MK390/MK383Marketing Across Cultures
Tutors: Dr Steve Hogan and Dr Keith Perks
Individual Assignment 1
Subject specific learning outcomes:
1. To identify and analyse the key drivers of culture and appreciate their importance when developing and implementing international marketing plans and strategies.
3. To identify and analyse the key drivers of international expansion and the barriers that need to be overcome.
4. To utilise appropriate market research, screening and selection methodologies to identify new export opportunities and develop effective and justifiable international marketing plans.
Cognitive learning outcomes:
5. To apply sound written communication skills in presenting ideas and solutions to problems.
7. To demonstrate the ability to identify and critique appropriate literature to support ideas.
Assignment overview and assessment:
The first assignment for this module is based on an individual report which is the preparation of an outline international marketing strategy/plan.
Individual Written Assignment 1 – 2500 words(accounting for 40% of the overall assessment of this module for MK390 students and 100% for MK383 students), to be submitted via Turnitin.
Hand out date: 6October 2017
Submission deadline:Thursday 18January, 2018
Marks and Feedback via Turnitin: Thursday, 15 February, 2018
Please read carefully and if you do not understand any aspect of the brief, ask one of the tutors.
In this first assignment you are expected to develop an international marketing strategy and plan for a domestically based company of your choice. We define a domestically based company as one which is located in the UK. If however you are a student whose usual country of residence is outside the UK, you may chose a local company from your home country should you prefer.
Your role is to act as a marketing consultant hired by the company to identify and select one new export market for the company to target based on your research and analysis. You then need to advise themin a report on how they should put together their market entry strategy and adapt their marketing mix to exploit this opportunity.
The key tasks involved in developing your report are:
1. To carry out careful research to identify a suitable company and product or service that you consider to have export potential.
2. To initially research and assess fourpotential export markets and then select one key country/market to target first, giving the rationale for your choice. This rationale should be based on the analysis of as much relevant research information as possible. At a minimum, you should include PESTLE and demographic data, market and competitive data, market opportunities, and consideration of any possible barriers and hurdles the company will have to overcome. Note that this chosen market then becomes the focus for the rest of your report.
3. To consider and recommend the most appropriate market entry mode for your chosen market, giving your reasons.
4. To advise the company on what changes would be needed in the marketing mix to exploit the opportunity (for example, product and packaging adjustments, pricing/costing considerations, advertising and promotions)
Choice of company and product/service
You have a free choice of company and product or service from any consumer, business-to-business or service sector, although you are advised to consult one of the tutors before confirming your choice. You may find it easier to focus on local companies in Sussex or your home area, however you can choose a company from any region of the UK or from your home country if you are an international student.
The company may be small, medium or large, with all of its sales derived from the domestic market or at an early stage of developing its export business. If the company is already exporting then it should only be to one or two markets at the most and you should not select a market that they are already doing business with.When selecting a company you need to look at the width and depth of their product/service range. If it is too wide, you will need to focus on just a particular part of the range and if it is too deep, you will have to pick a particular category. If you have any doubts about the suitability of the company or its product/service offering, please consult the tutors.
Note that you should not choose the same company, product or service as any other student taking the module but should this occur by chance, it will be on a first come, first served basis.
Choice of export market/country
Your chosen export market/country can be anywhere in the world but not the UK, or your home country if you arean international student. Base your choice on your country screening research and analysis of the four countries but also consider the access to and availability of reliable local market information. You do not necessarily select the export market that is potentially the largest for the company.
Structure for the report
There is some flexibility for your report in terms of structure but a sample structure is shown below:
Title page – To be addressed to the company (as you are acting as a consultant) – Don’t forget to include your name!
Introduction – Brief background to the company and product/service (e.g. any USP’s) and the export experience it has to date (where relevant).
Selection of market – detail on your criteria for selecting suitable target markets, consideration of ease of/barriers to entry and what four countries you have shortlisted.
Explanation of what country you have selected to target first and the rationale for this choice.
Detail about this market (such as PESTLE issues, market and competitor data, cultural differences etc.) and your suggested target market and positioning.
Choice of entry mode – Discussion and rationale on what market entry mode you propose (direct, distributor, franchise etc. and perhaps on the location if you have chosen a retail outlet) and how this entry mode should be pursued. Brief suggestions also on how the new market should be managed once the first business deal has been secured.
Adapting the marketing mix – Discussion on a) what changes you would suggest need to be made, and why, to the product/service (for example in terms of name, packaging, content, delivery etc.), b) what price(s) might be charged locally and what types of costs would need to be ascertained, and c) any initial ‘affordable’ promotional ideas for creating local awareness and interest.
