The global market has increasingly become competitive as firms struggle to find new markets for their products. Firms have realized that the only way of remaining competitive is by venturing into new markets around the world. XYZ Company has managed to grow in the local market given that it can employ 4500 employees. However, the local market is exposed to competition from local and international firms seeking overseas markets. The best approach through which this firm can remain competitive is by venturing into new markets to increase its market share. The decision to target the Asian market is very timely, and if the management of this firm can understand the external environmental forces in the new market, then this firm can be very successful. Asia is the largest continent in the world, with about 60% of the world’s total population living there. The continent has some of the fastest developing economies in the world, such as Singapore and India. It is home to major economies such as China and Japan which also have advanced technological developments. This means that XYZ will have an opportunity to tap into this vast market if it makes a successful entry. However, it should be ready to face the challenges in this market, especially the diversity of the people of this country.
The Market in Asia
According to Tielmann (2010), Asia is home to about 4.3 billion people, making it the most populous continent in the world. The market is highly diversified and can be classified based on the country under focus. Asia has the world’s major economies such as China and Japan. There are other countries with struggling economies such as Bangladesh. One of the most important factors that XYZ Company will need to understand is the cultural diversity in this country. According to Bensuda (2006), buyer behavior is always defined by cultural beliefs and practices within the society. These beliefs and practices would define tastes and preferences, the quality desired by the customers, and their purchasing frequencies. These are some of the factors that would need to be considered on a serious note by the marketing unit of this firm if it expects to succeed. The cultural practices of the people of China sharply contrast with those of Saudi Arabia people. Saudi society largely practices Islam, and most of their practices are defined by the Muslim religion. The marketing team must understand how this religion may shape buyer behavior in the product it offers. On the other hand, China is a country with a massive population and large institutional buyers. Much of the country’s wealth is held by the government. The firm may, therefore, need to understand how it can be appealing to the organizational buyers as a way of gaining quick success in the market.
The cultural practices of the people of Japan differ sharply from that of the Indians. These are major markets in this continent that XYZ Company cannot ignore. It must be able to understand the individual markets within this continent with the view of finding the best marketing approaches for each of the groups. The management of the company would need to develop a localized approach when dealing with the global market. This would involve conducting comprehensive market research in the individual countries to be able to develop an appropriate market strategy.
Ethical and social issues within the global market of Asia
XYZ Company has been successful in the United States, but its ability to flourish in the Asian market is yet to be seen. One factor that the management of this firm must appreciate is that the Asian market is very different from the market in the United States. To be successful in the Asian market, there is a need to conduct comprehensive market research to understand the local forces in the new environment. One of the most important factors that this firm may need to uphold is ethics. In a business environment, ethics play an important role in defining the best practices of a firm. Tielmann (2010) says that some practices may be considered legal, but society may view them as unethical. One such practice may be on the issue of employment. XYZ has the right to employ parent country nationals instead of host country nationals to manage the new plants. Some of the Asian countries do not have restrictions when it comes to hiring employees. This means that such a practice would be within the law. However, it would not be ethical to deny people within the host country opportunity for employment after bringing the firm to their country. Some of the ethical concerns may be bound by the law of the country, and going against them may not only tarnish the image of the firm, but also open doors to a serious legal battle. For instance, most construction companies always find it difficult to win tenders in the new markets, especially given that their target customers are organizational buyers such as government departments.
Some corrupt government officials would try to demand financial incentives against the code of ethics within the country. There is always the temptation of corrupting these officials to win some lucrative tenders. Tielmann (2010) says that some of the construction firms have thrived in such environments because they are always willing to give out bribes whenever there is an attractive tender offered by the government or other institutions. To compete with such firms, XYZ Company may be tempted to offer bribes to such officials in order to win such contracts. Corruption is illegal in the United States and almost all the countries in Asia (Bensuda, 2006). Engaging in such practices may damage the reputation of this firm because the act is ethically wrong. The firm may also be faced with litigation for engaging in vices that are against the law of that particular country. Such legal battles are always expensive, and they may paralyze the operations of the firm.
It would be important to also focus on some of the social issues in the global market of Asia. As stated previously, this continent is highly diversified in terms of human cultural practices. XYZ Company may need to understand this global market from a local perspective. When planning its market entry, the management should target those countries that share a lot in common with the market in the United States. For instance, Singapore and Malaysia may be the first two countries where this firm can establish its plants as it strategizes its move to such countries as China, Japan, and India. When penetrating the market, the marketing team must ensure that the social factors in the external environment are well taken care of in order to achieve the desired success. Some of the social concerns may be the wage rate it offers to its employees. It should be within the acceptable market range for this firm to be considered fair to its employees. The management of XYZ should also consider engaging in corporate social responsibilities in the new markets as a way of integrating with the local community. This will help it develop its image as a firm that is not just interested in making profits, but also that is concerned with the welfare of the society. The social factors would dictate the nature of corporate responsibility that the firm may take. For instance, In Bangladesh, it may be important to help some of the children from poor families to access education by giving bursaries. On the other hand, this firm may find it important to engage in tree planting and other environmental conservation activities in Hong Kong because this is the main concern of the local community.
Cultural diversity considerations for the company
Cultural diversity is a factor that XYZ Company would need to understand to achieve the desired success in this vast market. As was mentioned before, Asia is culturally diversified, and for XYZ Company, the first step in its marketing strategy would be to classify the market based on their cultural practices. For instance, China has the largest population in the world. Cultural practices among the people of China, estimated to be over 1,343,239,000 people, should be classified based on their cultural beliefs and lifestyle. The marketing approach taken in the Japanese markets should be different from that taken in India because of the cultural differences in the two societies. Religious beliefs should not be ignored in this cultural consideration. As Bensuda (2006) notes, some religious beliefs would shape the buying culture of people, and therefore, it should always be considered as one of the most important factors in the environment. In Saudi Arabia, the Islamic religion is one of the important factors that determine the buyer’s behavior and the decision-maker in the buying process. Understanding these facts would help the firm understand the target group that should be pleased by the products, especially during the awareness creation process. As a construction company, it would be important to develop a positive relationship with governments in these countries because they form the bulk of its customer base. In some countries like China, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, the government has absolute authority in deciding the firm that should be awarded tenders. Other countries like India are more democratic, and the parliament has a lot of power in vetting such contracts. Understanding these facts would help define the approach that XYZ would take in reaching out to the customers.
XYZ Company’s decision to move to the Asian market is timely and would help it manage the stiff competition that is growing in the local market. This move will help it increase its market share and become more competitive. However, the management of this firm must be ready to deal with the challenges such as cultural diversity and ethical concerns that may arise in this new market.
Bensuda, L. K. J. (2006). Market entry strategies of foreign Telecom companies in India. Wiesbaden: McMillan.
Tielmann, V. (2010). Market Entry Strategies: International Marketing Management. München: GRIN Verlag GmbH.