Modes of Entry into International Markets (Place)
How does an organization enter an overseas market?
Modes of entry into an international market are the channels which your organization employs to gain entry to a new international market. This lesson considers a number of key alternatives, but recognizes that alternatives are many and diverse. Here you will be considering modes of entry into international markets such as the Internet, Exporting, Licensing, International Agents, International Distributors, Strategic Alliances, Joint Ventures, Overseas Manufacture and International Sales Subsidiaries. Finally we consider the Stages of Internationalization.
Licensing includes franchising, Turnkey contracts and contract manufacturing.
- Licensing is where your own organization charges a fee and/or royalty for the use of its technology, brand and/or expertise.
- Franchising involves the organization (franchiser) providing branding, concepts, expertise, and in fact most facets that are needed to operate in an overseas market, to the franchisee. Management tends to be controlled by the franchiser. Examples include Dominos Pizza, Coffee Republic and McDonald’s Restaurants.
- Turnkey contracts are major strategies to build large plants. They often include the training and development of key employees where skills are sparse – for example, Toyota’s car plant in Adapazari, Turkey. You would not own the plant once it is handed over.
International Agents and International Distributors
Agents are often an early step into international marketing. Put simply, agents are individuals or organizations that are contracted to your business, and market on your behalf in a particular country. They rarely take ownership of products, and more commonly take a commission on goods sold. Agents usually represent more than one organization. Agents are a low-cost, but low-control option. If you intend to globalize, make sure that your contract allows you to regain direct control of product. Of course you need to set targets since you never know the level of commitment of your agent. Agents might also represent your competitors – so beware conflicts of interest. They tend to be expensive to recruit, retain and train. Distributors are similar to agents, with the main difference that distributors take ownership of the goods. Therefore they have an incentive to market products and to make a profit from them. Otherwise pros and cons are similar to those of international agents.
Strategic Alliances (SA)
Strategic alliances is a term that describes a whole series of different relationships between companies that market internationally. Sometimes the relationships are between competitors. There are many examples including:
- Shared manufacturing e.g. Toyota Ayago is also marketed as a Citroen and a Peugeot.
- Research and Development (R&D) arrangements.
- Distribution alliances e.g. iPhone was initially marketed by O2 in the United Kingdom.
- Marketing agreements.
Essentially, Strategic Alliances are non-equity based agreements i.e. companies remain independent and separate.
Joint Ventures (JV) and modes of entry
Joint Ventures tend to be equity-based i.e. a new company is set up with parties owning a proportion of the new business. There are many reasons why companies set up Joint Ventures to assist them to enter a new international market:
- Access to technology, core competences or management skills. For example, Honda’s relationship with Rover in the 1980’s.
- To gain entry to a foreign market. For example, any business wishing to enter China needs to source local Chinese partners.
- Access to distribution channels, manufacturing and R&D are most common forms of Joint Venture.
Overseas Manufacture or International Sales Subsidiary
A business may decide that none of the other options are as viable as actually owning an overseas manufacturing plant i.e. the organization invests in plant, machinery and labor in the overseas market. This is also known as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). This can be a new-build, or the company might acquire a current business that has suitable plant etc. Of course you could assemble products in the new plant, and simply export components from the home market (or another country). The key benefit is that your business becomes localized – you manufacture for customers in the market in which you are trading. You also will gain local market knowledge and be able to adapt products and services to the needs of local consumers. The downside is that you take on the risk associated with the local domestic market. An International Sales Subsidiary would be similar, reducing the element of risk, and have the same key benefit of course. However, it acts more like a distributor that is owned by your own company.
Internationalization Stages, and modes of entry
So having considered the key modes of entry into international markets, we conclude by considering the Stages of Internationalization. Some companies will never trade overseas and so do not go through a single stage. Others will start at a later or even final stage. Of course some will go through each stage as summarized now:
- Indirect exporting or licensing
- Direct exporting via a local distributor
- Your own foreign presences
- Home manufacture, and foreign assembly
- Foreign manufacture
It is worth noting that not all authorities on international marketing agree as to which mode of entry sits where. For example, some see franchising as a stand alone mode, whilst others see franchising as part of licensing. In reality, the most important point is that you consider all useful modes of entry into international markets – over and above which pigeon-hole it fits into. If in doubt, always clarify your tutor’s preferred view.
The Internet is a new channel for some organizations and the sole channel for a large number of innovative new organizations. The eMarketing space consists of new Internet companies that have emerged as the Internet has developed, as well as those pre-existing companies that now employ eMarketing approaches as part of their overall marketing plan. For some companies the Internet is an additional channel that enhances or replaces their traditional channel(s). For others the Internet has provided the opportunity for a new online company. More
There are direct and indirect approaches to exporting to other nations. Direct exporting is straightforward. Essentially the organization makes a commitment to market overseas on its own behalf. This gives it greater control over its brand and operations overseas, over and above indirect exporting. On the other hand, if you were to employ a home country agency (i.e. an exporting company from your country – which handles exporting on your behalf) to get your product into an overseas market then you would be exporting indirectly. Examples of indirect exporting include:
- Piggybacking whereby your new product uses the existing distribution and logistics of another business.
- Export Management Houses (EMHs) that act as a bolt on export department for your company. They offer a whole range of bespoke or a la carte services to exporting organizations.
- Consortia are groups of small or medium-sized organizations that group together to market related, or sometimes unrelated products in international markets.
- Trading companies were started when some nations decided that they wished to have overseas colonies. They date back to an imperialist past that some nations might prefer to forget e.g. the British, French, Spanish and Portuguese colonies. Today they exist as mainstream businesses that use traditional business relationships as part of their competitive advantage.