Layout your work in report style and in good English. Fully check it before submission.
Keep to the word limit of 2500 (+ or – 10%). Consider using tables and bullet points in parts to save words and use the appendices wisely to provide relevant additional detail/analysis (for example of the three countries shortlisted but not to be initially targeted. Use images where appropriate.
The title page, contents page, reference list and any appendices do not count towards the word count but everything else does.
Reference your sources clearly. Remember that you should be demonstrating to us that you have read a good range of relevant literature (academic and industry), understood it, and appropriately applied it in your plan.
We are expecting you to not just describe your plan but also explain the thinking behind your proposals.
Assessment& marking criteria:
The marking grid below shows the allocation of marks to the different requirements of the assignment.
|Marking Criteria||Proportion of Marks available|
|Use and understanding of relevant secondary data from a range of sources, appropriately referenced||25%|
|Demonstration of understanding of international marketing strategic decisions and the process of identifying and selecting potential export markets||25%|
|Rationale for your choice of market entry strategy||20%|
|Understanding of marketing mix considerations for international markets||20%|
Some sources of international trade and other statistics
Please also refer to the ASPIRE reading list on studentcentral for further sources of information oninternationalisation, culture and international planning and strategy.
Good luck with assignment. There will be ample opportunity to discuss queries and progress with the tutors throughout the term
Below is a Sample Paper. You Can Order a Custom Essay Written From Scratch From Our Website. Click Here to Order.
International Marketing Plan: Focus Group (UK)
Company Background: The Focus Group
According to Focus Group (2018), Focus Group was started by Ralph Gilbert and Chris Goodman in 2003 and during the initial few months was being run from a home office. One year later, the founders brought in Paul Tolhurst in the capacity of a financial controller and the business moved to a small office with room for just three desks in Hove Technology Centre.
The company initially centered its business in the re-sale of voice minutes, also known as ‘calls and lines’ and also engaged with strategic partners in the sales of the telephone system and broadband (Focus Group, 2018). Uncertainties in the sale of voice minutes forced the firm to adopt a commercial strategy that positioned the business to have the greatest opportunity to maintain steady and sustainable growth. The company adopted Direct Sales and a Reseller Community to facilitate its market penetration. It also utilized opportunities to diversify its portfolio and introduced complementary products and services.
The company’s staffing policy has been modest and is centered on retaining good staff (Focus Group, 2017). The company grew steadily and by 2010, it had a dedicated system sales team and also had added Energy and a Mobile division rendering Hove Tech Centre no longer sufficient as the company had over 40 staff at the time (Focus Group, 2018). The company sought new premises in 2011 as it sought to re-brand and launch 3 new divisions; Digital Media, IT Services and Network Services. The company set up shop in Europa House, Southwick, where there was sufficient room for growth. In 2014, the company had grown and had brought in over 80 new members of staff. During the last year, 2017, the company’s members of staff increased to more than 300 employees and the company added two new divisions for Security and Print (Focus Group, 2018).
The company’s portfolio of divisions has transformed over the years and currently consists of Mobile, Voice, IT, Media, Data, Security, Energy and Print (Focus Group, 2017). In its expansion plans, the company has also made a few successful business acquisitions. The company has over 300 members of staff and delivers services to more than 10,000 businesses across the UK (Focus Group, 2018). Its award winning company having won awards such as Comms Dealer 2015 Winner, Comms Sales Awards 2014, and ISO 9001 Quality Management and Pragma Overall Reseller of the Year 2017.
Currently, the main management personnel are Mr. Ralph Gilbert as the Managing Director, Mr. Chris Goodman as the Director, and Ms Vicki Rishbeth as the Operations Director and Rhys Bailey as the Sales Director (Focus Group, 2017).
Selected Export Service
The Focus Group is well positioned to export its Information Technology (IT) services to other parts of the world. The IT services currently offered by the company include IT support, Cloud Computing, Hosted Solutions, Server Solutions, Office 365, Security, DR & Backup, Sahara Clevertouch, and Print Management (Focus Group, 2017). Targeted customers will include Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s), Mid-Market and Enterprise clients operating in the private sector and government agencies. The company will set up offices abroad and hire highly qualified staff to ensure it maintains its high quality service delivery.
Prior Export Experience
The Focus Group has centered its operations in the UK and has never engaged in any form of exporting its services or products abroad. Despite the lack of prior export experience, the company has a great potential to export its range of products and services to other countries as a way of achieving growth and expanding its revenues. The company is very competitive and delivers world class services across all its divisions as evidenced by the number of awards it has been able to accumulate in the recent years. Its products meet the international standards and it has been awarded the ISO 9001Quality Management certificate, meaning its products are competitive in international markets (Focus Group, 2018).
