International Marketing Strategies Of Companies Marketing Essay

I am a Marketing Executive, working in a mid-size firm, based in London. The purpose of this study is to find out the effects of globalisation on marketing strategies of Companies and then, convince my Manager to take necessary steps, in order to respond to Globalisation; thereby expanding market and increasing profit. To accomplish the stated objective, we need to go in-depth and analyse/understand issues from beginning, starting from ‘What is Globalisation?’


It is not too long, when people from one part of the world did not know the existence of others. Peoples desire to share knowledge and explore the whole world led to some major exploration – likes Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus, who made the connection between Europe and America. Before this period, people had no scope to know about knowledge or innovations of others. It was the 16th century A.D. that brought Patagonian Indians to America. During the 17th century Europeans discovered Australia and by that time the whole world was recognized and was ready for contact and trade activity. This can be considered to be the earliest recorded history of the beginning of a new era called globalization (Daniels et al., 2002). Although the idea of globalization and its relation to the business world is not too old and it is only in the last two decades that the current trend of globalization has brought a dramatic change to the business world (Thoumrungroje & Tansuhaj, 2004).

However, Globalization has been defined by Jane Fraser and Jeremy Oppenheim (1997), in the simplest terms, as a process by which the world’s economy is transformed from a set of national and regional markets into a set of markets that operate without regard to national boundaries.


In mid 1980s, after facing some fast changes in cold war, East world-West world relation became almost friendly. In addition, after the fall of Soviet Union, lot of emerging markets appeared in the context of world market, with an aspiration to enhance their living standard. In 1990s, West Germany and East Germany re-merged and appeared as a potential industrialist country in world market. Many Eastern Europe countries and transition economies countries joined in European Union. China and India started exporting goods and services to large regions of the globe, particularly to the United States. The powerful economic growth of countries, resulted in enlarged local demands, leading to divergence between provinces, discriminations in income, anxieties about employment, and increases in energy prices (Czinkota and Samli, 2007).

The USA market took the leadership role in this current trend of globalization. Factors like decentralization, privatization, deregulation as well as the growth of cyberspace made the globalization process faster. Through decentralization, new trading markets and trading blocs have emerged around the world. The companies are able to produce, buy or sell goods anywhere in the world and meet the local and regional needs. On the other hand, deregulation removed the trade barriers and helped to form NAFTA, LAFTA and World Trade Organization. Also, non government organization became involved in globalization through the process of privatization. Countries like India and China became more involved in global trade due cyberspace and technological improvement (Czinkota and Samli, 2007).

Many authors and scholars have talked about many characteristics of globalization around the world. But factors like fast technological progress, the deteriorating role of the nation state, transfer of industrial production from western countries to newly industrialising countries for cheap labour and material are key drivers of globalization (Brown, 1999).


The effects of globalization are spreading widely day by day. All the major industries and businesses of both developed and developing countries, along with individuals, are affected by globalization (Garrette, 2000). The current business environment is more aggressive and competitive and can be characterised as “hypercompetitive” environment (D’Aveni, 1994).

As markets are becoming more global day by day, the trade involves more countries and economies around the world. World merchandise trade was $157 billion in 1963 and it has become $10,159 in 2005 which is a significant increase of $10 trillion. Also, service trade which used to be $365 billion in 1980 has increased to $2,415 billion (Held & Mcgrew, 2007).

The effect of globalization brought dramatic changes in the business environment and companies are restructuring their business due to this reason (Jones, 2002). One of the most strategical change and significant business development in the recent years, is the formation of co-marketing alliances (Hwang and Burgers, 1997).

Globalization does not always bring good outcome to all people. It has badly affected the job sector of the developed countries, where jobs of manufacturing sector has decreased. Other issues for developed countries include the debt obligations to international bank. The amount has increased to $1 trillion which has an adverse impact on their economy. The privatisation sector, deregulation and currency adjustment has been affected due to this reason (Roukis, 2006).

On the other hand, Held & Mcgrew (2007) suggests that economic globalization could encourage economic development as well as it could be the only successful path to global poverty reduction. During 1970, there were more than 1400 million people who used to earn less than $2 a day and during 1998, this figure came down to less than 1000 million.


