Questions for Discussion
1. Steve Jobs is famous for many reasons; one of which is his philosophy about product development and customer research. Mr. Jobs told us, for example, “You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” What is your opinion—what comes first, the product or the marketing?
It seems that, generally speaking, the product comes first. The idea for the product may come from some need perceived by a marketer, but the product is still developed before the marketing. Once the product is done, the marketing job begins. As the marketing plan is developed for each market, the product may need to be tweaked to fit each market. For example, the product may need to be more durable in one market, but remove an ingredient in another.
2. When compared to domestic distribution planning, what is one or two items that must be consider for international distribution of products?
Logistics is one area of international distribution that is much more complicated than domestic distribution. Obviously, the logistics of getting a product to market are complicated in any distribution network. In international distribution, logistics are further complicated by the addition of national boundaries and the changes those impose. An excellent example comes from our textbook (p. 366) and describes the difficulty (and danger!) encountered by Acer Computers when trying to transport their product from Finland to Russia.
3. After listening/reading our media story for Lesson/chapter 14, you will know something about Boeing re-structuring. Using Chapter 14 marketing strategy (i.e. product, promotion, price, and distribution), what seemed to be driving Boeing changes? Give a brief explanation of your answer.
Boeing’s major change in marketing strategy is directly related to the loss of a large international sale. Upon making the change, Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner marketing and sales will be managed via the global sales team. This seems to indicate an understanding at Boeing that international sales are where the company is most likely to compete with Airbus. This change in direction will also surely be accompanied by some changes to the product (to address problems discovered by various airlines) and new promotions more focused on international markets.
Wild, J. & Wild, K. (2013). International Business: The Challenges of Globalization. (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.