A firm’s international marketing program
must generally be modified and adapted to foreign markets. This international
marketing program uses strategies to accomplish its marketing goals.
Within each foreign nation, the firm is likely to find a combination of
marketing environment and target markets that are different from those
of its own home country and other foreign countries. It is important
that in international marketing, product, pricing, distribution and promotional
strategies be adapted accordingly. In order for an international
firm to function properly, cultural, social, economic, and legal forces
within the country must be clearly understood. The task of International
marketing is more difficult and risky than expected by many firms.
One of the most controlling factors
of international marketing is management. It is very important for
managers to recognize the differences as well as similarities in buyer
behavior. Many mistakes can occur if managers fail to realize that
buyers differ from country to country. It is the international differences
in buyer behavior, rather than similarities, which cause problems in successful
international marketing. An international marketing manager is a
manager responsible for facilitating the exchange of products between the
organization and its customers or clients. Sometimes an international
marketing manager will find difficulties in completing the exchange of
products. Many surprises in international business are undesirable
human mistakes. An international corporation must fully understand
the foreign environment before pursuing business matters. Problems
constantly crop up and many times have unexpected results. Sometimes
these unexpected results are unavoidable. Other times they are avoidable.
To be sure those avoidable situations do not occur, international marketing
managers must be aware of cultural differences.
Cultural differences take place among
most nations of the world. Differences in culture are one of the
most significant factors in an international company. All nationalities
posses unique characteristics, which are unknown to many foreigners.
Many of the top international businesses are unaware of these cultural
differences. It is very important to understand these cultures in
order to market a product successfully. As an example, different
nationalities have different beliefs on how business matters should take
place. Where some countries prefer to work with a deadline other
countries can take this as being offensive. Many countries feel it
is an insult to be asked to work under a set time period. A country
may feel that a deadline is threatening and may feel backed into a corner.
On the other hand, other countries try to expedite matters by setting deadlines.
To be effective in a foreign market it is necessary to understand the local
customs. Knowing what to do in a foreign country is as important
as knowing what not to do. Failure to understand local customs can
lead to serious misunderstandings between business people. The simple
rejection of a cup of coffee can lead to total confusion. The decline
of an invite is sometimes considered an affront. To avoid making
blunders, a person must be able to discern the difference between what
is acceptable behavior and what is not acceptable behavior. Violations
of a local custom can be insulting, and can cause uncomfortable situations.
To be a successful manager of international marketing, one must be able
to discern the differences as to what must and must not be done.
It is almost impossible to attain complete knowledge and understanding
of a foreign culture.
As established, culture plays an
important role in the drama of international marketing. Of all the
cultural aspects, communication may be the most critical. It is certain
that communication has been involved in a number of cultural confusion.
Good communication linkages must be set between a company and its customers,
suppliers, its employees, and the governments of the countries where it
performs business activities. Poor communication can obviously cause
various difficulties. One source of difficulty among starting companies
is that of effective communication with potential buyers. The problem
is that there are many possible communication barriers. Sometimes
messages can be translated incorrectly, regulations overlooked, and economic
differences can be ignored. Other times when the message does arrive,
its ineffectiveness can cause it to be of no value. Every now and then
a buyer will receive the message, but to the companies disappointment,
the message was sent incorrect. It is normal in multinational businesses
to send and receive messages on a regular basis. Many well-known
people have incapacitated public speech introductions by using inaccurate
titles and names. Not all communication problems are verbal.
Some serious problems have occurred as a result of non-verbal communication.
Non-verbal communication exist in numerous forms. Sometimes a person’s
appearance can convey a stronger message than intended. Untidy attire,
for example, can be more offensive in some nations