In this assignment, you will set the marketing mix strategies for key variables such as product and distribution channels. The challenge for the international marketer is the moulding of these controllable variables within the framework of uncontrollable variables such as demand, economic climate, competition, laws, and so forth.
With this information, you will design a product and distribution strategy to satisfy the needs of your target market.
The information from this assignment forms the sections of your international marketing plan referred to as Product Strategy and Distribution Strategy.
Write a 12 page report (excludes cover page and list of references) using double-spaced, 12-point Times Roman font as per the following parameters:
Part I: Product Analysis (45 marks)
Discuss the quality components, both market-perceived quality and performance quality, of your product or service:
- Outline any modification or adaptation needed to meet the physical or mandatory requirements of the target market (e.g., single package changes, total redesign of the physical core product, or any changes in between in order to comply with the product homologation).
- Discuss any green marketing and/or product development considerations relevant for your product or service.
- Identify your product in terms of the product component model discussed in Chapter 13 of your textbook and Module 4. If your product is a service, briefly discuss its characteristics in terms of intangibility, inseparability, heterogeneity, and perishability. If the product is an industrial product, discuss the volatility of demand and derived demand, quality standards, and relationship marketing approach.
- Competing products: Does the competing product possess a sustainable competitive advantage such as continuous innovation or a powerful brand name? What is the competition’s core product? What are the weaknesses and strengths of the competing product? Relate this analysis to your product strategy.
- Other variables influencing your product: Consider cultural barriers, national brand versus private brand strategy, and the country-of-origin effect.
Part II: Distribution Channels (45 marks)
Discussthe following key aspects related to your distribution strategy in the host country:
- Channel of distribution structures: Discuss traditional versus modern distribution channel structures and how they affect the cost and efficiency in your project.
- Distribution patterns: Discuss retail patterns in terms of size, direct selling, and resistance to change.
- Middleman choices: Discuss the functions, advantages, and disadvantages of three alternative kinds of middlemen to distribute your product or service.
- Factors affecting choice of channels: Discuss the six C’s of channel strategy for your project (i.e., cost, capital, control, coverage, character, and continuity).
- Channel management: Outline the selection process of prospective middlemen, the terms of the agreement of the initial contract, and how you will motivate and control the middlemen.
- Evaluate e-commerce as a distribution alternative for your product/service.
Criteria for Evaluating Assignments
The following criteria will form the basis for evaluating your assignment:
Substance (90 marks)
- Content —Addresses all points of information as outlined in the criteria and requirements for the assignment.
- Knowledge —Demonstrates your knowledge, incorporates all the relevant elements and variables, and makes a compelling case for how the variables will influence the marketing of your product in that country. The report will be graded on the quality of the argument, not on the particular conclusion you reach.
- Theory & Practice —Demonstrates your ability to connect your own experiences and opinions with the course material and any outside sources.
- Critical Thinking —Demonstrates your ability to express your opinion clearly and to draw the best possible conclusions from your findings and analysis.
- Resources—Research sources are relevant, current, and credible. They are clearly documented.
Presentation (10 marks)
Remember that you will be judged by the quality of your work, which in this case will be your report.
Continue to use the writing guidelines outlined in the previous modules to assist you with the quality of your written work, including writing style, referencing expectations, and format.