Marketing by definition is all about reaching out to the consumers through targeted messages and by positioning the product based on the pricing, promotion, distribution elements of the marketing mix. Further, the marketers must be able to glocalize or adapt the global brands to local conditions to leverage upon the market power of the specific regions and countries. Further, marketers have obligations towards the consumers and hence must follow ethical norms. Finally, marketers must also be in compliance with the legal and regulatory rules and procedures in vogue in the specific markets that they operate.
Pricing affects the marketing of a product as it determines the consumer segment that is likely to buy the product. For instance, it is common for marketers to segment the market according to the price range that they are selling the product in. There can be lower priced models for the lower end of the segment, medium priced models and finally, the premium or the upper end models for the upper crust of the market. Pricing is important because it determines the discovered value of the product and can be either undervalued or overvalued leading to the product getting sold in abundance or otherwise. Finally, pricing affects the bottom line of the company since it is the direct determinant of revenues. It is for these reasons that pricing is an important variable in the marketing mix (Blois, 2007, 42).
The way in which the product is promoted determines the extent to which the marketing campaign is successful in its scope and reach. For instance, targeted promotion at specific consumer segments means that the message that is intended to be sent because of the promotional campaign would be heard in the correct context or not. Successful advertising also impacts the bottom lines of companies since they determine the sales of the product. Finally, promotion is important because without advertising or word of mouth publicity coupled with point of sale promotions, it is difficult for marketers to get their message across and make sure that consumers absorb the message that is being conveyed. It is for these reasons that promotion is considered an important variable in the marketing mix (Egan & Johnson, 2008, 17).
This variable is usually not given the importance that it ought to be accorded by marketers. The point about distribution being important is that availability and accessibility of the product determine to a great extent how successful it would be in the real world market. For instance, when the latest version of the Apple iPhone 4S debuted recently, the outlets were not stocked with enough products leading to wait times by the consumers making them switch over to substitutes or alternatives. It is for this reason that many marketers design the distribution channels first and then plan their marketing strategies so as to leverage upon the synergies that would accrue from the combination of distribution channels and advertising. Further, many marketers test the products’ applicability and desirability in the market by rolling out test launches in select regions which would ensure that the products and their relevance to the market can be gauged by measuring the response (Kotler & Armstrong, 2010, 80).
Marketing in International Markets
Among the pricing, promotion and distribution elements to be considered for international markets, the following specific elements must be taken into consideration: The pricing must be done based on the local purchasing power determined according to the PPP or Purchasing Power Parity. Next, the promotion must be done in such a way that it is a combination of global brand appeal tailored to local conditions or “Glocal” in approach. Finally, the distribution must take into account the varying needs of the global supply chain and its success would depend on how well the company taps into the specifics of the local market. The point here is that when marketing to international markets, attention must be paid to the fact that there is a need to understand the local conditions and hence blind application of global strategies must be avoided. This means that a “Glocal” approach where the global strategies are adapted to local conditions must be followed so that the product is successful in the local markets.
The primary ethical consideration that marketers ought to consider is whether the product being marketed or advertised is according to the normative rules of conduct like not targeting inappropriate advertising at children or using props or visuals that might be offensive to certain groups. The point here is that marketing by definition is all about winning the hearts and minds of consumers and to achieve this, the ethical norms must not be sacrificed. Given the fact that many marketers use messages that use stereotypes, they must be considerate towards minorities, disadvantaged sections and other groups when designing their marketing strategies (Constantinides, 2006, 418).
Effect of Legal and Regulatory Requirements
The legal or regulatory requirements that affect the marketing function include compliance with local labor laws and policies dealing with specific conditions under which the marketers operate in a given market. The fact that each country and region has separate laws for marketers to obey means that they should not only be cognizant of these laws and regulations but also be in compliance with them. It needs to be remembered that punitive action by the regulators impacts the product’s brand value apart from entailing costs that might have to be borne by the companies in marketing the product (Hassan & Submission, 2003, 140).