Strategies for International Marketing

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Strategies for International Marketing
The process of penetrating and then developing an international market is a difficult one, which many companies still identify as an Achilles ' heel in their global capabilities. Two aspects of the typical approach are particularly striking. First, companies often pursue this new business opportunity with a focus on minimizing risk and investment—the complete opposite of the approach usually advocated for genuine start-up situations. Second, from a marketing perspective, many companies break the founding principle of marketing—that a firm should start by analyzing the market, and then, and only then, decide on its offer in terms of products, services, and marketing programs. In fact, it is far more
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During the years after market entry, therefore, the rate of change in the country-specific marketing capability of the firm is likely to be greater than the rate of change in the market environment, and firm effects may dominate market effects in shaping strategy. This is particularly important given the business context, in which the generation of new business is of prime importance—rather than efficiency in managing a relatively stable business. This usually results in (a) entering the market via a partnership with a local distributor or other marketing agent rather than via a directly controlled marketing unit and (b) a relatively rapid sequence of changes to the marketing strategy (such as new product introductions or expansion of distribution) or to the marketing organization (e.g., taking over marketing responsibility from the local distributor).
Managing a Multimarket Network
From the time a company enters its second country-market, it will inevitably be influenced by its previous experience. The greater the number of national markets in which a company participates, the more likely it is to seek to manage them as an aggregated network rather than as independent units. Marketing strategy decisions in one country-market may in this case be made against extra-market criteria. For example, price levels may be set to minimize the difference among markets and
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