Mr. Einstein’s theory of relativity discusses very different concepts to those of the marketing mix… however, when applying this mix to different international markets we just might find some parallels in the great scientist’s theory, as we shall examine hereafter!
Typical marketing concepts which refer essentially to the industrialised markets of Western Europe can, for example, be applied for other world markets too, especially when talking about capital goods of a certain minimum value.
The elements of the international marketing plan to be looked at comprises pricing, product performance, product quality as well as service quality and finally, the
quality of marketing.
These parameters can be characterised as follows:
The price …
… is – at least in developing markets – the first aspect which is decisive for an eventual purchase. At the same time it represents the ‘positioning’ at which this product is targeted or into which it shall be established and lets the customer draw conclusions with regard to its other factors from the very outset.
The product performance …
… is of specific importance for the buyer – provided it is at a rational price. A car shall reach a certain speed, a machine a specific output and a consultant shall e.g. identify problems or elaborate and implement new or additional strategies.
The product quality …
… is not obvious from the very first moment but the total number of cars or machines sold or references from the consultant will give a first indication. In addition the guarantees extended by the manufacturer/seller show to what extent he ‘trusts’ in his own products.
(Remark: Many foreign producers give better and more comprehensive
guarantees than Europeans.)
The service quality ….
… is one of the important factors ‘to be communicated’, especially in the case of capital goods which are imported or exported. This refers as well to cars, machines or consultants. The latter cannot give a kind of ‘guarantee’ but they have to be available very quickly and must be in a position to find solutions.
Whether this service is coming from a representative, a strategic partner or via the Internet is of no real importance as long as it fulfils all product specific needs perfectly.
Finally, the quality of marketing …
… is crucial for the presentation of the product, with the performance needed, the right quality and service arrangements and at an acceptable price, at the right time and the right place, towards the markets/market segments belonging to the target group – which will have been identified through prior market research.
All these concepts remains true, even if only a small marketing budget is available –
which is often the case with SMEs – and therefore only a few target groups/market segments can be contacted.
These facts are widely known and generally accepted already, …
… however, as soon as these parameters are weighed in order to establish the relative size of a market share, then we will see that it is finally the quality of marketing which is going to determine whether the market share expected is or can be reached or not.
And such quality of marketing does not basically depend on the size of a marketing budget but on its sheer existence at all!
The achievement as well as the size of a relative market share – per market, market segment, etc. – is consequently totally depending on the quality of marketing.
Even if one of the above values is less marked, a marketing system customised for an individual company and oriented at their possibilities ‘must’ result in a positive situation.
The reasons for that are that nearly every product, of nearly any quality and with various levels of performance has its own worldwide clientele… However this, again, is only valid if the ratio of the first four parameters is balanced. A combination of a very high price with either a limited performance, insufficient quality or service will – normally – not be honoured by the clients.
On the contrary, a high price combined with a very good performance, perfect quality and service will mostly be accepted – and lead to the market share envisaged – if also the quality of marketing is in order, that is, if the client – of a suitable market segment – can be convinced that the solution offered fulfils his specific needs and solves his specific problems best.
Therefore, a ‘theory of relativity’ is also applicable for marketing as such, as a relative balance between these parameters will surely result in a relative good market share in
the target groups to be reached by the manufacturer or consultant.
A precondition, of course, is that the entrepreneur strives for an excellent quality of marketing – in its overall dimension, but oriented at his possibilities and budgets – and targets those groups which he can satisfy best with his specific relative strengths = his very specific advantages.
Most important: Act now and fast!!
The author, Michael Richter – MBA, Germany,
firstname.lastname@example.org has dealt for more than
30 years with all questions relating to international marketing and sales.
His specific targets are training, coaching and implementation of
European or foreign companies to become more successful globally.
Michael has joined eBSI as a Specialist Advisor and will be a tutor for German
participants in the International Trade Specialist Accreditation Programme.