بررسی تاثیر عدم قطعیت روی عناصر استراتژی بازاریابی در بازار صادراتی در حال ظهور بنگاه به بنگاه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|23906||2014||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9420 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Business Review, Volume 23, Issue 2, April 2014, Pages 418–428
The degree of adaptation or standardization of the marketing program is critical in international business ventures. However, findings within this important research field and, consequently, implications for practice remain contradictory and confusing. The purpose of this paper is to examine determinants of an international marketing-mix strategy within a specific business-to-business context that includes the effects of uncertainty. Is the degree to which the marketing program is adapted or standardized dependent on the managerial perception of uncertainty? Does a firm's international entrepreneurial ability or the use of networks positively influence the degree of positive assessment of the environment? Data were collected from German companies working in different international business-to-business markets. The results indicate that international entrepreneurship has a greater impact on uncertainty reduction than the use of networks. After having reduced uncertainty, a firm tends to adapt their communication and pricing strategy, whereas the adaptation of the product and distribution strategy in general is not significant.
Industrial market players feel a particularly high pressure to go abroad in order to secure and enlarge a company's sales volume. Since international activity is vital to their performance, business-to-business companies are facing the challenge of designing and implementing market-specific export strategies that take into account the uncertain environment within the fast changing target markets (Katsikeas, 2006). The fundamental proposition of international marketing is that the mere existence of a firm‘s global marketing strategy will have a positive effect on its global market performance (Cavusgil and Zou, 1994, Leonidou et al., 2002, O’Cass and Julian, 2003, Shoham, 1999, Theodosiou and Leonidou, 2003 and Zou and Cavusgil, 2002). But what is considered to be a good global marketing strategy? International market success is always linked to an efficient and effective implementation of a well planned marketing-mix strategy (Sousa, Martínez-López, & Coelho, 2008) for a specific market. So, it is necessary to rethink established domestic strategies when entering a new market (McDougall & Oviatt, 1996) because of different international market settings. When entering a new market, firms have to design and implement an appropriate marketing mix approach. They have to weigh up between a cost and complexity saving strategy of international standardization and a customer and market-tailored adaptation strategy of the marketing-mix. For industrial marketing in particular, there is a growing need for guidance when navigating through a fast changing international business environment (Madhavaram, Badrinarayanan, & Granot, 2011). Sheth and Sharma (2006) identified a lack of theory-based empirical studies examining the international and cross-cultural effects on business-to-business marketing. The importance of research on the marketing mix strategy is undoubted. However, the debate on the marketing mix strategy is unfortunately characterized by non-significant, contradictory and confusing, and highly aggregated findings (Theodosiou and Leonidou, 2003 and Zou and Cavusgil, 2002) and, in many cases, is concentrated on b2c-settings (Sheth & Sharma, 2006). The transfer of these findings to industrial goods seems problematic due to the complexity of the goods and the different customer problems encountered (Backhaus, Lügger, & Koch, 2011). In addition, it is necessary to shed light on the heterogeneity of the various business types in international industrial markets because designing a “one-fits-all” marketing strategy seems to be problematic and ineffective (Backhaus & Muehlfeld, 2005). Many authors claim that industrial products are more likely to be standardized (Jain, 1989, Samiee and Roth, 1992 and Schilke et al., 2009); however, a marketing mix does not result in a single product strategy. Up until now, most research has focused on a single analysis of the influence of one marketing mix element on a company's performance. But there is a need to examine the interplay of all four mix elements at the same time (Kustin, 2004). Schmid and Kotulla (2011) showed that hitherto researchers have not been able to clearly derive performance-enhancing strategies to answer the question of marketing standardization or adaptation in a given context. They call for more industry-segment and country-specific studies (Schmid & Kotulla, 2011). Next to industry-specific reflection on the marketing mix strategy, another critical variable in the whole decision context is the construct of uncertainty. Moving to different foreign markets always increases the environmental complexity (Ghemawat, 2001). If a company wants to expand into new markets that seem different from the home market, uncertainty about strategy arises (Erramilli & Rao, 1993). Uncertainty plays a central role in a firm's internationalization strategy due, above all, to the shift to the unfamiliar and fast changing environment of emerging markets (Hoskisson, Eden, Lau, & Wright, 2000). Schmid and Kotulla (2011) criticized the fact that potentially false perceptions managers have about the environment and its influence on strategy have, up until now, not been included enough in international studies. Hence, the objective of this study is to include perceptual uncertainties in the international marketing strategy research. Uncertainty in decision making has to be reduced (Schmid & Kotulla, 2011) to an individually appropriate level. Well established concepts within the contingency literature are based on the constructs of international entrepreneurship and the networking capabilities of a company. Firms providing entrepreneurial orientation are expected to be better able to deal with uncertain environments because these companies possess the abilities needed to react to unknown and fast changing environmental circumstances (Kraus, Rigtering, Hughes, & Hosman, 2012). Furthermore, Jones, Coviello, and Tang (2011) state that network capabilities