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The challenge of international marketing is to develop strategic plans that are competitive in the intensifying global markets. With the increasing globalization of markets, companies find they are unavoidably enmeshed with foreign customers, competitors and suppliers, even within their own boundaries. International marketing is defined as the performance of business activities that direct the flow of a company's goods and services to customers or users in more than one nation for a profit. International marketing can be said as the extension of domestic market by crossing national boundaries. Three approaches displaying the nature of internationalization of markets:
Domestic market extension orientation
This shows domestic companies seeking sales extension of its domestic products into foreign markets. It views its international operations as secondary to and an extension of its domestic operations, the primary motive is to dispose of excess domestic production. Domestic business is its priority and foreign sales are seen as a profitable extension of domestic operations.
Multi domestic market orientation
Once a company recognizes the importance of differences in overseas markets and the importance of offshore business to the organization, its orientation towards international business may shift to multi domestic market strategy. Firms with this orientation market on a country-by-country basis, with separate marketing strategies for each country. Subsidiaries operate independently of one another in establishing marketing objectives and plans, and the domestic market and each of the country markets have separate marketing mixes with little interaction among tem.
Global marketing orientation
A company guided by philosophy is generally referred to as a global company-its marketing activity is global and its market coverage is the world. In this, company sees the whole world as one place and introduces the production facilities at multiple places in order to gain economies of scale. This might mean a company's global marketing plan has a standardized product but country-specific advertising, or has a standardized theme in all countries with country- or cultural-specific appeals to a unique market characteristic.
Globalization of market
(It is advised to read the article of 'The Globalization of market' from the reader)
Theodore Levitt has discussed marketing activities like global marketing, global business, global advertising and global brands. The world markets are being driven 'towards a converging commonality'. Almost everyone everywhere wants all the things they have heard about, seen or experienced via the new technologies. The global corporations sell the same thing in the same way everywhere. He argues that segmenting international markets on political boundaries, and customizing products and marketing strategies for country markets or on national or regional preferences are not cost effective. While the need of cultural adaptation exists in most markets and for most products, the influence of mass communications in the world today and its influence on consumer wants and needs cannot be denied. For example, Levi Strauss, Revlon, Toyota, Ford, Coca-Cola, etc. But at the same time culture plays a vital role. For example McDonald adapts different strategies for different markets across the world due to different market segments. Market internationally should entail looking for market segments with similar demands that can be satisfied with the same product, standardizing the components of the marketing mix that can be standardized and, where there are significant cultural differences that require parts of the marketing mix to be culturally adapted.
Consumer Buyer Behavior
It is the buying behavior of final consumers - individuals and households that buy goods and services for personal consumption. All the individuals and households who buy or acquire goods and services for personal consumption make consumer market. Consumers around the world vary tremendously in age, income, education level, and tastes. In today's global world where everything is quite interdependent makes it more necessary to study the consumer behavior around the globe.
In order to achieve a better perceptive about their customers and their behavior, the five-stage buying decision process model is a commonly applied mechanism for marketers. The core concept of the model is that when a customer buys a product, the buying procedure is an advancement process, which starts long prior to the real purchase and prolongs even after the real purchase has been completed. From the name its evident, there are five diverse phases in the procedure, these are as follows recognition, information search, and evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post purchase behavior (Comegys et al. 2006).
The buying procedure starts through need recognition, where the buyer detects a disparity between their real state and their state. Other factors influence need recognition, besides these two dynamic states as well. The most prominent influential factors are demographic; these include age, gender, income, race, education, household size, and marital status. Psychological factors are important as well; among these, motivation is the centre of all consumer behaviour (Comegys et al. 2006). Kinnear and Bernhardt (1986) divided these motivational desires into two categories, physiological and psychological needs. The former comprise basic needs such as: the want for food and shelter, whereas the latter are created by one's social surroundings. Based on the consumer's requirements and insights, need recognition may possibly form different shapes. Besides buying something entirely new or exchanging a faulty item, consumers may swap a commodity that meets their requirements totally with another. This trend is named as variety seeking.
Information search, the next step in the buying process, where the consumer makes use of altered sources to collect information about available products, which may satisfy the requirements considered above. At this stage, the consumer only concentrates on advertisements and conversations about the product. Consequently, the consumer dynamically connects these conversations and advertisements for information for different brands, models and so on. They also identifies four processes through which consumers get good/service information, these are as follows:
Personal sources: family and friends.
Commercial sources: advertising and salespersons.
Public sources: mass media and consumer-rating organisations.
Experimental sources: examining and using commodity itself.