Selection of Export Market
Most Promising Markets
The top potential export markets for Focus Group’s IT services are the United States (US), Germany, Japan and Saudi Arabia. The market for technology globally has been growing in the recent past, although this growth is country specific (Arora and Gambardella, 2010, pp. 642). The selection of these four export destinations is based on market analysis of UK’s export statistics for services and export market research. Demand for UK services in the world is high and these selected countries are the leading markets for UK services. The sales of UK services to these four countries had the highest growth in 2017. The UK has a relatively healthy and growing export market for its services to these countries in the recent past compared to any other countries. These four export markets are recommended as “most promising markets” for UK services based on high demand outlook, favourable trade policies, high receptiveness to UK services and ample business environment.
Potential Market 1: United States (US)
According to Select USA (2017), the US has the most advanced software and IT services industry globally, accounting for over a quarter of the world’s $3.8 trillion IT market. The country’s software and IT services companies are in the excess of 100,000 and are mainly small and medium-sized firms. These companies include computer systems design firms, software publishers, dealers in custom computer programming services and facilities management firms. US software and IT companies are very reputable in terms of delivering consistent and effective solutions that penetrate the market quickly. The country has a robust intellectual property rights law that is fully enforced and this attracts much international software and IT firms. The domestic software and IT firms are very competitive across all market segments. However, the US imported computer services amounting to about $34 billion in 2015 which was a 40% rise in comparison with the 2010 import statistics (Select USA, 2017). American businesses are prioritising and have a strong and growing demand for cloud computing, green information technology, mobile applications, and collaborative tools. Cloud computing compound annual growth rate is 23.5% and is growing five times faster compared to the entire technology market (Butler, 2014).
Potential Market 2: Germany
According to International Trade Administration (2017), Germany has a very large ICT market, which were worth billions of EUR in 2016 in terms of hardware, software, IT services, consumer electronics, telecommunications infrastructure and telecommunication devices. The country hosts a number of instrumental ICT trade shows that position it as a key marketplace for IT firms to access buyers and gain global partnerships. The main segments that Focus Group can tap into include IT Security, Big Data, Cloud Computing, Health IT and Business IT. The key potential challenges arise because of the BREXIT but only if Britain companies will be limited by the EU Digital Single Market and General Data Protection Regulation if the government is not able to broker a better deal with German after Britain exits the EU. The German IT sector revenues in 2017 were approximately 85.8 billion euros (Statista, 2018).
Potential Market 3: Japan
According to EU-Japan Centre (2018), the IT industry in Japan is very big and cuts across various sectors including software, internet, computer services, electronics, computer hardware, telecoms equipment, and e-commerce. The country’s service sector is highly dependent on IT because it generates opportunities for markets. Its IT industry is very instrumental in global economic growth. Japan once had a very superior player in the global IT industry, but trade agreements have seen the entry of foreign IT firms which are very competitive in the domestic market. The competition posed by these foreign firms has forced the government and Japanese IT giants to develop new reforms for the country’s IT sector so as to make Japanese IT firms more competitive. The IT market is very vibrant and the environment is conducive to foreign IT firms which can access the many companies operating in the country. The Japanese IT market is estimated to grow to about USD130 billion by 2019 with growth expected to influence future market growth (Invest Tokyo, n.d.).
Potential Market 4: Saudi Arabia
According to Oxford Business Group (2016), Saudi Arabia has the largest ICT market in the Middle East region and the annual sector expenditures are estimated to be approximately USD37.3 billion by 2017. The Saudi government had singled out ICT as one of the Kingdom’s pillars to help spearhead the long-term development strategy under Vision 2030 in the wake of decreasing oil revenues. The nation’s digital economy is experiencing rapid growth and the country lacks sufficient human capital necessary to meet the demand even as data security has become a key issue in the country. The demand for data centres and cloud services is expected to grow in double and triple digits presenting a sizeable market (Oxford Business Group, 2018). The risks of this market include regulation, security fears and the growth of effective strategic partnerships. According to International Trade Administration (n.d.), the Kingdom will require a lot of software, hardware and technology as the government hopes to develop a new digital infrastructure.
Target Export Country: Saudi Arabia
The Saudi Arabian ICT sector is still in its infancy stages and is undergoing tremendous growth. This makes the country a very viable export destination for the IT Services provided by the Focus Group. According to Oxford Business Group (2018), the Kingdom’s market for data centres is forecasted to be around USD266.6 million, the market for cloud services will be about USD126.9 million and the market for managed services will be about USD373.2 million by 2019. There are a lot of opportunities available for IT firms in Saudi Arabia across four key areas which include big data and analytics; data centres and disaster recovery; security; and sector-specific ICT solutions such as for health and education.
