International marketing strategy

Date of publication: June 15, 1991

Author: William Ramsay

Abstract:

Three key propositions form the argument of this paper : 1. The European Single Market is the third period of discontinuity in consumer marketing in this century - two world wars changed national environments and industry structures leading to increased concentration of companies and to scale economy branding. - the Single Market is lowering mobility barriers and challenging the monopoly of national branding. - the desire for greater individual satisfaction is creating 'de-massification' of consumer markets aided by faster technological changes. 2. Companies and consumer markets are changing their structure and shape in reacting to the Single Market - companies are dividing into three groups: global, regional and local. - national mass markets (vertical shape) will become transnational segmented categories (horizontal shape) - national brands will become cross-country category segments - own label will increase in share but remain national 3. Consumer marketing will become more strategic in order to remain as a mainstream function consumer marketing has traditionally operated with the marketing mix as the underlying framework. Marketing strategy in consumer goods is not the same as management strategy market share is an objective not a strategy: it may become a redundant concept the key issue in international marketing strategy is to define its role within overall management strategy. These views are those of the author alone, based on his experience in multinational marketing. They also stem from seminars on the Food and Drink Industry (FADIR) held at Templeton College, Oxford. For this paper, informal discussions took place with executives of major consumer goods companies: global, regional and British, with service companies and with colleagues.

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