برنامه بازاریابی استاندارد: اکتشاف بین کشوری
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|20048||2004||23 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||14272 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Research in Marketing, Volume 21, Issue 4, December 2004, Pages 397–419
This study explores the antecedents and consequences of marketing program standardization in subsidiaries of multinational corporations by contrasting the case of a lead market (Japan) and of an emerging market (Turkey). The findings show that: (1) marketing program standardization is positively related to performance in Japan and Turkey; (2) centralization of nonproduct decision is negatively related to performance in both markets; (3) customer similarity is positively related to marketing program standardization in both Japan and Turkey. Whereas, in Japan, marketing program standardization has a direct, positive relationship to performance, in Turkey, in addition to such a direct effect, there is also an indirect effect at work, through centralization of nonproduct decision.
The globalization of the marketplace is forcing multinational companies to integrate their worldwide strategies. Some researchers have even suggested that being able to develop and implement an effective global strategy is the acid test of a well-managed multinational company (e.g., Yip, 1995). Because of its external focus on customers and competitors (Slater & Narver, 1995 and Zou & Cavusgil, 2002), marketing is well positioned to appreciate and exploit the benefits of globalization. As markets are quickly becoming “borderless,” marketing strategies that fail to recognize the similarities among markets can be at a competitive disadvantage (Levitt, 1983 and Yip, 1995). Marketing program standardization (MPS) is an important dimension of a global marketing strategy (see Zou & Cavusgil, 2002). 1 MPS is defined as the pursuit of similar marketing programs across different countries or regions with regard to product offering, promotional mix, and price and distribution structure ( Jain, 1989, Levitt, 1983 and Szymanski et al., 1993). The standardization of marketing programs is viewed as a continuum with complete standardization and complete localization as the two extremes ( Cavusgil & Zou, 1994 and Özsomer et al., 1991). The pursuit of a standardized program is considered appropriate only to the extent that it has a positive relationship to performance (Levitt, 1983 and Jain, 1989). Proponents of standardization believe that world markets are being homogenized by advances in communication and technology (Levitt, 1983). Preferences of customers in distant parts of the world are becoming similar and, in turn, these customers are demanding the same products (Jain, 1989). The convergence of cultures, similarity of demand, low trade barriers, and technological advances are enabling firms to sell standardized products using standardized marketing programs (Zou & Cavusgil, 2002). Depending on market conditions, the benefits of standardization in terms of performance include cost saving through scale economies in production, marketing, and R&D (Levitt, 1983, Porter, 1980 and Yip, 1995); ability to exploit good products, ideas, and executions in multiple markets (Maljers, 1992, Özsomer & Prussia, 2000 and Yip, 1995); enhanced customer preference through global recognition (Levitt, 1983); and consistency in dealing with customers (Zou & Cavusgil, 2002). However, some studies have cautioned that pressures for global integration are often misinterpreted and that subsidiaries frequently adopt programs that are either too standardized or too localized (Birkinshaw et al., 1995, Douglas & Wind, 1987 and Yip, 1995). The relationship between marketing program standardization and performance is of interest to both practitioners and academics because it goes to the heart of what often does, and does not, work well in subsidiary markets. Should Starbucks enforce its nonsmoking store policy internationally? Can Swatch sustain the same pricing policy worldwide? While much has been written on the promises and pitfalls of marketing program standardization, the majority of published work is conceptual, or based on anecdotal evidence. Surprisingly, few empirical research works that document the relationship between a standardized marketing program and performance exist. The bulk of empirical research has examined standardization with respect to individual marketing mix elements (e.g., advertising content, brand name, distribution channel, and pricing), with advertising receiving the greatest coverage ( Jain, 1989). Among the few studies that have investigated environmental and organizational contingencies empirically (e.g., Cavusgil & Zou, 1994 and Özsomer & Prussia, 2000), there is limited and often conflicting evidence regarding performance outcomes of standardized marketing programs. For example, Kotabe and Omura (1989) find that businesses with standardized products perform better in terms of market share and profit performance than businesses that adapt products to different market conditions. Likewise, Szymanski et al. (1993) find that businesses are better off standardizing their strategic resource mix across Western markets. In contrast, in the export marketing context, Cavusgil and Zou (1994) uncover a positive relationship between product adaptation and performance. Finally, Samiee and Roth (1992) find no significant relationship between standardization and a firm's performance. Despite continued interest in the topic, the issue remains unresolved. Standardization cannot occur without centralization of marketing decisions (Daniels, 1987). Centralized marketing decision making is necessary to implement a standardized marketing program (Özsomer & Prussia, 2000). In one of the earlier studies, Aydin and Terpstra (1981) report that multinational corporations (MNCs) with the standardization–centralization approach tend to do more marketing know-how transfers than those with a decentralized adaptation approach. In another study, Özsomer et al. (1991) found the level of marketing standardization to be highest when the head office provided strong directions for marketing decisions. We aim at making a contribution to this literature by considering both marketing program standardization and centralization of marketing decision simultaneously. By primarily focusing on the standardization of marketing while ignoring centralization of marketing decision, past research fails to capture the underlying complexities between marketing programs and marketing decision making: how they are related to internal and external forces and how they are related to performance. In contrast, this study not only recognizes the pertinence of centralization of decision making, but it also refines the concept into two distinct classes of operations: product and nonproduct decisions. We believe that the omission of marketing decision centralization and the lack of distinction between product and nonproduct decision centralization are, indeed, two main sources of inconsistent findings in previous research works. To the best of our knowledge, this research is the first designed to analyze the relationship between marketing program standardization and centralization of product and nonproduct decisions separately. By teasing out the effects of these distinct relationships, we hope to contribute to a better understanding of marketing standardization in the subsidiary context. Beyond reconciling the effects of centralization of decision making and standardization of marketing programs on performance, this study also accounts for the role of customer similarity and market infrastructure similarity as key antecedents of standardization. Thus, we focus on the decision to standardize or localize in a host country market by investigating performance implications in a single subsidiary market. We then empirically determine whether the pattern of these relationships is similar in a different subsidiary market. This focus on individual subsidiary markets, rather than looking at all subsidiaries simultaneously, enables us to cross-validate our model in a multicountry context. It also enables us to understand if and how the host country environment matters. To address these issues, the current study is centered on the case of the subsidiaries of American and European multinational companies operating in both a lead market (Japan) and an emerging market (Turkey). The selection of these two relatively underresearched, yet diverse, subsidiary markets (Japan and Turkey) offers a pertinent contrast for this initial study of a programmatic stream of research directed at better understanding external market conditions and internal firm resources as drivers of superior performance in subsidiaries of MNCs.