According to Varadarajan & Clark (1994), “Marketing strategy is concerned with the creation of a marketing mix that enables the business to achieve its objectives in a target market.” Aaker (2009 cited by Kyung Hoon Kim et al., 2012) notes that “marketing strategy can involve a variety of functional area strategies including positioning, pricing, distribution, and global strategies.”

The overriding principle driving a firm’s marketing strategy is that, marketing strategy depends on the company’s vision for its future. This vision generally reflects – “where the firm expects to position itself in five to ten years-in effect, how the market perceives the firm.” The development of a marketing strategy needs a basic assessment of both the firm and the market. The strategy, chosen, has to be the best at increasing the firm’s assets, with respect to the target market (Kyung Hoon Kim et al., 2012)

Also, the key task of international marketing management is to establish a company’s overall international strategy which also decides the degree of international integration of the company (Ghauri & Cateora, 2006).


Global marketing or globalization of markets is a key issue for multinational business firms. Many companies who markets global products around the world such as Nestle, Sony, and many others has to carefully look for opportunities in the international markets. Globalization of markets is a challenging issue for governments and political party or trade unions while business related people or organizations encourage the initiative of open trade which connects different markets by going beyond the national boundary.

The technological advancement of the 21st century has been a key factor behind global marketing. Consumers around the world wants new and innovative product even if they are being made in the other part of the world because technology makes them aware about the existence of that new product. Business firms accept this commercial reality and as result enjoy greater economies of scale in production or marketing or distribution. As a result, the globalization of business helps them to offer products at a cheaper rate and thus gain a competitive advantage among its competitors (Buzzel et al.,1995).

Although global marketing strategy and globalization of markets are two interrelated areas but there is a little difference between them. Global marketing strategy is needed in order to improve the efficiency of operations while globalization of markets is occurring due to the homogeneity of demand across cultures (Ghauri & Cateora, 2006).

Due to the raise in globalization of markets day by day companies find they are inevitably surrounded by foreign consumers as well as their competitors and suppliers. On the other hand, different countries have to admit the limitation of their own assets and the advantage of trade activities outside their own boundaries. Thus engaging in international business for both firms and countries are very much essential. According to Ghauri and Cateora (2006), the following factors play an important role in shaping of international business.

Each country or economy is dependent to other economies.

The formulation of free trade areas such as ASEAN, EU, APEC and NAFTA and the expansion of business activities in those areas.

Countries having greater purchasing power due to their improving economy

The arrival of new and potential markets with a large number of customers such as countries like India, China, Russia, Brazil, Malaysia etc.

Technological advancement has been the key factor behind the improvement of transportation and communication.

In order to engage in international business, companies need to have proper international marketing strategies. As international markets bring new opportunities and threats, appropriate strategies could help them to overcome possible difficulties in the international markets. Also, international companies need to respond to customer needs and wants by adapting existing product or by bringing new product to the market (Bradley, 2002).


According to Czinkota & Samli (2007), “Globalization enables international marketing to take place all around us, and to continuously offer new opportunities and challenges.” Successful economies are always driven by customer needs and wants. The bureaucratic plans do not play an important role there. On the other hand, a firm must have a strategic response to the challenges of global market. Companies which are expanding their business in domestic market need to choose an appropriate strategy suitable to their situation. Since a global company is involved in many countries economy, it brings the idea of standardizing the marketing activities.

The recent trend in globalization encourages the companies as well as countries to engage more in world trade activities. World exports were three times higher in 1998 than 1950; according to a WTO estimate, in 2001 this ratio was 29 per cent and in 2005 it was 27 per cent comparing to 12.5 per cent in 1970 and 17 per cent in 1990. In spite of 11 September attack in the USA the world economy is still achieving a rapid growth (Held & Mcgrew, 2007).

Also, Czinkota and Samli (2007) suggest that the base of globalization has two dimensions. The first one deal with deregulation, decentralization, the development of electronic data transfer and the other is characterised by capital flow, information and technological development. These features accelerate globalization, which enable companies to engage in international trade activity. Thus globalization provides a powerful foundation for international marketing to make progress.


According to Hewang and Burgers (1997, cited by Thoumrungroje and Tansuhaj, 2004), one of the recent trends to overcome the globalization effects has been the formation of marketing alliances. As companies around the world are restructuring their business to meet the global threats co-marketing alliances can bring greater success in the international marketing performances.

