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TASK

I think it is very difficult to try to make the argument that you are making “that the economic environment is not the most important factor.’ It would be easier to agree and spend a few paragraphs saying why. Higher incomes = more money to spend = more market potential. Then, you could say that “there are other factors” and still include the information as you did about the political system and cultural values. You conclusion then becomes “the economic environment is the most important factor, but there other important factors.”

 

Other arguments against the economic environment, could include the level of competition from other local and international companies, the infrastructure (can goods be easily distributed).

 

STRUCTURE

I didn’t really like the way you introduced arguments to support the economic environment, and then tried to argue against them; particularly, because the arguments were pretty strong, so it is hard to argue against them. It would have been better to just state your arguments for politics and culture and then support them. In the conclusion you could say they are more important than the economic environment. In this case you don’t really make any arguments for the economic environment.

 

OVERALL

Most of what I have said is critical, but actually it’s not a bad essay. Overall the language you use has few errors and for the most part the referencing has been done well (try to mix up the sources a bit more). I just think it would have been more successful if you had agreed with the statement, given reasons for this position, and then had a concession where you stated that politics and culture were other important factors.

 

Essay Question

In appraising the international marketing environment, the economic environment of a country is the most important consideration for an enterprise. Discuss

Essay (click here to see the changes made version)

 

Appraising  International Marketing by Elve (Sydney)

The fluctuation of international markets and the pressure of competition make the evaluation of international marketing not only interesting but also challenging and rewarding. The outcome of globalization is the reduction of barriers to international business; as a result, numerous local companies decide to cross the border and operate in foreign markets. Companies like Coca-Cola, IBM, and Microsoft have brands that are recognized across the globe. With a meaning of international marketing, the complexity of the problems is much greater; International marketing involves recognizing that people all over the world have different needs. It is also necessary to understand regional differences, hence the importance of international marketing. GDP, GNP, and per capita income are indicators of consumers’ buying power; high numbers suggest a progressive economic environment and a potentially profitable market. Support of the economic environment is the most important issue dominating the international marketing mechanism. However, it has been frequently argued that the most important of companies’ strategies do not take into consideration the current state of international markets when determining their strategy (Rahman, 2006, Kumar et al, 1993). Although the economic environment of a country is viewed as essential for international marketers, with regards to the information provided by economics such as income and wealth, there are also numerous factors which we are required to think about. Therefore the economy of a country is not the most important consideration to take into account when appraising the international marketing environment. The political and legislative environment and the cultural environment are two specific factors which are more important and need particular attention from international marketers. This essay will outline various arguments pertaining to the economic, political, legal and cultural aspects of marketing within a global perspective.

 

The political and legal environment at work in the host country affects the conduct of international business in a variety of ways. It can be simply described as the laws and regulations that a business has to follow in order to make sure the business owners can operate in society, or have the business fined for refusing to obey some regulations. The problem is that laws in some countries are stricter than in others. For example Europe has its unique trade law system. Enforcement of trade rules and regulations make the transaction became more difficult and even raise the transaction cost for international business (Cannon & McCarthy, 2008, P104). Moreover, strong sentiments of nationalism can be limiting in international markets. For example a “Buy American” attitude supports protecting U.S. producers and jobs from foreign competition (Cannon & McCarthy, 2008, P103). The political and legal operations create obstacles and interference among people, products, and businesses. An understanding of these in the host country is essential for international marketers, in order to cater to the regional governments’ wants and needs.

 

On the other hand, there is the argument that the economic environment can change quite rapidly. The effect can be widespread and alter the marketing plan. For example in just a few months, Thai money (the baht) was floated and lost half its value in the late 1990s. As consumers’ real incomes dropped, they must shift the way they spend. “Even a well-planned marketing strategy may fail if a country goes through a rapid business decline” (Cannon & McCarthy, 2008, P100). In contrast, consider the recently idle U.S. economy. The previous growth of the economy created a strong job market, increased numerous incomes, and raised the value of investments. The trend of consumers’ buying power was increasing because of this “wealth effect” (Cannon & McCarthy, 2008, P100). Considering these factors some would say that economic factors are surely the most important elements when assessing an international market. Companies need to understand the economic circumstances before applying the whole marketing mix (4Ps) in a foreign country.

