important global policies, the United States looks to be taking a back seat. Issues like trade and the environment will fall to other countries to lead, and China is the likeliest country to step up and take the onus on these issues. As He Yafei noted in a recent opinion piece, though China is unlikely to let the U.S. simply step away from global obligations and engagements, rather than viewing American retrenchment as the demise of globalization, China’s job (and potentially others’) will be to keep the momentum moving forward.
- Globally focused PR and marketing efforts will be in high demand: In the survey we conducted on global expansion trends this summer, many respondents who recently opened offices in the U.S. cited the importance of having an agency here to help navigate the new market. We suspect that this demand for agencies who understand global nuances, but can specialize in the U.S. market to help make business expansion a success, will continue to grow.
Despite several bumps in the road for global expansion in 2016, globalization is here to stay, and businesses will continue to expand into new territories in the new year.
International expansion isn’t easy, so don’t try to go it alone – we talked survey highlights on the Corporate Ink podcast.