On the other hand their aim is not to reach the level of market leadership

On the other hand their aim is not to reach the level

This preview shows page 8 - 10 out of 25 pages.

except the brand promise that is the hallmark of this latter. On the other hand their aim is not to reach the level of market leadership, neither in the general market nor in any niche. Imitating the MLs it is expected that follower strategies will lead to the same strategies as those adopted by cost leaders and differentiators. Hence, we propose that: H4. Market follower strategies are associated with challenger, integration and standardisation strategies. Strategy effects on performance The contention that international marketing strategy affects performance has been tested by several authors (Samiee and Roth, 1992; Cavusgil and Zou, 1994; Zou and Cavusgil, 2002; Solberg and Durrieu, 2006). The correlations however are somewhat unclear. For instance, Samiee and Roth (1992) found no correlation between standardised marketing approach and performance, and Cavusgil and Zou (1994) found that product adaptation correlated positively with performance whereas adaptation of marketing communication did not exhibit any such correlation. Zou and Cavusgil (2002) on the other hand found that GMS (including standardisation of the marketing mix) correlate positively with performance in a sample of US multinational firms. However, standardisation of the marketing mix is a complex area of research (and practice), involving elements at different levels (van Raaij, 1997). Also, there are so many components within each of the four Ps (or how many should we include?) that it is futile to try and generalise on each of them. It does not easily lend itself to conclusions either way, and it is in our opinion not desirable to try and solve it “once and for all” given the many contexts in which it can be studied. Given the context of the present study (strategies in globalising markets), our main proposition is that marketing standardisation relates positively to performance. Strategy development in markets 527
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Concerning integration of marketing operations, there is reason to believe that each entry mode has its own economic raison d’e ˆtre (Solberg and Nes, 2002) and that there should therefore be no difference concerning their impact on performance. On the other hand, conventional wisdom suggests that integrated sales and marketing operations in international markets yield better rewards than independent ones, particularly so for global MLs whose need for monitoring, control and coordinated action is thought to be critical (Zou and Cavusgil, 2002). This is partly corroborated by Solberg and Nes (2002) who found that integrated modes of operation yield better returns in terms of strategic position (as opposed to financial performance). One of the main premises of the Uppsala school of gradual internationalisation is that the firm embarks on a learning process (Johanson and Vahlne, 1977, 1990) and that leapfrogging the stages requires supplementary resources (Johanson and Vahlne, 1990; Welch and Luostarinen, 1988). Tellis et al. (2003, p. 206) suggest that sequential product introductions give “distinct advantages” to firms, since they can demonstrate take-off of products in a few selected promising markets, “seeding the diffusion process” (Putsis et al.
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