International marketing can be described as the various activities designed in the planning process. Activities such as fixing pricing structures to suit local needs, formulating promotional offers and assuring that the products and services are available to customers residing in the home country as well as the foreign country. Identifying and satisfying the consumer needs globally are the major functions to be taken care of.
Given below are some points that describe the basic characteristics of international marketing −
Broader market is available
A wide platform is available for marketing and advertising products and services. The market is not limited to some precise local market or for people residing in a particular place, region or country but is free for all. People from different nations sharing different cultures and traditions can actively participate in it.
Involves at least two set of uncontrollable variables
By uncontrollable variables, we mean the geographical factors, political factors prevailing in different countries. At the global level, all the companies have to face uncontrollable variables from different countries. While establishing business globally, a company has to learn to deal with these variables.
Requires broader competence
International market requires more expertise and special management skills and wider competence to deal with various circumstances and handle different situations like changes in the strategies of the government, the mindset of the people and many other such factors.
Competition is intense
Competition is very tough in international market, as the organizations at the global level have to compete with both competitors in their home countries and also in the foreign lands. Competition is high because the clash is between developed & developing countries and both have different standards and are unequal partners.
Involves high risk and challenges
International marketing with its own advantages is also prone to different and tangible risks and challenges. These challenges come in the form of political factors, regional and cultural differences, changing fashion trends, sudden war situation, revision in government rules and regulations and communication barriers
The nature of international marketing is dependent on various factors and conditions and above all, it is dependent on the policies framed by different countries which are active participants in international marketing. International marketing tends to ensure balanced import and export to all countries big or small, rich or poor, developed or developing.
Management of international market is tough and requires thorough market research. It is a predefined process which is directed towards designing and delivering products based on the demands from the overseas customers. Proper management also helps the company attain its objectives.
Large-scale operations involve relative amount of labor and capital to cater to the needs such as transportation, and warehousing.
Domination of multinationals and developed countries
International marketing is highly dominated by multinational corporations due to their worldwide reach. These organizations apply efficient and effective business practices to all their business operations. They have a stable position and with their global approach find themselves fitting into the arena of international marketing.
The international market needs to abide by different tariff and non-tariff constraints. These constraints are regulated because different countries follow different regulations. All nations tend to rationally abide by tariff barriers. All the imports and exports between the nations participating in international marketing follow some restrictions in foreign exchange.
International marketing is highly sensitive and flexible. The demand for a product in a market is highly influenced by political and economic factors. These factors can create as well as decrease the demand for a product. In fact, use of advanced technology by a competitor or the launch of a new product by another competitor may affect the sale of a particular firm’s product worldwide.
Importance of Advanced Technology
International market is dominated by developed countries like the USA, Japan, and Germany as they use highly advanced technology in production, marketing, advertising and establishing a brand name. They provide admirable quality of products at reasonable prices. Presently, Japanese products have got substantial existence in markets around the world. The Japanese could achieve this only because of automation and effective use of advanced computer technology.
Need for specialized institutions
Marketing at global level is highly prone to risks & is very complex and knotty. It undergoes lengthy and time taking procedures & formalities. Competent expertise is required for handling various sections of international marketing.
Need for long term planning
International marketing calls for long term planning. Marketing practices differ from nation to nation influenced by social, economic & political factors.
Lengthy & Time Consuming
The activities in international marketing are very time-consuming and knotty or complex. The main cause of these difficulties are the local laws and policies enforced on different nations, issues in payment as different countries use different currencies, distance between the participating nations and time taking formalities involved therein.
The current trend of globalization does not limit companies to their national borders and invites them for marketing on a higher platform, i.e., international platform. Every nation is free to trade with any nation. New markets are indicating signs of growth and are marking signs of development in economies like China, Indonesia, India, Korea, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and many other economies all over the world.