International Marketing Management

Subject: International Marketing
Pages: 9
Words: 2499
Reading time:
11 min
Study level: PhD

Introduction

The Multinational Company is an organisation that focuses on a range of counties instead of operating only in a home region. This international company is confronted with various environments that tend to vary depending on national borders. Government regulation, political structures, economies and social issues are to be taken into account while planning and implementing marketing activities at a global stage. This paper will explore the strategies, theories, techniques, and methodologies that are beneficial to design, introduce and support a marketing plan to achieve organisational goals of the Multinational Company (it would be referred to as a company).

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Control Mechanism and Global Operation

Marketing tools and techniques are essential to ensure that control mechanisms work appropriately with regard to the international operation of the company. There is a range of instruments that can be utilised to facilitate marketing decisions and anticipate the future marketing environment. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis is a tool that helps to collect an objective picture of the state of affairs in the company. It is rather useful for making critical decisions such as marketing strategy or milestones. SWOT analysis contains the assessment of various factors of both internal and external environment. The internal environment analysis of the organisation is an area that it can directly influence: personnel qualifications, product marketing, availability of business processes and marketing policy (Information Resources Management Association 2016). The multinational company does not affect the external environment yet can effectively adapt to it. Among the indicators of the external environment analysis issues, there are competition in a niche, legislation applicable to the organisation’s marketing, the general economic situation in the country and a socio-demographic situation.

War gaming is another significant tool that allows examining the organisation’s strategic potential in the course of resolving simulated situations within the company. The responses of the team members are to be analysed and debriefed to reveal any mistakes and prevent them in the future (Drummond, Ensor & Ashford 2010). War gaming promotes the implementation of the concept of marketing intelligence, which implies an ongoing activity to collect current information about changes in the marketing environment. This activity is necessary for the development and adjustment of the marketing plan. Marketing intelligence should be based on a variety of sources of information, including formal and informal procedures (Igbaekemen 2014). For instance, a marketing manager may use information from newspapers, competitor reports and simulation activities along conversations with employees of the company. Both SWOT and war gaming contribute to the improvement of a marketing plan by minimising errors, information gaps and misunderstanding regarding rivals.

Speaking of the alternatives to accomplish the organisational goals, one should focus on positioning alternatives. In case the company wants to develop in a way that was already selected, it may create a distinctive perception of its products through some appealing slogans or actions with celebrities. The search for unoccupied positions on the market is another alternative that provides viable opportunities (Khan 2014). The balanced scorecard methodology is used as the key approach in the given company, which integrates both non-financial and commercial measures to assess the adopted business strategy. Innovation and learning are also included in this approach to promote the company’s prosperity (Drummond, Ensor & Ashford 2010). Also, the bottom-up approach to marketing planning is taken in order to devolve responsibility and encourage commitment among employees. While junior managers design and offer strategies, senior marketing management reviews, approves and observes agreed objectives. It seems important to point out the fact that the limitation of the bottom-up approach is that it may obstruct the promotion of a corporate strategic vision of the company’s marketing.

Strategic Marketing Plan

The company’s marketing plan is one of the key forecasting activities along with the budget, sales and production plans. The marketing plan of the enterprise establishes the general goals for operating in a competitive environment, which is its main purpose (Demangeot, Broderick & Craig 2015). In particular, the marketing plan targets have a direct impact on the performance of other sections of the company. The decisions documented in the marketing plan determine what exactly the enterprise will produce, at what price and how to advertise. The marketing plan should fix the current position of the organisation, target points and, most importantly, the actions that the company must take to accomplish the planned goals (Drummond, Ensor & Ashford 2010). It may be useful to consider the problems that arise in the enterprise in the absence of a marketing plan as well as the results that the company receives after its development.

In order to develop the marketing plan, it is important to identify the goals it should achieve. It should be identified that the target company produces soft drinks, including lemonades, juices, soda water and so on. The business has been developing for several years, and the CEO intends not only to increase sales but also to reinvent existing products to a different group of customers. For the given company, the pivotal aim is to expand its presence in more countries such as China, Vietnam and India. Currently, the company works with Western and European countries only, which makes it evident that the expansion should be accompanied by thorough research on their culture, social affairs and economic and political regulations.

The main goal of the given company is new market penetration and the subsequent expansion of market share. The core strategy of the organisation should be the provision of products of higher quality and at lower prices, as well as the expansion of the assortment offered in the existing stores (Baker & Saren 2016). Based on this, a marketing strategy is chosen to expand demand by stimulating sales, pricing, and non-price factors of competition and creating a positive image of the brand. The marketing plan should include the following points: SWOT analysis, segmentation, methods of sales promotion, product positioning, advertising and pricing.