in combination with entrepreneurial opportunity-seeking behavior are crucial for a rapid and successful internationalization process. Therefore, we want to link these important skills to the firm's ability to reduce uncertainty about the appropriate marketing mix strategy for a foreign market. Our research will contribute to a deeper understanding of contingency factors influencing international marketing-mix strategies in a b2b-context. Determinants of strategic decisions concerning the question of standardization versus adaptation within the business-to-business context will be examined. We make an important theoretical contribution to the idiosyncrasies of business-to-business markets and concentrate on the project business, which has an essential influence on the marketing mix strategy. Moreover, we extend the research on the four marketing mix elements. Furthermore, our study is one of the first empirical studies to link the construct of uncertainty to the strategic options of the marketing mix. In addition, we believe that business-to-business firms have to stress more and more their international networking and international entrepreneurial capabilities to cope with the possible uncertainties of foreign markets. We postulate that these positively influence the decisions made in association with the marketing-mix strategy. The structure of our paper is as follows: First, we discuss previous research findings on the topic and develop a theoretical framework, from which we design a set of hypotheses. These focus on the marketing mix strategy of a business-to-business firm that takes into account possible uncertainty about the strategy and influencing factors such as international entrepreneurship and network capabilities. Second, we test our hypotheses using structural equation modeling. Finally, we present and argue our findings, followed by a discussion on the wider implications of our results and a conclusion that includes implications for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our objective was to identify which elements of the marketing mix of business-to-business companies, particularly those acting on project business markets, have to be standardized or adapted to foreign market conditions. The degree of adaptation of the marketing mix elements was defined as being dependent of the construct “marketing strategy uncertainty.” Furthermore, we looked at the influence of international entrepreneurship and the use of networks within the whole decision context. We examined the possibility of reducing the perception of marketing strategy uncertainty with these two abilities. The findings show that there exists a need for a different view on every single element of the marketing mix strategy. The data indicate that there is a positive relationship between the ability of a company to assess the given market environment, and the adaptation of the pricing strategy and the promotional elements. In contrast, there is no evidence for the general adaptation of the elements product and sales system. Furthermore, the results show a positive relationship between the international entrepreneurial and networking abilities of a company and the ability to reduce uncertainty about their marketing mix strategy. Our findings confirm that it is not possible to derive general advice for a standardized or an adapted marketing mix approach. The results show that each of the four elements of the marketing mix has to be considered separately. We filled the research gap by examining the marketing strategy for all four elements of the marketing mix within one study. Theodosiou and Leonidou (2003) complained that research on the question of standardization versus adaptation of the marketing mix is contradictory. Therefore, we concentrated our investigations within the clearly defined constraints of the project business. Industrial markets, in particular, are too complex to derive clear and common implications. For example, we stated that the customization of the outcome of a project business is essential due to the idiosyncrasies of the project business. The marketing mix strategy related to the product strategy seemed theoretically clearly defined: adaptation. By contrast, results showed no significance for the strategy of product adaptation across markets. The assumption that a negative adaptation to lower product standards in foreign emerging markets is the appropriate strategy has to be rejected. In turn, the need for a certain project standard seems to imply the standardization of at least the components, procurement, and product details across market boundaries. However, these results may not be valid for and transferable to the product or relational business, as defined by Backhaus and Muehlfeld (2005). The statement that international differences are on the decline and that there is a drift toward transnational similarities (Sheth, 2001) has to be critically reviewed. This assumption might influence the marketing strategy concerning the product element. But nevertheless, an increasing homogenization of product needs does not imply a homogeneous promotional approach to foreign markets. Cultural differences still play a decisive role in the complex and negotiation-intensive b2b-markets and have to be considered within international marketing studies. Our results show that the adaptation of price and, above all, of the promotional tools is necessary. These two elements are highly influenced by culture and thus have to be adapted to foreign project business markets. The adaptation of these marketing mix elements can ensure the cultural awareness of a company. Moreover, we argued for the importance of international entrepreneurship and network capabilities. Up until now, no study has considered these aspects to be important within the context of the international marketing mix strategy. We connected the abilities of international entrepreneurship and networking to the ability to reduce marketing strategy uncertainty. The significant influence of international entrepreneurship reinforces the importance of this research stream. The lesser importance of the networking capabilities revealed is in line with previous findings within the research of early internationalizing firms. For example, the existence of a network did not appear to be of significant importance to company founders, as assumed by Rasmussen, Madsen, and Evangelista (2001).