Company A has been doing its due diligence by researching the international environment. Its marketing team has begun researching how to develop an international marketing mix for a couple of carefully selected foreign markets. Because the international marketing mix involves the Four Ps of marketing, determining the optimal mix for each market has proved to be a major challenge. Despite understanding the Four Ps, namely product, price, promotion and place, the team has been struggling to adapt them to the international environment specific to their targeted foreign countries. Furthermore, they have just discovered that there are more Ps than just the traditional ones to take into consideration today when determining an international marketing mix.
The Traditional International Marketing Mix
The components of the international marketing mix differ in some subtle ways to their counterparts in the traditional marketing mix. Take, for example, the component: ‘Place’. ‘Place’ refers to the positioning of a product at convenient places in the market where potential buyers will be easily able to access it. Place is therefore closely aligned to in-market channels of distribution, i.e. the network of distributors, wholesalers, and retailers whose task is to ensure that this objective is achieved.
When it comes to the international marketing mix, the ideal combination of its four components will directly contribute to your ability to sell your product in a particular foreign target market. For example, your ‘Product’ must provide the functionality required by the people who live in a particular country. It must be packaged and labelled using culturally attractive colours and an easily understood language, as well as meet local regulatory requirements, and it should be easily transportable in a cost-effective way. Its ‘Price’ at destination should be competitive, and you should have done your best to make your potential international market aware of its existence through continuous ‘Promotion’ activity.
The Additional Ps of the International Marketing Mix
The international marketing mix has changed substantially over the years in keeping with changing global priorities, with two new ‘P’s’, ‘People’ and ‘Planet’, in particular, now both considered to be important components.
‘People’ – All marketing strategies need to be people-centred with social accountability at their core. This emphasis on the influence a company’s products and operations may have on local communities is an important consideration, particularly from an international marketing perspective where cultures may vary greatly.
‘Planet’ – Environmental accountability is another essential part of modern-day marketing. Every export business activity must adhere to international best practices when it comes to environmental impact. The degree to which this impacts the company’s export marketing plan depends on the type of product.
In this article, we touched on the international marketing mix, broke down the essential P’s that influence it and determined why Company A needs to adhere to them. To help you put together your export marketing plan, Trade Forward Southern Africa, in collaboration with the International Trade Institute of Southern Africa (ITRISA), has created a comprehensive online training course that provides invaluable international environment training to all those contemplating expansion into international markets. Click the links below to sign up for free and get started.
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