6.4.3 Your Marketing Programme

When companies wish to expand internationally, they have to consider standardisation and adaptation of their marketing programme. On the one hand, and as far as strategy is concerned, adaptation is a form of strategy regarding the change of the company´s marketing programme with regards to the respective foreign target market (price, place, distribution). On the other hand, standardisation is the strategy whereby the company uses the same marketing programme for all the markets they wish to expand to.1

EXERCISE: So how would you be able to see what fits your company best? Which strategic option would serve your company goals best, Standardisation or Adaptation?

The choice of strategy which will shape your marketing programme will depend on various factors and it requires some research to be done, since it is a matter of strategic importance when approaching a new market. The cost factor is, of course, lower if you choose to follow standardisation because no changes need to be made. Nonetheless, it has been argued that adaptation is most likely to improve business performance and of course not all markets are the same.2

Remember, whatever happens in the internationalisation process, use it to your advantage. Even failure can serve as a learning opportunity, if you learn from it and adapt your strategy accordingly, to avoid future mistake repetition.3

1 Tina Nordstrand, Maria Ohman, Standardization Vs. Adaptation of the Marketing Program for International Markets, Lulea University of Technology, 2005 p. 1.
2 Jobber D., Principle and Practice of Marketing, London: McGraw-Hill Publishing, 2001.
3 EU Research on Social Sciences and Humanities, National Corporate Cultures and International Competitiveness Strategies ? the Challenge of Globalisation for European SMEs, p. 107.