- Analysis of international marketing opportunity
There are very many challenges that befall countries that want to expand and more to work internationally. Companies have to make very important decisions before they begin to offer their goods and services in the global market place. They will also face various challenges that require vital decision making. They will also have to make some adjustments or changes in order to fit into the new country where they wish to operate. A company has to decide carefully on which country to enter, how to enter each country and here the country has various ways in which it can begin business in a foreign country.
The first way is by beginning as an exported of its products to a new country. It can also begin joint ventures with other countries in the country where it wishes to begin its operations. It can also solicit contracts or decide to enter as a solo company. All these ways pose serious challenges that the company has to overcome in order to survive. The company has also a challenge of ensuring that people will adapt to its products easily and the pricing methods they will use to attract customers. Other challenge that will face the company include political legal systems of foreign countries, different negotiation styles of people who have different consumer buying behaviors, good or poor political climate and strength of the currency of foreign countries. Some of the major challenges that the country will face will be political factor and social cultural factors. Other factors are technological, economic and demographic.
Political factors will affect the company because it will have to adjust and fit into the political situation of the foreign country. Some of the political barriers will be vastable governments which have bad officials who award businesses with corruption to highest bribers instead of lowest bidders. Other government will impose high tariffs to protect their home industries. Poor political environment will make the countries to place many regulations on the entering country to scare it off. Political environment is also inclusive of laws, government agencies and pressure groups that will form a barrier to entry into a particular country. There is however hope because some political factors can also create some opportunity to countries. The company must therefore know all the major laws protecting competition, consumers and the society of the country that it wants to enter, before they decide to expand into the country.
Social cultural factors will also greatly affect the company in its bid to expand to the international market. The company should have products that will match the taste and preferences of the foreign country’s citizens. Most people have different behaviors of buying goods in different countries. Some of the cultural factors that will affect the way people will perceive the company’s products in a foreign country include the cultural factors like, social classes, cultures and subcultures of the people. Other social factors include groups, families and different roles that people have in their families. For example, in Africa, women do not buy vehicles more than men. Those beliefs, values and norms of the international market should be taken into consideration before the country decides to go into the international arena. This is because the company can expand into a country a country where people may hold strong many core beliefs and values that tend to persist and this will affect the demand for the company’s products. The company should understand the people’s view of measures and other societies etc. and make product that correspond to the needs of the international values and standards and solve the needs of international community.
Other factors to consider are the economic factors of the new country. How the people spend their money, their power to purchase products and the income distribution among the people I the foreign country. Some people also have different patterns of savings and borrowings. This should be taken to serious consideration also. Some countries also have huge foreign debts, high inflation and high unemployment of its people. This leads to foreign exchange problems that will lead to foreign economic instability and the decrease of the currency of the country in value, hence the country should focus on these factors in order to make decisions whether to go international or not. Some of these factors may lead to threats or opportunities.
- Marketing Information System
A marketing information system is a system that consists of people, procedures and methods to get information, analyze the information, evaluate and distribute this information to marketers to make good decisions out of it. It is the proper use of marketing research. It is vital because it assists a company to know what it needs I terms of information and how it will use the information to come up with a good decision in the shortest time possible. It is done by the marketing research team of the company. A market information system includes the sales information systems. These are reports that are made from the up to date sales of a company from the customer and sales representatives. It also includes the marketing intelligence system which is the procedures and sources that are used in the company to obtain information about marketing progress in the environment where they operate.
The marketing intelligence system also includes the marketing research process which is the designing, analyzing and collection and reporting of data findings to be sued in the company for marketing.
Information about marketing intelligence system can be collected from various sources around the company. Some companies have data in the marketing research departments and others have to go to the field to look for information. We have two sources of information and these are (a) Internal sources (b) External sources
Internal sources for Marketing Information System are most places where the company can get information from within i.e. from the books of accounts, various records kept in the company and former research that was done. Those are the information from records previously kept by the company.
External sources include those sources that are from outside the company like publications, books, periodicals, encyclopedia and also commercial data that can be obtained by companies by payment of a fee to research companies. Company can also get information from the internet.
