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Meaning & Reasons For International Marketing



International marketing according to Tim Friesner (2014) is simply the application of marketing principles to more than one country. International marketing in the opinion of Ubrii (2001) refers to the marketing activities in one or more countries outside the domestic operational base of a firm. In essence, it concerns the practice of marketing and the maintenance of competitive advantage across international borders.

The exchange process, which forms the basis of international marketing is different from that found in the domestic market and is more than just exporting. To export means simply to send or carry goods abroad, especially for trade or sale. International marketing goes beyond that in introducing the concept of the end – user, moving the orientation away from finding sales for a company’s existing products to analysing the market and assessing whether the company is able to produce a product or render service for which there is either current or potential demand given that other factors can be controlled such as price, promotion and distribution.

International marketing can be very profitable but it is a serious business, which requires the long-term commitment of resources. It will mean the cutlay of a substantial investment in a foreign market often with a long projected payment. This issue of the planning time horizon is quite crucial.


By selling your product or service abroad you could grow your revenue and profits which can grow your business – there are huge export opportunities in emerging markets and developed nations for a wide range of sectors.

You can take advantage of the traditional skills and raw materials available around the world to add authenticity and originality to your product offer.

Trading abroad creates competition, which in turn will produce higher quality products at an affordable price for consumers. International marketing also improves the living standards of international countries.

Global competition also provides quick technology growth and ends domestic monopolies that might provide inferior products. An example of this benefit would be Japan’s production of high-quality televisions and automobiles for domestic consumption.


International trade is the exchange of goods and services across different national boundaries, i.e., between the people and governments of two or more countries. It can therefore be divided into exporting – selling domestically produced goods abroad and importing – purchasing foreign goods and services.

International trade gives rise to the issues of balance of trade and balance of payment. The former shows the relationship between the total value of a country’s exports and that of her imports during a given period of time, usually a year. The later is an annual statement of all payments made to countries and total receipts from them.

Balance of trade could be favourable when the total receipts from a country’s exports exceeds her payments for imports, and unfavourable when a country’s total payments for import exceeds her receipts for exports. In the same vain a country can also have a deficit or surplus as her balance of payment position.


There are/many reasons why firms would like to go abroad. Some of them are:

Product life-cycle effects

Where a product in the home market enters a mature phase, and probably declining, or going out of fashion in a particular country, the company concerned may be able to find new export markets abroad where the product has not reached the same stage of development. For example, most of the ‘tokunbo’ cars imported into Nigeria are no longer the models in vogue in the advanced world.


Competition is a major driving force for taking your business abroad. In a chosen target market, competition may be less abroad than at home, in which case, better to go abroad.

Domestic Non-availability

A nation trades because it lacks the raw materials, climate, specialist labour, capital or technology needed to manufacture a particular good. Trade allows a greater variety of goods and services. For example, many countries import oil and natural gas, metals, timber, tropical fruits, etc.

Principle of Comparative Advantage

The principle of comparative advantage states that countries will benefit by concentrating on the production of those goods in which they have a relative advantage. For instance, France has the climate and the expertise to produce better wine than Brazil. Brazil is better able to produce coffee than France. Each country benefits by specializing in the good it is most suited to making. France then creates a surplus of wine which it can trade for surplus Brazilian coffee.

Saturated Domestic demand

When the domestic market experiences a downturn or reaches saturation, companies may turn to export markets to make good the shortfall. Domestic demand constraints drive many companies to expand their markets beyond the national borders. If the domestic market potential is fully tapped, the market for such products tends to be saturated.

Government policies and regulations

Government policies and regulations also motivate internationalism. Many governments offer a number of incentives and other positive support in order to encourage foreign investments. A restrictive domestic government policy which limits the scope of business expansion in domestic country and undermines their competitiveness is also an important factor for entering overseas markets.


There are a number of steps that need to be taken before you decide to enter international markets. The first step involves an analysis of the international marketing environment through a PEST/STEP analysis. Let’s briefly look at some factors that make up a PEST analysis:

Political Factors

•     The political stability of the nation. Is it a democracy, communist, or dictatorial regime?

•     Monetary regulations. Will the seller be paid in a currency that they value or will payments only be accepted in the host nation currency?

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