 

However, they fail to consider all the factors of political involvement. Firstly, the most dangerous of political risks to international business is internal conflict, as it will have a negative impact on the company’s ability to operate effectively and profitably (Czinkota, 2009, P131). Furthermore, a clear example is the rage of violence in southern Thailand, which led to more than 2400 deaths and 4000 people being injured (Melvin, 2007). Secondly, there is a lack of evidence to support the argument that economic factors influence marketing strategy. The exposure to potential political risk may result in losing a corporation’s properties and managerial control. The scales of political turmoil lead to an extension of civil disturbances, and there is a high chance that the government could collapse. Thus, it should not be ignored that the political environment has a strong degree of influence on international marketing.    There are other arguments about the political legal environment, such as the favoring of local companies over outside ones, as well as

 

Secondly, culture is an important part of International Business. Edward Tylor viewed culture as “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society” (W.L.HILL, 2007, cited in Tylor ,1870, P90, 91). From an international business perspective on education, it plays a determinant role in the evaluation of national competitive advantage. For example, if nearly 75 percent of the population in a country was illiterate, it is unlikely to be a good market for a popular book. Moreover, “a common language can bring people together within a defined boundary”. Some say, the reason the United States became the largest economy in the world was because it uses the world’s most influential language with over 200 million speakers (Richardson, 2011). International businesses are not only a way of making profits by the exploitation of international marketing, but also a bridge between different nations.

 

However, it is claimed that the economic needs are concerned with marketing in many purchasing decisions. Therefore, marketing managers must consider a country’s economic condition. The national income of an economy is typically measured by GDP, GNP, and per capita income. If the country’s market is characterized by a positive growth, enterprises have more opportunities to earn profits. For example western European countries are among the worlds most prosperous. The region’s wealthy consumers have attracted international businesses’ attention and were eager to market their products. An affluent country provides a strong economic basis for international marketing managers to develop.

 

While it cannot be denied that the economy is major factor to take into account when appraising the international marketing environment, the culture is more important than the economy. According to a KPMG study, “26% of all mergers and acquisitions (M&As) were more likely to succeed if they focused on resolving cultural issues” (Unlocking Shareholder Value: The Keys to Success, 1999). For example in 1992, Euro Disney was opened to the public, but it made many marketing and operational errors. Disney underestimated the influence of cultural differences between America and Europe. Whereas Europeans visiting a Disney theme park in the USA expected a real “The French see Euro Disney as American imperialism—plastics at its worst” (The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2009). In contrast, when McDonald’s established their first restaurant in India, they responded to the culture by adapting the menu in order to suit the local customer’s diet. McDonald replaced the burger meat from pork to mutton. Therefore, the prevailing Indian customers still can enjoy this ‘American’ experience (The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2009). The reason why McDonald had a big success was that they aware of cultural sensibilities. Evidently, the global economy is becoming a large unified market; marketers will still encounter differences between culture and social environment among those countries.

 

It can be concluded that, a large number of external and internal forces shape the marketing environment, and the overseas potential of markets has to be carefully scrutinized. In international markets it’s often harder to fully understand the marketing environment variables. This may make it more difficult to see the risks involved in particular opportunities. Some countries are politically unstable; some countries have radically different cultures. All these attributes show that the economic environment is not the only consideration for developing international business. The market environment is broader and full of perplexity. The marketing manager should carefully analyze all the environmental variables that can be controlled when making marketing decisions.

 

References

Cannon & McCarthy, P. J. (2008). Basic Marketing- A Marketing Strategy Planning Approach. New York: McGraw-Hill /Irwin Companies.

 

Czinkota, M. R. (2009). Fundamentals of International Business. Australia: John Wiley & Sons Australia. Ltd.

 

Melvin, J. (2011). Conflict in Southern Thailand. Retrieved JUNE 16, 2011, from SIPRI: http://books.sipri.org/files/PP/SIPRIPP20.pdf

 

Rahman. (2006). Organisational and Strategic Considerations In International Market Selection. Retrieved June 10, 2011, from http://smib.vuw.ac.nz:8081/WWW/ANZMAC2001/anzmac/AUTHORS/pdfs/Rahman2.pdf

 

Richardson, G. (2011). Social – Cultural Considerations. Retrieved JUNE 10, 2011, from witiger: http://www.witiger.com/internationalbusiness/culturalconsiderations.htm

 

The McGraw-Hill Companies. (2009). Cases 2 The Cultural Environment Of Global Marketing. Retrieved JUNE 10, 2011, from McGraw-Hill -Higher Education: http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/dl/free/007352994x/862121/cat2994X_case2.pdf

 

The McGraw-Hill Companies. (2009). Differences in Culture. Retrieved JUNE 10, 2011, from McGraw-Hill-Higher Education: http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/dl/free/0071000259/853711/Hill_Ch05.pdf

 

Unlocking Shareholder Value: The Keys to Success. (1999). Retrieved JUNE 10, 2011, from KPMG: http://www.imaa-institute.org/docs/m&a/kpmg_01_Unlocking%20Shareholder%20Value%20-%20The%20Keys%20to%20Success.pdf

 

W.L.HILL. (2007). International Business Competing In The Global Marketplace. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.