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Marketing Literature Research

Marketing Literature Research

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Module: International Marketing (MSc in Strategic Marketing)International Marketing Literature Research Assignment
IntroductionThe aim of this assignment is to review a comprehensive sample of the most recent literature onstrategic marketing in global markets in order to recognise trends and new models as well as present projections on future opportunities, risks and tendencies within the global marketplace. This analysiswill serve as a foundation for both implications for the future working practices of marketingmanagers as well as a wider view of future directions in global marketing strategyLiterature ReviewThe literature under review covers the period 1993 to 2007 with the majority of the cited workscovering the period 2000 – 2007. It was thought that a review of earlier opinion and analysis in thefield would serve as a reasonable point of comparison with more recent theories.An initial review produced eight areas of common themes which will be dealt with in turn in the formof a comparative study of each theme. The themes under review are (1) the debate aroundstandardisation against localisation of product and service marketing; (2) the specific nature of the product lifecycle in an international marketplace; (3) developments in global marketing research; (4)the factors at work in the decision to enter a global market; (5) a review of global marketing concepts;(6) socio-cultural and demographic considerations; (7) specific risk factors in international markets;and (8) market entry modelsStandardisation vs. localisation of product and service marketingInterestingly, the literature posits the question of how far it is possible to standardise for the globalmarket in terms of either standardisation of the marketing mix or the product but rarely both. Majaro,S (1993) suggests that a standardised marketing mix is a desirable goal based purely on the commonargument of economies of scale and increased efficiency.
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Similarly, Baker, M (1993) argues for the preferred model of non-differentiation stating;“If an opportunity to standardise exists, do not differentiate (pp. 433)Boyd, Walker, Mullins, Larreche (2001) present a more complex scenario but nevertheless continue
 
the tenet of “think globally, act locally”
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which would tend to suggest an relatively undifferentiatedmarketing mix with some differentiation of product and/or services in geographic areas. More recentliterature presents a more sophisticated view informed more by consumer behaviour. De Mooij, M(2007) argues here that; “local markets are people, global markets are products” suggesting thatconsumers will make a purchasing decision informed by culture and values
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and that only in very rarecases, e.g. Coca Cola, can a product transcend local markets. This, however is more due to the successof the brand.The product lifecycle in an international marketplaceThroughout the literature there is a great deal of consensus on the fact that the total lifespan of a product in the international marketplace has become shorter. Earlier analyses such as Baker, M (1993)view this as a reason to recover the total product investment as quickly as possible and argue that thiscan be achieved most readily through increased marketing standardisation.
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 A more sophisticated viewis presented in Hollensen, S (2007) where there is a distinction made between a macroeconomic and amicroeconomic approach
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.The macroeconomic approach sees production and initial demandestablished in the “innovating country”. Later, as the product matures, excess demand is exported toother developed countries followed by a later phase of maturity where demand is created indeveloping countries where production is established. Finally, the developing countries export thesame product to their former suppliers. Crucially, the microeconomic approach shows that various products in the firm's marketing mix can be simultaneously at different points in the life cycle.Developments in global marketing researchThe earlier and later literature differs little on those variables which can skew research results whenresearch is done on a global scale. Language interference, cultural values, consumption patterns,socioeconomic variables within market segments all receive significant analysis
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.What tends to bemore pronounced in the later literature is the increasing role of marketing research output infacilitating decision-making as well as the recognition that global marketing research is more complexand requires both primary and secondary research. Hollense, S, in particular, recognises the cost andtime benefits of accessing secondary data
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, and here, the Internet must serve as a major source of secondary marketing data that did not exist in 1993.The factors at work in the decision to enter a global marketFollowing on from marketing research the political and economic environment are given significantemphasis in the majority of marketing literature. Hollense, S (2007) discusses also the “layers of culture”
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from the national culture influencing down to the individual's preferences. This is not
 
explored in terms of it's amplification across multiple national markets but Hollense does stress theimportance of recognising high-context and low-context cultures
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. In the former, a great deal of relationship building is required to win the trust of the partner in advocating a firm's products. DeMooij (2007) expands this concept to include marketing communications in general, pointing out that:“In order to communicate effectively across cultures, the correct level of contexting must be found”(pp157)Global marketing conceptsAn analysis of theory developed specifically out of changes to global markets shows littledevelopment of the standard theories of market segmentation, differentiated pricing and appropriatedistribution channels which underpinned local and domestic marketing theory. However, the literatureover the past five years has shown a particular set of theoretical models specific to global marketing.Hollensen, S (2007) discusses the Upsalla International Model
whish suggests a sequential pattern of entry into international markets with an increasing “commitment” to overseas markets as theinternational experience of the firm grows. He contrasts this with a traditional approach of what istermed as the Penrosian tradition which returns us to the economy of scale and a cost-led approachworking from the firm’s core competencies.
Dunning (1998) suggests a similar Ownership-Location-internalisation (OLI) framework 
identifying an “ownership advantage” of establishingoverseas production facilities, a locational advantage which builds a logistics network around theoverseas production and, finally, an internalisation advantage where it must be economical for a firmto utilise the previous two advantages rather than sell them to a foreign firm.
 Socio-cultural and demographic considerationsThe question of cultural factors in international marketing is that which has undergone the furthestdevelopment in recent literature. As early as 1993, Majaro, S (1993) identifies the importance of grouping markets according to cultural differentiation as opposed to political or geographical boundaries.
Kotler, P (1999) takes this model a step further, adding benefit segmentation,demographic segmentation, occasion segmentation, i.e. according to when the product is used, usagelevel segmentation and lifestyle segmentation.
 The high-context and low-context culturalconsiderations mentioned previously, are given further credence in Boyd, Walker, Mullins, Larreche(2002) with each context lent a cross-section of reference groups
.These are peer groups such asfriends and co-workers who provide normative pressure to purchase (peer-pressure), value-expressivereference where the consumer seeks to gain status and informal influence from friends and family, better known as word-of-mouth. All of those elements provide a further level of complexity to thenow standard concepts of high and low context cultures

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