Sunday, November 8, 2009

Marketing Management Column #1 Part 2

A continuation of my first column in Marketing Management.
Today’s column presents research on the dimensions which will shape the future of Global Marketing.
Read it after the jump.


INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS OFFER FUTURE GLOBAL TRENDS

Globalization has revolutionized international marketing and the need to monitor and adapt to change is vital.  Our new Delphi study involving business, government, and academic experts from the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe, spotlights factors becoming more urgent for global marketers. While change is constant, it is also asymmetric. Market winners need to understand the pace and the direction of changes in the global environment and also ensure that there is no market exclusion of those who did not make it into the top ranks this time.

Terrorism was cited as the primary challenge facing the global business environment followed by globalization issues and corruption. The experts, participating in the latest of five international Delphi studies undertaken by the authors over the past 25 years, also identified corporate adjustment to local cultural values and a need for better market information as key requirements for global business.

DELPHI APPROACH

Our study focuses on trends affecting the future of global marketing, to guide business planners, policy makers, researchers, and those who teach tomorrow’s marketing executives.  We asked senior leaders in the United States, Japan, China, Latin America, Africa, and Western and Central Europe to “identify international business dimensions subject to change in the next 10 years and highlight the corporate and policy responses to these changes.”  The panelists, who included Chairmen, Board Members, and Presidents of global corporations as well as high government officials and academics, were selected to ensure inclusion of key change regions and fields.

We employed a Delphi approach, using three rounds of assessment, argument, and re-argument to create agreement or define areas of dissent on issues among panelists.

PRIORITY ISSUES

Panelists ranked a series of issues based on their overall importance to the world economy, and in terms of their specific impact on international marketing management. We present the top three key concerns here with more to follow in our next column.

In the mid 1980’s, the international trade framework, international debt, and U.S. trade policy had been ranked as the most important concerns. Now, terrorism, globalization, and corruption were ranked as key issues. Reflecting the interactive discussion and debate among the participants, here is a summary of the top category of their  priority issues.

FUNDAMENTAL STRUCTURE

1) Terrorism: The experts agreed that the challenges resulting from terrorism was the highest priority issue for global marketing decision makers. Combating terrorism was seen as a fact of life and history, resulting in a continuous job for push-back to be conducted multi-laterally and without compromise.

Consumers appear willing to change their consumption patterns if required by security considerations.  Corporations are likely to revive ethnocentric and polycentric policies and use export activities, rather than foreign direct investment, as the dominant form of dealing with certain foreign markets.  They will either pull out from countries that lack law and order, or service them only at a very high risk premium.

2) Globalization:  While periods of economic crisis may present short interruptions, the progress of globalization will be inexorable.  Marketers will participate in driving the phenomenon as they continue to pursue economies of scale and seek significant market share in key strategic emerging countries.

The main winners of globalization are consumers, intermediaries, and originators while workers may be disadvantaged.  Improved education and trade adjustment assistance programs will be vital to help workers adapt and lessen resistance to economic liberalization.

3) Corruption is a major detractor from global welfare and local economic development.  Its consequences are unsafe products, shoddily built roads, structures that collapse, and clinics with equipment purchased at high prices.  In such circumstances vast public expenditures do not achieve the envisioned use and local interests suffer.

While corruption tends to affect government purchasing, it can also wreak havoc with consumer goods supply chains.  For example, product safety issues have closed some Asian markets to consumer goods produced in China.

These are the top three issues developed by our Delphi study. As we have always maintained, change is a key driver of success and failure. Marketers may be beneficiaries or victims of change and have a key role as change agents in society.  In subsequent articles, we will further explore strategic requirements for success in light of these and other trends as well as the need for reform in global marketing management

Read the next column!

1 comment:

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