It is very important for a company to have good Marketing Information System because it helps the company to get more useful information quickly, for expansion, it will assist them to predict how buyers will respond to changes in features of products, environment, styles, etc. they also assist the company on competition and information about competitors price, branding. It also assists the company to develop relevant advertising and good sales promotion and they also get good information about marketing tools through Marketing Information System
- MARKETING POTENTIAL
In order to analyze a market to know whether it has that potential for profits in the short run or long run, the company should first look at the particular market and see whether it has that potential for attractiveness i.e. whether there are customers who need the company’s product in that market. The type of strategy that I will discuss in this strategy of full market coverage. When a country uses this to identify the potential of a market, it will attempt to make a product that serves the needs of all customers in that particular market. This type of strategy is actually god especially for large companies that want to enter foreign markets. Take for example the Coca-Cola company. It adopts this strategy in African countries like Kenya where it makes its products that serve all people in the country. They can use two methods. The first is the use of undifferentiated marketing where it doesn’t divide the market to segments but goes to the whole market with one marketing offering, it then uses mass distribution to make sure that the products reach all people irrespective of the differences among the buyers and their needs and a lot of advertising and low prices than competitor products.
In using differentiated marketing, the firm operates in several market segments and designs marketing and advertising programs for each segment. The Coca-Cola company can analyze the potential of the Kenyan market for more profits in future by looking at the factors like size, the growth of the Kenyan population, profitability, economies of scale and the risk involved. The potential for long term profits can also be assessed by looking at resources of the Kenyan market in relation to the objectives of the company.
- INTERNATIONAL MARKETING PLAN
Planning is an exercising foresight regarding the anticipated outputs of an organization in order to maximize the inputs available. If the required inputs in terms of advertising, promotion, production and personnel are beyond the firm’s capability then the goal should be modified to reflect available resources.
For our marketing plan to be effective, the following should be implanted; investigate the present situation, consider alternative causes of action, select one of the alternatives, provide both human and material resources, communicate with everyone involved so that each knows his or her particular role in the process and evaluate progress periodically in order to ensure that action is taking place according to the plan.
Like any other marketing plan a good international marketing plan lays out the broad marketing objectives and strategy based on the analysis of the current market situation and the opportunities. A marketing plan assists business strategic units achieve their objectives in the market hence there is need for a good marketing plan. Managers of a company have to follow a marketing plan in order to achieve their objectives. They have to work within plans set by people above them for the company’s goals. This consists of analyzing the current marketing opportunities, researching and selecting the target markets, then they will design marketing strategies, plan the marketing programs. Then the process of organizing, implementing and controlling the marketing effort follows. A marketing plan is vital for each company, product line or even brand, for effective achieving of goals.
A good international plan will assist an international company in the marketing process. A marketing plan has the following main features:
- Executive summary- This is where there are presented all the information that regard the data on the sales, profits, market, competitors, distribution and channels and all the environmental factors that are relevant for the company.
- Opportunity and issue analysis- Here, major opportunities are identified so that they can be exploited. Threats are also identified so that they can be evaded. At this point, the company does a short analysis on issues facing the international market.
- Objectives- Here there is the relation of the plans financial objectives and the marketing objectives because a good plan is that which has less cash but brings high sales volumes.
- Marketing strategy- Here the planner will develop a good game plan for the company, a careful course of action to accomplish the company’s objectives. This is done in consultation with all parties of the company i.e. finance, purchases, production and marketing.
- Action programs- A good marketing planner identifies the broad objectives that will assist the company to achieve business objectives. What will be done, who and how much it will cost.
- Projected costs- Here the plan budget is drawn and both the profits and losses will be considered and the financial outcomes and finally the plan controls will be developed to indicate how the plan will be mentioned.
- A good international marketing plan will enable a company to enter a given country with each other. It must however be a continuous process to respond to the international changing conditions. Marketing plans vary from company to company and have various names. Some call them game plans and also marketing plans. They should be taken seriously if company goals are to be achieved.
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