Planning for international marketing
Learning objectives p.278
After reading this chapter you should be able to:
• describe the strategic marketing planning process and the role of scenario planning in international marketing • explain the steps involved in the international marketing planning process • develop an international marketing plan
• illustrate the challenges to effective international marketing planning • discuss the requirements for practical international marketing planning.
The competitive and rapidly changing environment of 2010 and beyond has prompted most Asia–Pacific firms pursuing international opportunities to use strategic market planning to identify, tap and profit from international markets. Successful companies periodically evaluate their market environments in order to assess changes in their opportunities and threats. External and internal environmental changes frequently require them to modify their objectives and sometimes change direction. As discussed in earlier chapters, changes in government regulations, emergence of new competitors, the introduction of new technology and the opening of new markets can change the way in which a firm does business internationally. As they gain experience, develop new competencies and add more resources, firms change their objectives and sometimes their mission.
Strategic market planning in international markets is essentially a way of thinking and a mode of acting. In terms of thinking, it challenges international marketers to be constantly sensitive to changes and assess the implications for marketing. In terms of acting, marketers need to be flexible and responsive in the way they plan for and manage the firm’s resources and capabilities.
Toyne and Walters (1993, p.51) provide a useful definition of strategic market planning: Strategic market planning is the systematic and periodic process used by managers to examine the environments in which their company competes, the opportunities and threats they face, the goals and objectives to be achieved, and the products and services offered in order to maintain a viable fit between their company’s capabilities and resources and the threats and opportunities that arise from a changing environment. Its purpose is to identify and develop a corporate purpose, objectives and goals, and plans of action that effectively relate the company, its businesses, and functional areas to their relevant environments and that enables the company to profitably exploit future marketplace opportunities in which it is likely to enjoy a competitive advantage.
In this chapter the foundation for effective strategic market planning is laid using an adaptation of a successful Australian firm’s international marketing plan and by exploring the challenges and practical requirements for effective international marketing planning. The context and process of international marketing planning are discussed first.
The context of international strategic marketing planning p.280
The essential steps in scenario planning are:
• familiarisation – understanding the organisation, key stakeholders, their needs and expectations • discovery – gaining an understanding of current trends and events and anticipating possible future discontinuities in the international environment • scenario building – developing and progressively upgrading a range of scenarios that reflect events, patterns and discontinuities • action and integration – developing appropriate business and marketing strategies which enable the organisation to operate effectively within the scenarios generated.
Steps in the international marketing planning process p.283
The textbook works through a real example of an Australian company, following the steps required in the planning for a new operation of a sales office in another country, following a...