International Marketing in Sales Management

An international market is a market outside the territorial boundaries of a company’s domestic market. International marketing denotes marketing activities that are co-ordinated and integrated across multiple domestic markets.[1] International markets are being homogenized by advances in communication and transportation technology, and customers in the dis­tant parts of the world tend to display similar preferences and demand the same products.[2] According to Levitt, the ability to produce high-quality, low-price products is a primary source of competitive advantage in the international market. Levitt proposed to sell standardized products using standardized marketing programs to achieve a low-cost position and the optimum global marketing strategy.[3]

Another critical perspective of international marketing strategy focuses on design and coordination of a company’s value-chain activities. Here, a company going for an international marketing strategy must exploit the synergies that exist across various country markets in addition to the comparative advantages associated with various host countries. A company must design its value-chain activities optimally as proper configuration enables a company to exploit location-specific comparative advantages through specialization, whereas cross-national integration offer synergy with economies of scale. As different countries have distinctive compar­ative advantages, hence the concentration of value-chain activities in the countries where they can be executed most efficiently enables a company to maximize efficiency. For example, companies prefer to do product devel­opment and engineering activities in the countries with the availability of world-class engineering skills. On the other hand, these companies go for labor-intensive manufacturing in countries like India or China with low- cost labor.[4] [5]

Integration and execution of a company’s competitive campaigns across different international markets are another important perspectives in the international marketing strategy. The operations of a global company in the various countries are interdependent, and the essence of interna­tional marketing strategy is to integrate the company’s competitive moves across the various markets in the world. Usually, a company’s international marketing strategy is driven by external globalizing conditions as well as by a company’s global orientation and international experience.[6]

A company following an international marketing strategy must estab­lish common needs among the customer segments and channel partners across various international markets, so that core product features are kept intact with minor changes to meet regulatory restrictions and channel preferences. This will help to simplify the international marketing planning worldwide with a consistent brand image among the global customers.

Source: Richard R. Still, Edward W. Cundliff, Normal A. P Govoni, Sandeep Puri (2017), Sales and Distribution Management: Decisions, Strategies, and Cases, Pearson; Sixth edition.

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