The involvement in international trade or expansion of business into other countries requires that there is an adequate study of the cultural practices and preferences of the people in which would hitherto become the consumer of the organization’s product. This becomes necessary so as to bring into compatibility the organization’s cultural practices with the culture practices of the people in the country where the organizational operational base it expanded to.
Furthermore, there is the need that marketing techniques in place for the country is understood, so as the new entrant would know how to market its product effectively to win customers to its products or services. As an organization continues to expand in its operational base, it is a noticeable fact that these expansion tend to affect the pattern of existing culture the organization had hitherto operated on. This becomes more prominent when the organization is venturing into a different environment or country with foreign and very different culture from the exhibited national culture.
Strategic marketing is thus, faced with high challenges in the aspect of cultural harmonization of an organization operating with several units and outlets in trans-nationals and across borders operations. In an ever increasing competitive global business arena, the
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Strategic marketing entails that the organization carries out an effective planning that would coordinate the whole marketing operates of the organization and make it adapt to its environment through effective utilization of available resources. Thus, the different marketing strategies ; pricing strategy, distributive strategy, promotional strategy, sales strategy, product creation and branding strategy, inter alia, these are synchronize in meeting the marketing objectives of the organization.
“Strategy is concerned with effectiveness rather than efficiency and is the process of analyzing the environment and designing the fit between the organization, its resources and objectives and the environment” (Proctor, 2000). Most Multinational Corporation in contemporary times, in order for them to operate effectively in the different countries where they operate, they tend to form a network and internationalize to support their membership in their network.
According to McCall & Stone (2004), “companies prosper if the network does international marketing decision-making in multinational corporations operate a s a network rather than through a headquarters -subsidiaries structure”. Thus, when an organization began to expand by venturing into international operation it need to consider how it would tend to handle its corporate culture, so as to effectively complement rather than standing as an obstacle to successful operation at the international level.
It is then a big challenge for harnessing the corporate culture with a different environment that is strange to the culture. This challenge becomes more intensified especially when the organization has matured and adapted fully to the corporate culture. In this view Oden (1997:50), has it that “cultural change is very difficult to effect in organization, particularly in mature organizations. An existing strong culture can often resist a weak change effort. However, if innovation and intrapreneurship are to be successful, they must be supported by an appropriate corporate culture.
Today’s global economy requires business organization to cultivate their international holdings by respecting the national differences of their host countries and coordinating efforts for rapid innovation (Ulijn et al, 2000). The American Interests United (AIU) organization is a firm in Europe dealing in fast food services, just as MacDonald’s fast food, which is a well-known force in the fast food industry. The organization follows a product line of introducing a fast food out let in South Africa. Here, the how the organization’s culture is compatible with that of the environment in which it founds itself, this would be analyzed.