International Marketing Distribution Strategies

Many businesses are expanding internationally or globally because of the growth opportunities this move offers and in order to remain relevant in a world that shrinks almost daily with the rapid development of technology. There are complexities involved in international marketing and you will do well to develop a sound distribution strategy to navigate these challenges and to succeed in this venture.

Hitesh Bhasin’s article on Marketing91 talks about various distribution strategies that companies use for widescale marketing to various markets so as to gain a competitive advantage and increased profit margins. Appropriate distribution strategies as part of an overall strategy are crucial for international marketing. Distribution is linked to “Place,” one of the four P’s of marketing. The overall strategy will take into consideration these four things: getting the product from the manufacturer to the consumer, cost control, timesaving, and building a competitive advantage through widescale marketing. On a larger scale, there are indirect distribution and direct distribution. Indirect distribution involves the product going through middlemen to the consumer and direct distribution involves the product going directly from the manufacturer to the consumer.

The intended level of market penetration also plays a role in deciding the distribution strategies a company will pursue. The level of penetration is hinged on product, price, and promotion – the other three P’s of the marketing mix. Market penetration strategies include intensive distribution, which covers the market to the greatest extent possible; selective distribution, which uses a limited number of outlets; and exclusive distribution in which an expansive territory or an entire country has only one distributor.

It is the variety of products produced by the company that will determine the distribution strategies the company uses. Premium products are suitable for selective distribution and products for the masses are suitable for intensive distribution.

eCornell’s Marketing Strategy program has a module on Distribution Strategy and International Marketing. This program will take you to the next level. Learn more about it here.

eCornell courses are approved by SkillsFuture Singapore for SkillsFuture Credit as well as by HRDF Malaysia under its SBL Scheme.

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