The simple notion that international marketing involves marketing across national boundaries belies the potential complexities of defining precisely what international marketing is and what it involves. On the one hand marketing across national boundaries may simply involve a company passively responding to an unsolicited foreign order received from, say, an independent broker. The company involved in this transaction simply sells its product or service to the broker with little effort, additional considerations or long-term commitment. On the other hand, marketing across national boundaries may involve a company devoting most of its resources to foreign market activities with substantial commitment to markets across the globe and with production or marketing in many countries. Clearly, the term ‘international marketing’ can encompass a wide range of different activities and commitments even though products and services are still essentially being sold across national boundaries. Different levels of involvement allow us to explore and categorize distinct types of activities and commitments encompassed when marketing across national boundaries:
The level of involvement and commitment by a company to ‘marketing across national boundaries’ can vary considerably which means that no single simple definition of what constitutes international marketing can adequately encompass the possible range and scope of activities involved. Related to this notion of different levels of involvement and types of international marketing, is the notion of different types of company perspectives and approaches to organizational structure and systems with regard to its non-domestic marketing. The export marketing company, as suggested in our earlier discussion of levels of involvement, is a company which simply sells its products overseas. This company may or may not have a separate export marketing division, but essentially uses the same marketing strategies in both its domestic and export markets.
The international company is one whose headquarters are located in one country and where ownership is dominated by the nationals of that one country. However, this sort of company views international marketing in a much more positive manner and sees it as being more central to their overall strategy and profits. Marketing strategy tends to emanate from the company headquarters, although they may possess marketing operations in other countries which, in turn, may reflect the particular requirements of each of the foreign markets and customers.
The multinational company (MNC) is generally agreed to have the following characteristics: n They treat the various national markets in which they operate as if they were one. In other words they do not see a distinction between domestic and global marketing opportunities.
In the next stage the company may actively seek out export markets, but exporting still remains a small part of its business. If the exporting is successful, the company becomes established in one or more export markets and exporting becomes a major activity. The company may then begin to invest in production and other facilities in overseas markets and eventually the company move towards becoming a fully fledged global marketer.
Progression through the stages of involvement to international marketing is by no means an automatic one. Marks & Spencer, for example, despite early forays into overseas expansion including the opening of stores in France, North America and the Far East, have never really developed into a full-blown international retailer. IKEA on the other hand have progressed through successful expansion of their international operations.
Although this gradual evolution of international marketing is how many companies develop their global marketing activities, it is better if the organization plans a systematic development of its activities into the international arena. A firm may enter into marketing across national boundaries passively, due to problems in their domestic market, or actively, by seeking attractive opportunities abroad. We consider some of the reasons for deciding to ‘go international’ shortly, together with some of the factors that should affect this choice if it is to be planned, as suggested, systematically as part of the overall strategic planning process for international marketing. Before we do this, it is useful to consider what, if anything is different or ‘special’ about the management of international marketing compared to pure domestic marketing. We now consider these differences.
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Marketing Management Tutorial
Development Of A Strategic Approach To Marketing: Its Culture; Internal Macro- And External Micro-environmental Issues
Markets And Customers: Consumer And Organizational Buyer Behaviour And Marketing Strategy
Markets And Customers: Market Boundaries; Target Marketing
Product And Innovation Strategies
Channels Of Distribution And Logistics
Customer Care And Relationship Marketing
Marketing Information Systems And Research
Analysing The Environment: (opportunities And Threats) And Appraising Resources (strengths And Weaknesses)
Evaluating And Controlling Strategic Marketing
Strategic Marketing Planning Tools
Services Marketing And Not-for-profit Marketing
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