Pestle Analysis of Saudi Arabia
Mohammed bin Salman is the current leader of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Ignatus, 2017, pp. 54). The arrest of key royal family members by the Mohammed bin Salman recently is a move by the crown prince to consolidate his influence and power (The Economist, 2018). There is also a political rivalry between Iran and a likelihood of jihadi terrorist attacks starting again.
The Kingdom’s oil revenues have been dwindling in the wake of plummeting world oil prices and the government is diversifying the economy in an effort to generate jobs for its youthful population (Arab News, 2017). Investments in the IT sector by the government are pivotal to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, as it will help shape digital transformation, grow the ICT sector and promote the economy. The large government investments in the ICT sector stimulate a demand in private IT services.
The Saudi people are a very conservative and traditional and religious conservatism is rampant and the Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is at the forefront trying to push for social and economic reforms in the Kingdom (Ignatus, 2017, pp. 54).
The adoption of technology in the country is on a rapid increase and is stimulated by the government’s emphasis on technology. The growth in expenditure for data centres, managed services and cloud services between 2011 and 2014 grew by 48%, 55% and 37.3% respectively and this trend is expected to carry on (Oxford Business Group, 2018).
According to Crowell & Moring (2015), Saudi Arabia is among the leading MENA countries in attracting foreign investment and is ranked 11th overall out of 183 countries for the ease of conducting business and best destination to invest in the Middle East and Arab World. Economic reforms, including the Foreign Investment Law adopted in 2000 which gives foreign investors incentives such as the right to fully own projects, land, buildings, plant, receive full benefits and incentives available for Saudi investors.
Saudi Arabia is estimated to emit about 527 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum which about 1.22% of the total global emission but the Kingdom is diversifying its economy to reduce climate change and estimates that it could lower carbon emissions by about 130 million tonnes per annum by 2030 (Doyle, Shamseddine and Gamal, 2015).
Market and Competitor Data
According to Oxford Business Group (2018), Saudi Arabia has the biggest ICT market in the Middle East in terms of capital and spending. The IT market is experiencing rapid growth and the demand for IT services is rising. There is room for foreign investors in the IT sector as the country lacks sufficient capacity to meet the demand for IT solutions. The local IT firms lack enough capacity and are open for partnerships with global IT companies. According to Zhang and Zhang (2016), domestic competition highly influences the growth of the IT industry and a high number of IT firms in the domestic market means there will be higher competition. Strategic partnerships with Saudi IT firms which are licensed will allow global IT companies to localise their data, customise, and drive sales in the domestic market.
Islam is the main religion in Saudi Arabia and Sunni Muslim make up about 90% of the population with Shia being the second largest faith but there are traces of Hinduism and Christianity. The official language is Arabic but English is rapidly being adopted in schools and business (Aldera, 2017, pp. 221). The people are traditional and very conservative and are bound by strong religious beliefs, values and customs which foreigners must respect and obey.
Target Market and Positioning
The target market for Focus Group will be the IT sector which is experiencing tremendous growth. The company will set up shop in Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia. It will then deliver high-quality services to both the private sector and the government. The Kingdom’s IT sector is flawed by data loss and insecurity and this makes it a ready market for the company to tap into and help improve data security while building a reputable brand in the country.
Choice of Entry Mode
Focus Group will export directly to Saudi Arabia and localise its products and services to match the demand in the Kingdom but still retain its high quality. It will initially open an office and post some of its experienced staff and also hire highly qualified locals to help in its sales efforts. To drive sales and attract customers, the company will price its services competitively and give discounts during the first year of operations. The company will deliver its services in adherence to its standards and all the laws, regulations and requirements stipulated by the Saudi Arabian government and relevant agencies. Support services will be provided on a 24-hour basis.
Adapting the Marketing Mix
To build a reputable brand name and drive sales, Focus Group will need to customise and localise its IT services to meet the standards and expectations of the Saudi ICT market but still retain its high quality services. It will also be advisable to hire some locals to help build a culturally diverse workforce, which will help make the business more appealing and less intimidating to locals. The prices to be charged will be determined on a competitive basis and discounts will be offered during the first year to help drive sales and gain repeat customers. The company will embark on a promotion campaign in the major IT magazines and participate in IT trade shows to help create local awareness and interest. This will also be accompanied by sponsorship IT events in the major colleges and institutions and universities.