Taking into account the online atmosphere, it can be stated that there is difference between expertise about the product and expertise about the search process. Those with exceptional knowledge about the product/service possibly lessen the volume of information search, and same goes with online search methods, since the search process turn into more efficient. It has been classified in four sets of options through which the ultimate buying decision will be taken. The entire set contains all the potential brands accessible to the purchaser. An awareness set, derived from entire set consists of the brands the purchaser has knowledge of. Then consideration set, which contains of brands that assemble the purchaser criteria are derived from the awareness set. Finally the choice set, here as more information about the commodities of the consideration set is collected and estimated, the final buying decision will be made. Regardless of how one conceived these sets, the online surrounding provide the purchaser a range of dynamic instruments for information search to shape these sets. Many companies have made use of self-styled recommendation agents, which are synergistic instruments which eventually help the purchasers in their selection of options settled on the information they have offered.
Evaluation of Alternatives:
Customers incline to set rules, or feature cut-offs for the commodities in their choice set. These are the least satisfactory levels that a choice should hold so as to be considered as the ultimate purchase. Huber and Klein (1991), have mentioned two characteristics to these cut-offs, the first one denotes that while the trustworthiness of the feature the customer is placing as high, the cut-offs on that feature are more stern than when trustworthiness is low. The subsequent characteristic is that while there is a positive correlation between two features (for example, low price in a high-quality product), the cut-offs on those features are more relentless than they would be in case of negative correlation or of equal degree. As consumers do not have infinite resources especially time, a line should be marked to indicate when to discontinue the evaluation process and take the definite purchase decision. This creates an enormous challenge for marketers in a global atmosphere, as customers may be confronted with a superfluity of different advertisements, earlier to the one that is required to attract them. At this stage, the innovative technology of customization has its benefits. By tracing record of individual customers' purchases and personal information, businesses can now aim their advertising perfectly to each individual customer, therefore holding a possibility to exploit the notion of conceptual fluency.
Subsequent to the evaluation stage, the shopper has categorised the products in the choice set but not necessarily will top ranked item be preferred. There are two factors which emerge in between the evaluation and purchase decision phases. Firstly, the behaviours of others includes best friends or community pressure, can alter a consumer's preference ranking for a specific brand even if they inclined to purchase a different one. Secondly there might be some unanticipated situational aspects that influence the buying decision.
Even after the real purchase has been completed the purchase procedure goes on. The marketers and retailers ought to value their customers' after purchase behaviour as well, if they want the customers to revisit. Postpurchase actions can be segmented into two subgroups: postpurchase fulfilment and postpurchase behaviour. The substance of satisfaction is as important in an online atmosphere as it is in an offline world. According to Cho et al. (2002), as the means concerning traditional and electronic commerce vary, it is not shocking that there are eminent differences in the complaining experience and the level of displeasure of the purchase between online and offline shopping
We can even explain Hofstede Cultural model of five dimensions but not sure whether to explain it or not.
Why firms go abroad?
market seeking: company is looking for a considerable market for its products/offers. This can be due to saturation of domestic market or to expand the market.
efficiency seeking: company looking for efficiency in different ways like R&D and other infrastructural effects. Efficiencies can also be achieved due to the fact that a certain industry has gathered at a place, creating a beneficial infrastructure, such as Silicon Valley, Philips, etc.
Resource seeking: firms try to enter into countries to get access to raw materials or other crucial inputs that can provide cost reduction and lower operation costs. For example, investment by most oil companies in the Middle East or textiles and garment companies in India and Pakistan.
Market entry strategies
A company might decide to enter the international arena by exporting from the home country. This means of foreign market development is the easiest and most common approach employed by companies taking their first international step because the risks of financial loss can be minimized.
Piggybacking: it occurs when a supplier sells its product abroad using another company's distribution facilities. This is quite common in industrial products. This is mainly used when the companies involved have complementary but non-competitive products.
Licensing: a means of establishing a foothold in foreign markets without large capital outlays. Patent rights, trademark rights and the rights to use technological processes are granted in foreign licensing. It is preferred by small and medium sized enterprises although by no means limited to such companies.
It is a form of licensing in which the franchiser provides a standard package of products, systems and management services, and the franchisee provides market knowledge, capital and personal involvement in management. There are three types of franchise agreement used by franchising firms- master franchise, joint venture and licensing. The master franchise gives the franchisee the rights to a specific area with the authority to sell or establish sub franchises. The Mc Donald's franchise in Moscow is a master agreement owned by a Canadian firm and its partner, the Moscow City Council Department of Food Services.
It is one of the more important types of collaborative relationship, have accelerated sharply during the past years. Besides serving as a means of lessening political and economic risks by the amount of the partner's contribution to the venture, joint ventures provide a less risky way to enter markets that pose legal and cultural barriers than would be the case in the acquisition of an existing company,