Most problems encountered by the foreign marketer result from the new environment within which marketing programs must be implemented. Success comes on the ability to assess and adjust properly to the impact of the new environment. The successful international marketer possesses the best qualities of the sociologist, psychologist, diplomat, lawyer, and business person.
A study of foreign marketing environments, people and cultures and their influences on the total marketing process is of primary concern and is the most effective approach to a meaningful presentation. Our views are supported by the most recent ranking of countries on their extent of globalization. The US is near the top of the list and most of the “Global Top 20” are small countries. However, the key conclusion that can be drawn is the dominance of “technological connectivity” for America. In particular notice that as a country the US is the weakest on the “personal contact” dimension. Compared to people in other countries, Americans generally do not experience foreign environments.
Consequently, the orientation can best be described as an environmental / cultural approach to international strategic marketing. By no means it is intended to present principles of marketing; rather it is intended to demonstrate the unique problems of international marketing. It attempts to relate the foreign environment to the marketing process and to illustrate the many ways in which culture can influence the marketing task. Although marketing principles are universally applicable, the cultural environment within which the marketer must implement marketing plans can change dramatically from country to country. There are the difficulties created by different environments but the international marketer must be competent enough to overcome the same and market his products.
The marketer must be concerned may be with any company marketing in or into any other country or groups of countries, however slight the involvement or the method of involvement. Hence this discussion of international marketing ranges from the marketing and business practices of small exporters. A small company or exporter is known to generate 50% of annual sales of fish-egg exports to Canada, Germany, and Australia to the practices of global companies such as Motorola, Avon, and Johnson & Johnson, all of which generate more than 50 per cent of their annual profits from the sales of multiple products to multiple market segments all over the world.
At no time in modern economic history have countries been more economically interdependent, have greater opportunities for international trade existed? or has the potential for increased demand than now, at the opening of the 21st century. In the preceding 100 years, world economic development was erratic.
The first half of the 20th century was marred by a major worldwide economic depression that occurred between two World Wars that is all but it destroyed most of the industrialized world. The last half of the century, while free of a world war, was marred by struggles between countries espousing the socialist Marxist approach and those following a democratic capitalist approach to economic development. As a result of this ideological split, traditional trade patterns were disrupted.
After World War II as a means to dampen the spread of communism, the United States set out to infuse the ideal of capitalism throughout as much of the world as possible. The Marshall Plan to assist in rebuilding Europe, financial and industrial development assistance to rebuild Japan, and funds channelled through the agency for International Development and other groups designed to foster economic growth in the underdeveloped world were used to help create a strong world economy. The dissolution of colonial powers created powers, created scores of new countries in Asia and Africa. With the striving of these countries to gain economic independence and the financial assistance offered by the United States most of the non-communist world’s economies grew and new markets were created.
The benefits from the foreign economic assistance given by the US followed both ways. For every dollars the US invested in the economic development and rebuilding of other countries after World War II hundreds of dollars more were returned in the form of purchases of US agricultural products, manufactured goods, and services. This overseas demand created by the Marshall Plan and other programs was important to the US economy since the vast manufacturing base built to supply World War II and the labour supply of returning military created a production capacity well beyond domestic needs. The major economic boom and increased standards of living the US experienced after World War II were fuelled by fulfilling pent up demand in the United States and demand created by the rebuilding of war torn countries of Europe and Asia. In short, the US helped to make the world’s economies stronger, which enabled them to buy more from US.