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The key objective of the marketing plan is to ensure a sustainable competitive advantage of the company being created in all areas of activity, which is evaluated on three points. Namely, Baker (2014) notes the presence of success factors, the significance of the firm’s advantages over its competitors and the ability to actively use these advantages over a long period should be taken into account. Currently, the company’s strengths are a robust distribution network and brand awareness in Western and European countries, while its weaknesses are foreign currency fluctuations and little knowledge of the cultural aspects of the target markets (Payaud 2014). Among the opportunities, there are the absence of severe competition and the possibility of thorough preliminary research. Ultimately, the threats are composed of the shift towards organic products and the preference given to the local companies.

As for the target market and audience, there will be three main categories. Children and adolescents with their demand for sweet drinks, people aged between 20 and 50 who value the opportunity to have simple drinks on the go and older adults who prefer mineral water with vitamins for their health. Each of the mentioned audiences should be achieved via different means of advertisement. E-marketing is a range of activities that are focused on the use of a variety of electronic tools, such as a personal computer, mobile phone as well as the Internet network (Habibi et al. 2015). For the first two groups, a number of marketing services will be applied, including email newsletters, SMS alerts, polls, performance analysis, delivery counts and so on (Tiago & Veríssimo 2014). Older adults are to be reached via more traditional means of advertising: direct marketing, public relations and similar options.

When analysing pricing methods, one can assume that the price of the products will be determined on the basis of the cost of production, unique advantages, prices of competitors for similar products and demand for soft drinks. Based on the cost price, the lowest possible price of the product, which corresponds to the lowest production costs, will be assessed (West, Ford & Ibrahim 2015). The analysis of competitors’ prices will be useful to determine the average level of those with regard to proposed products. In order to evoke the interest of customers in the production of the company and gradually gain a foothold in the new markets, it is advisable to set lower prices compared to the prices of competitors. This pricing policy is beneficial at the initial stage of penetration into the new market. Further, as the organisation gains a certain market share and forms a stable clientele, product prices will gradually rise to the level of competitors’ prices.

A combination of marketing strategies will be used to succeed in new markets. First, the strategy of differentiation refers to the fact that the product that the company produces must be different from those of competitors (Brady 2014). Accordingly, it will be targeted to create new offers by adding natural juices, original flavours et cetera. Second, culture awareness establishment is important when multinational companies strive to expand (Samaha, Beck & Palmatier 2014). Given the growing importance of global marketing and the need to save marketing costs, the given company may try to develop common advertising themes and methods for their implementation for countries with a similar culture and value system. Differences in cultures may affect the process of product adoption and advertising campaigns in a particular market. Third, a local partner with sufficient knowledge of the national market will be found to provide mutual benefits.

Speaking of the product positioning, one should note that in a competitive environment, the company will seek to maintain the market share it owns. The main factors taken into account in competition include: price, quality indicators of products, service time, terms of payment, advertising, working with the public and other measures of the sales promotion system to promote proper decision-making (see Figure 1). Budget planning should be based on marketing budget and overall costs the company should spend during and after its expansion. The cost of marketing research, informational communication with consumers – advertising, sales promotion, exhibitions and the organisation of sales are to be planned. The marketing budget will allow analysing the level of planned and practically received revenues from marketing activities.

Sales promotion is the use of a variety of incentives to facilitate the purchase and boost decision-making processes. The proposed organisations will employ such advertising as distributing coupons to buy at a discount; guaranteeing a refund with poor product quality or inappropriate service (Bahadir, Bharadwaj & Srivastava 2015). In order to stimulate the staff, various bonuses are to be developed in terms of the pay for performance framework. At the initial stage, it is possible to hold small promotional activities aimed at informing potential customers about the opening of a new coffee shop in the area. This can be achieved by placing advertisements in newspapers, design signs on the facade of the building, which will house a coffee shop, the spread of advertising leaflets. Such events will provide focus and require relatively low financial investments.

International Marketing Strategies

Product planning should be associated with a unique selling proposition (USP) development to distinguish from the competitors. The USP of some large companies is rather impressive: for example, the well-known USP of FedEx relates to timely delivery in one night (Henthorne, George & Miller 2016). In order to find an incredible response among customers who need reliability and fast delivery, it is possible to offer the following: various mixes of flavours and ingredients that are completely new to the local markets. The basis of the marketing will be composed of product positioning, segmentation, and targeting (Figure 2).

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As for segmentation, at the stage of the sequential passage through market segments, drinks will be offered first to those segments of the market where consumers are willing to pay a high price. According to Campbell, Ferraro, and Sands (2014), if there is insufficient demand for the products, the organisation will consistently move to providing services at lower prices for such market segments that are characterised by a greater elasticity of demand. Three segmentation principles will be used: by product volume, price segments and key functions. According to the latter, the main functions and characteristics of goods that the consumer takes into account when purchasing should be targeted (Cuadros & Domínguez 2014). The more detailed the segmentation according to the basic functions of the goods, the easier it is to find free market niches for the development of the company.

