The globalization of business markets from domestic to international has generated a unique competitive advantage for all the organizations whose products and services are being welcomed by the customers all around the world demanding mass marketing efforts. In this regard, marketing research in the international environment is having different methodology and complications with respect to geographical boundaries of a specific country in which penetration and development of a product is required. Therefore, an international market planning with strategic aligned goal, for development in the global world should be the objective of marketers to captivate international market leadership.
The gravity of globalization in today’s modern era in the business world is increasing enormously due to faster means of communication, transportation, technology, and rapid financial streams. The product that is being produced in a specific region does not have limitations of boundaries. A Russian student can be wearing Italian T-shirt, driving in a German car going to meet his friend in a Chinese restaurant. This example is not astonishing because it is a general practice and nowadays everybody can illustrate the true meaning of world global market place. Hence, marketers are required to analyze this gravity of globalization and have to consider international marketing in their strategic goal of marketing plan.
Marketing is the well known concept of anticipating customer need or demand then analyzing how marketers are going to fulfill that demand or need and finally satisfying customer need or demand. If the customer is really satisfied by gauging the ultimate benefit from that product or service provided by the marketer than it develops a sense of strong relationship between the customer and the organization, in which the organization give value to the customer and in return customer give value to them by building a strong profitable relationship (Kotler, & Armstrong, 2008).
International marketing concept is also the same as the general defined concept of marketing but the methodology to enter and penetrate in the international market is not the same as it is in domestic marketing. Indeed the tools and skills to enter in the international market is same but their application differs due the factors which include economy, political and legal system, and most importantly culture and buying behavior of the nation. Hence, the ideology of international marketing can be gauged in this way that the organization which offers its products and services by planning, pricing, promoting, and distributing to more than one nation other than domestic market to earn higher profit (Cateora et al., 2002).
Internationalized Business Operations
Many potential organizations tend to bring their operation on global level rather than national level. When the companies move to internationalization the complexity and sophistication of operations change enormously. The basic guidelines for the companies orienting in international market are described by EPRG framework (Wind, Douglas, & Perlmutter, 1973). This framework deals with four types of orientation of company going to international market which are:
a. Ethnocentrism: In this type of orientation, top management is highly focusing on domestic market as compared to foreign market because its products have already stable and reasonable demand in domestic market. Company considers their foreign sales as surplus to their domestic sales.
b. Polycentrism: It is the attitude which arises when the company recognizes that its multi domestic products strategies would not be successful in the host country if the orientation method is same as domestic orientation. Hence, a different marketing program to enter in the international market is required by the company.
c. Regiocentrism: In these stages company identifies the similarities of the entire region and enters the regional market by developing integrated strategies of marketing. Such types of orientation capture geographically and economically integrated region such as NAFTA and European Union.
d. Geocentrism: In this type of approach company consider the entire global market as its potential market place. This is one of the most important and critical type of approach when companies make single policies for the entire world market. The organizations should have prior focus on going globally because this approach has a great future. Hence, it is proved as well that organizations which are growing globally have gathered tremendous success in the past decades.
International marketing environment
An optical company introduced eye glasses in Thailand by running advertizing campaign of cute animals wearing glasses. The advertisement featuring animal was a pathetic choice as in Thailand animals are considered to be the sign of low life and was not respectful for Thais to take that thing which was being used by animal due to which the company had to suffer a loss in spite of modern and unique design of their product (Payne, website). So the main fault was of the company’s marketing research team that they did not gathered appropriate knowledge of Thai culture and have misjudged the society in which they are going to enter. They did not realize the fact that the marketing environment would be different from the domestic market in which they have achieved the strategic position.
When the organization takes the decision of going beyond the domestic market then it needs to cater that there will be significant national differences which will create a different marketing environment than the one it is serving now. This reflects the very fact that the research is need to be conducted in those highlighting factors which will affect its strategic marketing goals. There are many ways by which research can be conducted out of which asking question is the most effective one by which an appropriate answer is obtained (Kumar, 2000).
Marketing Research in Saudi Arabia
If the analysis is conducted on the differences of factors in the international marketing environment of a country named as Saudi Arabia then it is observed that the main highlighting factors which are to be considered in doing research and which differentiate people of one nation to another are discussed below;
a. Culture: Nation with different cultures has different traditional values and demand those products which are not vulnerable to their culture. Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country having Arabs traditional values, they will highly support and promote the product in Saudi market which will either promote their culture or at least accept their culture.
b. Economic condition: The economic condition of the nation should be highly considered in marketing research because it defines the purchasing power of the customer which is the main origin of marketing. In Saudi market maximum companies offer luxurious and expensive products because the purchasing power of the nation is high because of rich government having vast amount of natural resources.
c. Racial differences: It defines the different physical features of the nation. Like the cosmetic product would be different for the customers of Saudi Arabia as compared to the customers of U.S.A. It is located in such region of Asia in which people have generally different colored skin which is opposite to U.S. nation which do not have the same skin as Saudis’ have. In this regard, the marketing program for the Saudi nation for particularly cosmetic products would be different from that of U.S.A.
d. Climate: It defines the different meteorological condition of the country because it has a great impact on the products which have seasonal demands. Saudi Arabia is considered as the hot climate country in which temperature normally rises to 55 0F. For such a hot weather country marketers have taken that as opportunity for them and have introduced such air conditioning system which can sustain the temperature of Saudi Arabia. There would be consider an immature marketing program if the products which are not suitable with the climate of the country are introduced because they are not compatible for that region neither they have market demand in that region.
e. Religion: It does reflect in the marketing, in the sense that the product whose ingredients are controversial. In Saudi Arabia the concept of Halal food restricts the entire food manufacturers to penetrate in its markets that violate it and in the same way alcoholic drinks are also not allowed because of their religious jurisdiction.
f. Language: In international marketing research, it is one of the most important aspects because it is the effective means of communication and if it is not used in appropriate manner, can cause reverse affect on marketing efforts. Arabic is the native language of Saudi nation and mostly they are unable to understand English, which is a universal language. So, the marketers have analyzed that their all promotion efforts should be translated in Arabic so that the customer really get to know that what the product all about is.
Similarly, there are also other factors which marketers have to analyze in the international marketing research mode of environment it has targeted like market facilities and capabilities, political stability of the country, nation psyche etc.