Country Notebook

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PART SIX

Country Notebook
THE COUNTRY NOTEBOOKA GUIDE FOR DEVELOPING A MARKETING PLAN TH E CO UN TRY N O TEB O O K O U TLI N E
Cultural Analysis Economic Analysis Market Audit and Competitive Market Analysis Preliminary Marketing Plan

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Part 6

Supplementary Material In each guideline, specific points must be adapted to reflect a company’s products and/or services. The decision as to the appropriateness of specific data and the depth of coverage depends on company objectives, product characteristics, and the country market. Some points in the guidelines are unimportant for some countries or some products and should be ignored. Preceding chapters of this book provide specific content suggestions for the topics in each guideline.

The first stage in the planning process is a preliminary country analysis. The marketer needs basic information to evaluate a country market’s potential, identify problems that would eliminate a country from further consideration, identify aspects of the country’s environment that need further study, evaluate the components of the marketing mix for possible adaptation, and develop a strategic marketing plan. One further use of the information collected in the preliminary analysis is as a basis for a country notebook. Many companies, large and small, have a country notebook for each country in which they do business. The country notebook contains information a marketer should be aware of when making decisions involving a specific country market. As new information is collected, the country notebook is continually updated by the country or product manager. Whenever a marketing decision is made involving a country, the country notebook is the first database consulted. New-product introductions, changes in advertising programs, and other marketing program decisions begin with the country notebook. It also serves as a quick introduction for new personnel assuming responsibility for a country market. This section presents four separate guidelines for collection and analysis of market data and preparation of a country notebook: (1) guideline for cultural analysis, (2) guideline for economic analysis, (3) guideline for market audit and competitive analysis, and (4) guideline for preliminary marketing plan. These guidelines suggest the kinds of information a marketer can gather to enhance planning. The points in each of the guidelines are general. They are designed to provide direction to areas to explore for relevant data.

I. CULTURAL ANALYSIS
The data suggested in the cultural analysis include information that helps the marketer make market planning decisions. However, its application extends beyond product and market analysis to being an important source of information for someone interested in understanding business customs and other important cultural features of the country. The information in this analysis must be more than a collection of facts. Whoever is responsible for the preparation of this material should attempt to interpret the meaning of cultural information. That is, how does the information help in understanding the effect on the market? For example, the fact that almost all the populations of Italy and Mexico are Catholic is an interesting statistic but not nearly as useful as understanding the effect of Catholicism on values, beliefs, and other aspects of market behavior. Furthermore, even though both countries are predominantly Catholic, the influence of their individual and unique interpretation and practice of Catholicism can result in important differences in market behavior.

Guideline

I. Introduction Include short profiles of the company, the product to be exported, and the country with which you wish to trade. II. Brief discussion of the country’s relevant history III. Geographical setting A. Location B. Climate C. Topography IV. Social institutions A. Family 1. The nuclear family 2. The extended family 3. Dynamics of the family a. Parental roles b. Marriage and...
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