The price principle will be utilised to understand the price margins of the market. Based on the level of their income, expectations from the effectiveness of the product or the desire to confirm their social status, customers select the product from one of the established price segments. If a buyer wants a basic product, he or she will be likely to purchase the product at the lowest price (Davcik & Sharma 2015). In case the quality of the product is important to him or her, a guaranteed result and status – they will tend to pay attention to more expensive options. In terms of the volume principle, an ideal product profile will allow identifying the most requested and convenient purchase volume. The following types of goods will be distinguished: volume for a trial, one-time purchase or trip, the regular user and a family.

In order to achieve the target market and satisfy the specified audiences, a range of bottle sizes will be offered. In particular, tin pack 330 ml (CANS), a litter returnable bottle (LRB) and no return bottle or disposable bottle (NRB) will be used. At the same time, various packaging means will be provided, including 24 cans, 24 regular bottle shell and 12 bottles in a pack for disposable options.

The promotion of the marketing plan with regard to the set organisational objectives is an essential part of its implementation. The international marketing mix international marketing mix may be considered as a system of tools, methods, techniques, approaches with respect to goods, prices, promotions, distribution channels, the use of which is intended to form competitive advantages in a target segment or a certain foreign market (Farrell 2015). The combined marketing complex will provide the simultaneous differentiation of some elements as well as the standardisation of others (Akgün, Keskin & Ayar 2014). For example, a standard product can be advertised equally in all foreign markets, and prices and distribution channels can be adapted to local conditions. This approach to the construction and implementation of the marketing plan will ensure meeting the organisational goals.

The internationalisation of the world economy and the trend towards its globalisation make the standardised approach to the creation of an international marketing mix most effective. However, there are the features of the economic, socio-cultural, political and legal environment of the target countries that should be noted. Continuous monitoring and review of these issues allow achieving the stated goals in the process of decision-making. The paramount objectives of marketing strategies are to continuously evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies adopted by the company, identify errors and rectify them.

Reference List

Akgün, AE, Keskin, H & Ayar, H 2014, ‘Standardization and adaptation of international marketing mix activities: a case study’, Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 150, pp. 609-618.

Bahadir, SC, Bharadwaj, SG & Srivastava, RK 2015, ‘Marketing mix and brand sales in global markets: examining the contingent role of country-market characteristics’, Journal of International Business Studies, vol. 46, no. 5, pp. 596-619.

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Baker, MJ & Saren, M 2016, Marketing theory: a student text, 3rd edn, Sage, London.

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Campbell, C, Ferraro, C & Sands, S 2014, ‘Segmenting consumer reactions to social network marketing’, European Journal of Marketing, vol. 48, no. 3/4, pp. 432-452.

Cuadros, AJ & Domínguez, VE 2014, ‘Customer segmentation model based on value generation for marketing strategies formulation’, Estudios Gerenciales, vol. 30, no. 130, pp. 25-30.

Davcik, NS & Sharma, P 2015, ‘Impact of product differentiation, marketing investments and brand equity on pricing strategies: a brand level investigation’, European Journal of Marketing, vol. 49, no. 5/6, pp. 760-781.

Demangeot, C, Broderick, AJ & Craig, CS 2015, ‘Multicultural marketplaces: new territory for international marketing and consumer research’, International Marketing Review, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 118-140.

Drummond, G, Ensor, J & Ashford, R 2010, ‘Strategic marketing: planning and control, 3rd edn, Elsevier, Burlington, MA.

Farrell, C 2015, Global marketing: practical insights and international analysis, Sage, London.

Habibi, F, Hamilton, CA, Valos, MJ & Callaghan, M 2015, ‘E-marketing orientation and social media implementation in B2B marketing’, European Business Review, vol. 27, no. 6, pp. 638-655.

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Igbaekemen, GO 2014, ‘Marketing intelligence as a strategic tool for competitive edge’, British Journal of Marketing Studies, vol. 2, no. 5, pp. 17-34.

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Khan, MT 2014, ‘The concept of ‘marketing mix’ and its elements (a conceptual review paper)’, International Journal of Information, Business and Management, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 95-269.

Payaud, MA 2014, ‘Marketing strategies at the bottom of the pyramid: examples from Nestle, Danone, and Procter & Gamble’, Global Business and Organizational Excellence, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 51-63.

Samaha, SA, Beck, JT & Palmatier, RW 2014, ‘The role of culture in international relationship marketing’, Journal of Marketing, vol. 78, no. 5, pp. 78-98.

Tiago, MTPMB & Veríssimo, JMC 2014, ‘Digital marketing and social media: why bother?’, Business Horizons, vol. 57, no. 6, pp. 703-708.

West, DC, Ford, J & Ibrahim, E 2015, Strategic marketing: creating competitive advantage, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Appendices

Control of marketing mix
Figure 1. Control of marketing mix (Drummond, Ensor & Ashford 2010).
Basis of marketing strategy
Figure 2. Basis of marketing strategy (Drummond, Ensor & Ashford 2010).