Market standardization and adaptation in the context of international business

A business exists among other reasons primarily to remain in business and to meet profit margins.  This is generally done by being as efficient as possible and by driving sales as high as possible.  Efficiency and sales cannot always coincide due to the differences in cultures, markets and laws across different national theatres of business.  Because of these differences, when it comes to international marketing standardization (which largely coincides with efficiency) and adaption (which largely targets sales) are therefore required to exist in a sort of flux like balance (Cavusgil, Knight & Riesenberger 2017: pp. 442-443).

A better balance can oftentimes be stuck between standardization and balance on a regional level because of the similarities of national markets in a region, thus giving a business a smaller set of adjustments to make over a larger base of consumers when adjustments are made on a regional level rather than a national level (p. 443).  Below I will enumerate the key components of standardization and adaptation in international marketing and show why the statements above about regional standardization and adaptation between differing regions being a balance are true.

Security, Private Investigation, Paralegal and Software are four examples of Service Businesses where there are different Laws in Domestic and International Situations that affect four ostensibly universal types of businesses at their essential cores.  Convergence in Security is a synergy between protecting physical and digital/intellectual assets and synchronizing client business procedures.  These business procedures can vary so widely across different legal systems that what is required to be communicated in marketing and networking information can be drastically different.

A similar dynamic can be seen in Software when we analyze the legal framework of HIPAA in the United States and GDPR in the EU.  HIPAA requires that certain types of data be kept and maintained for a certain amount of time while GDPR requires the deletion of data inside of systems at a much quicker rate based on whether there is or is not still a required business purpose.  Maintaining data for international businesses in a secure physical and digital fashion can involve a set of multidisciplinary paralegals doing business policy work under the supervision of attorneys to make policy frameworks and wording that coincide with the appropriate data security legal framework of the countries in which business is conducted.

Private Investigation even just on the paralegal related data-research side of the industry has a whole set of different rules and regulations that must be followed when doing business in other countries.  Making a harmonized set of marketing language expressions in a global context like this is now not 100% possible.  Regions with similar business purpose and similar laws within which a same language framework expression can be made are the granulation to which a marketing campaign must be adapted.

I am going to break down my examples of standardization and adaptation of international marketing in Security, Private Investigation, Paralegal and Software into key subcomponent elements that I will then will show must always exist in a balance.  I have chosen these four business types because they are types of businesses that exist as an inner working of another business, are still their own industries though they are not always marketed on the visible surface level to the general masses of consumers, but are still examples of industries with services that have to be modified and also marketed differently within different legal, political, national, regional and industrial contexts.  The key elements of a marketing mix that different requirements and decisions inside of a standardization and adaptation matrix are: global branding, development of service quality, international pricing, international marketing communications, and international distribution (p. 438).  I will show an example of each of these elements for each of the four business types that I have selected for international business marketing analysis.

Global branding in security, private investigation, outsourced paralegal work and software customization all involve connecting a name and symbol etc. with a reputation of high quality and ethical service (p. 440) which by it’s very nature has to adapt with local laws.  Development of service quality by elevating micro-goals of efficiency in service functionality and job accomplishment rate is how an international service business builds on top of the brand recognition and baseline properly organized legal and cultural structure of activities that they develop in the adaptation process in an international marketing mix (p. 443).  The standardization of brand image and basic business purpose in an international context will give clients the assurance necessary that the basic service business function will be performed properly for them by the business and will move a potential client quickly beyond the confusion stage that would set in if only the adapted local business processes were expressed by the business to the potential client (p. 440).

Global branding allows firms to change premium prices because the business already has a reputation of producing the results that the client in another country needs and this increases the ability of the business to both leverage services with interconnected intermediaries as well as builds profitability and competitive advantage (p. 443).  International pricing can be affected greatly with a massive increase in cost of delivery of service because of a stacking up of distribution channels required to bring the service to the foreign market, margins of the intermediaries, taxes of different types and other international expenses (p. 446-448).  International price escalation can be curbed by shortening the intermediary distribution channel, redesigning the specific service offered so that it meets only the demands of the local country market, train employees in country, avail themselves to local country government subsidy programs for training employees in another country and by building local business hubs that do a whole integrated set of business activities in country rather than in the home country only (p. 448).

Though largely reduced with service businesses like the ones I am using as examples in this essay, services are still affected by a set of doubling up factors that must be paid for like licensing in another country and retooling of legal departments and business procedures to fit specific country regulations.  It is of great benefit to an international business for it to develop a global brand image and standard of quality of service.  International businesses can rely on the quality of the service they provide as a factor that will keep their clients with them even if they have to overcome price fluctuations.  Adaptation to different country issues can cause a price fluctuation that can be overcome through different means like setting up localized legal and business centers for training and operations management in the host country.

Bibliographic Information

Cavusgil, Knight, & Riesenberger (2017). International Business, the New Realities (4th ed., pp. 436-437, 438-443, 446-448). Pearson.