International Marketing Management A) Overseas Marketing Globalization Essay

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International Marketing Management A) Overseas Marketing

Globalization has affected all features of every day life. It is present in the social, cultural, technological and even political sectors. Most common however, globalization is present in the economic and business sector. More and more companies are lured by the possibility to access more and cheaper resources within foreign countries and make profits at international scale. This is most likely the reason why numerous companies launch operational and sales operations abroad. However, when planning and organizing a sales force capability in an overseas market, the organization has to consider various factors and options which may easily influence its final outcome.

The most important specification to be made when entering an overseas market is that the organization has to change its ways and adapt to the requirements of the penetrated market. They must respect the local culture and satisfy the needs of the local customers. "International marketing involves recognising that people all over the world have different needs. Companies like Gillette, Coca-Cola, United Airlines, BIC, Cadbury-Schweppes and Nissan have brands that are recognised across the globe. While many of the products that these businesses sell are targeted at a global audience using a consistent marketing mix, it is also necessary to understand regional differences, hence the importance of international marketing. Organisations must accept that differences in values, customs, languages and currencies will mean that some products will only suit certain countries and that as well as there being global markets e.g. For BIC and Gillette razors, and for Coca-Cola drinks, there are important regional differences - for example advertising in China and India need to focus on local languages" (the Times Newspapers and MBA Publishing, 1995-2008).

The differences between various markets are so tremendous that a misconception over what they really represent could easily become the shortest road towards corporate failure. Differences must be clearly analyzed and related constantly to the new features of the market to penetrate. These differences can be found in customers' purchasing behaviors, potential barriers to entry or custom taxes.

The information must be clearly gathered and analyzed prior to actually launching the new venture. The management must also consider that gathering this information will be quite a tedious assignment, generally due to the impediments, such as language barriers. As such, the market analysis must be carefully prepared and sufficient amount of time must be allocated for it. Two primary questions to be answered by the analysis are the existence of a market and a demand for the product and the amount of customization and adaptation the product must be subjected to in order to be suitable for the overseas market (the Times Newspapers and MBA Publishing, 1995-2008).

Other important questions managers should ask themselves before actually launching an overseas venture have been summarized by Kenneth Klee as follows:

Do you have the right stuff to pull this off? - this generically refers to the strength of the company, which is measured in various forms, such as brand recognition, market share or technological capabilities; as a general rule, a company must be successful and well perceived by the domestic market in order to succeed overseas

Can you identify a market? - the list of potential markets is endless, but so are the features of each market; to ensure they make the best strategic choice for the long run, managers should use the Department of Commerce's Commercial Service to identify trade trends, competition or the population's buying power

Are you flexible? - once again, customization and adaptation are vital, but they are only possible if the company has the ability to adapt

Can you find a good distributor? - reliable business partners are the key to success in an overseas market as they represents the path products and services take to reach the final customer

Can you cope with the complexity? - territorial expansion most often implies additional amounts of works, which could be considered overwhelming. "Business owners often complain about the endless paperwork involved in marketing overseas. "Each shipment to Canada," says one owner, "requires 40 pieces of paper. And you have to save the paperwork for at least three years" (Klee)

Are you willing to extend credit? Deal with currency turmoil? - overseas operations could easily imply the need for additional funds, which could be obtained through loans, but an actual profit could only return in years; this is another factor worth analyzing

The promotional activity, a most vital element of the marketing operation, must also be tailored to the unique needs of the new market as to best attract the customers. Managers should consider using different media channels, changing symbols and changing the market position. "Using different media - TV viewers in one country may belong to a particular socio-economic group, while in others TV ownership is far more widespread; changing symbols - for example, you may need to respect different standards of dress in promotional activities in some countries; changing the market proposition - for example, bicycles are presented as a leisure item in one country, but as essential vehicles elsewhere" (UK Trade and Investment, 2008).

The staff to handle the new venture must also be carefully selected. In this instance, two alternatives are possible: use employees from the home country which would be delegated to the new location or, hire the locals. The first alternative has the advantage that the current employees are already familiar with the corporate requirements and are integrated within the organizational culture; they as such stand increased chances of success. The limitations of this approach rely in that the employees have no previous expertise onto the foreign market - they possess little, if any, knowledge of the market trends, customers' behaviors, language or any other features. Foremost, it would be quite difficult to relocate large numbers of employees even more when they could request the relocation of their family members as well.

The second alternative is that of hiring the local population. The advantage materializes in that there will be no cultural barriers between the corporate employees and the market, but the net disadvantage is that the new staff members will be unfamiliar with the tasks and the products or services to be delivered. This means that additional funds will have to be allocated for the training and development of the new employees. However, the investment may be worth it, as the overseas workforce could be cheaper than the native one. Foremost, the creating of new jobs within a new country is always welcome by the population and the company will as such stand increased chances of success.

The list of aspects to be considered by the management of a company planning and organizing an overseas sales force capability is quite endless. The basic principle behind it however is the implementation of change, customization and adaptation as an ongoing process rather than a sporadic event. All features of marketing research, analysis, product placement, pricing, promotions or selection of the distribution channels must be realized in full accordance with the features of the market.

A b) the Expatriate Sales Person

Whenever an organization decides to launch a new venture onto a foreign market, they will have to select several trustworthy and capable employees to handle the overseas operations. The roles of these delegated employees are far more important that the roles of other staff members. To best understand this statement, one should compare the delegated employee against the corporate employee remaining in the home country and the corporate employee hired in the host country.

Comparative to the worker remaining in the home country, the delegated worker has to be more adaptable and he must possess extensive knowledge of the cultural, economic and political features of the new market. He must be able to interact with new people and coordinate them, while integrating them into the corporate culture. While the employee in the home country will only get information and offer business and marketing suggestions, the expatriated one will actually develop and implement strategies tailored to the unique requirements of the new environment.

Relative to the foreign employee, the expatriate will have to possess extensive knowledge of the corporate affairs, requirements and culture. His task will be to integrate all new staff members into the organizational mission and motivate them to sustain the company in reaching its overall goals. The foreign employee has limited such skills, but he knows the market features better than anybody else.

All in all, the main characteristic of the home employee is that he has extensive knowledge of the corporation and the tasks to be resolved. The foreign employee has extensive knowledge over the market features. The delegated employee has to be a combination of the two types of skills in order to succeed in the new environment; ergo his immense role.

About 72% of all American companies that are currently conducting international operations have chosen to work through local agents. These have the benefit of wide knowledge, elaborate distribution channels and they only make a profit in case… [END OF PREVIEW]

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