In simple words, Anderson and Narus (1990, cited by Louis P. Bucklin & Sanjit Sengupta, 1993) defines Co-marketing alliances as a form of working partnership with “mutual recognition and understanding that the success of each firm depends in part on the other firm”. Its a contractual relationship between the two firms, whose respective products acts as complimentary products, in the market. The purpose of such relationship is to intensify and/or build awareness, about benefits of such complementarities. The co-ordination between firms can be extended into product development, product and even research development.

Also, according to Hoskisson et al. (2004, cited by Thoumrungroje and Tansuhaj, 2004), co-marketing alliances are a particular type of strategic alliance which is a business level competitive strategy. The primary focus of such alliance is to create a competitive advantage in the international market. It is also called horizontal complementary strategic alliance. The main objective of such alliance formation is to maximize the companies’ profit by utilizing their resources and capabilities. Co-marketing alliances also helps firms to gain better market position through increasing sales and market share. The following figure explains the relationship between co-marketing alliance, globalization effects and international marketing performance. Global Competitive environment

Global Market Uncertainty

Cooperation in Co-Marketing Alliance

International Marketing Performance

Global Market


Conceptual relationship of globalization effects, cooperation and performance. Source – Adapted from (Thoumrungroje and Tansuhaj ,2004).

However, Co-marketing alliance does have significant management challenges, in spite of its potential contribution. There are chances of disagreement between partners, as they often tend to compete with each other in terms of product lines and occasionally, even those covered by co-marketing agreement. In fact, there is a high possibility of opportunism as one of the partners may use the other to gain market position only; or may be to build technological skills from the knowledge of the other’s intellectual property. (Louis P. Bucklin & Sanjit Sengupta, 1993)


Its been a long time, since the two opposing international marketing strategies have been debated upon – standardisation versus adaptation of products. “Standardization means selling essentially the same product in all markets.” The advantage of standardisation is low costs, as designing, manufacturing and distributing same product across countries involves less of investment. However, selling identical products across borders may be undesirable due to “differences in the legal environments, distribution channels, climates, topography, levels of market and technological development, and competitive and cultural factors”. As customers of different countries have different requirements, a standardised product might not be able to satisfy all customers. (Roger J. Calantone et al. 2004)

On the other hand, “product adaptation refers to the degree to which the physical characteristics or attributes of a product and its packaging differs across national markets” (Cavusgil et al., 1993 cited by Roger J. Calantone et al. 2004). Though customising products for different markets increases cost, the adapted products are more likely to fit the needs of the varied range of customers of different countries and become more acceptable; but would command higher margins, generating greater revenues. For example, Procter & Gamble’s (P&G) Oil of Olay skin moisturizer has different type of product in different countries, based on research of the need of customers in those countries; instead of just changing the language on the bottle of the same product.

Doole and Lowe (1999) suggests within the elements of marketing management products or service image or marketing objective and strategies can be standardised easily than pricing or distribution.

Pricing Differentiation


Sales force

Sales promotion



Objective strategy Standardisation

In one of the important studies on this topic, Cavusgil et al. (1993) concluded that ”it is difficult to make blanket statements about suitable standardization/adaptation strategy without an examination of (these factors)”. The preferable option for firms is to take such a strategy which is a mixture of standardisation as well as adaptation of the different elements of marketing management programmes. Most companies around the world globalise some elements of the marketing mix while localising others and they use a combination of multi-domestic, global or regional, and transitional strategies.

Many international firms find it difficult to optimally balance standardizing and adapting their marketing, specifically the marketing strategies, across national borders, in order to be successful. Also, in the process of internationalisation, firms need to find the correct approach towards “globalisation, regionalisation and localisation of business activities, in general”, along with finding a way to transfer the approach to their marketing strategies level (Stefan Schmid and Thomas Kotulla, 2011).


This study has found more positive effects of globalization than negative ones. Globalisation has lead to the change of marketing strategies of companies to some extent, but its ultimate objective has been profit maximization rather than anything else. Several effects of the current globalization trends include – formation of co-marketing alliances as well as the standardization or adaptation of marketing mix. Therefore, as per the evidences provided above, I would like to request my Manager to either start co-marketing alliance with a company or to bring about changes in the marketing mix with respect to standardisation or adaptation; in order to go beyond boundaries and maximise our profit.

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