The Mirage of Global Markets: How Globalizing Companies Can Succeed as Markets Localize

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9780130470669: The Mirage of Global Markets: How Globalizing Companies Can Succeed as Markets Localize

Why do even the best companies struggle to become as profitable in international markets as they are at home? Because they've fallen for the "mirage" of a truly global market. In fact, the world is comprised of hundreds of intensely local markets that are becoming more fragmented with each passing year. In The Mirage of Global Markets, David Arnold reveals why multinationals are actually losing market share--and how the world is rapidly accelerating towards "segments of one." Next, he offers you a comprehensive new blueprint for maximizing profitability in a world of local markets. You will discover why international marketing has become radically different from conventional marketing, and you will learn how to cost-effectively localize all the decisions that matter most: decisions about market entry, product mix, distribution, promotion, communication, strategy and more. Simply put, The Mirage of Global Markets shows how to globally manage the intensely local marketing programs that are now utterly crucial to your success.

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About the Author:

David Arnold was Assistant Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and head of its International Marketing Management course. Now an independent consultant and educator, he specializes in international marketing, branding, market analysis, and strategy formulation. His innovative recent work has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Journal of International Business Studies, Sloan Management Review, California Management Review, and the Marketing Science Institute working paper series. He has served as visiting or resident faculty member at leading business schools in Great Britain, Japan, Switzerland, Spain, Argentina, Finland, India, and Pakistan. Arnold's previous book, The Handbook of Brand Management, has been published in 10 languages.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Preface

This book is the product of the research, teaching, and writing work associated with the International Marketing Management course on the MBA at the Harvard Business School, which I ran for six years. It is a unique benefit of working at HBS that one bridges the divide between academia and management practice, which is all too wide elsewhere in the field of marketing. I should therefore emphasize immediately the type of book this is intended to be (and the type of book it is not). This is not a textbook to aid students acquire a knowledge of the main issues in international marketing--a number of excellent such books already exist. It is rather a managerially focused book. This means the following:

  • It is organized as a set of essays addressing the key challenges facing managers in international marketing, rather than as an exposition of a conceptual framework of the subject.
  • Topics that are treated separately in marketing textbooks are sometimes therefore amalgamated into a single managerial issue. An example is Chapter 6, which addresses both customer management (or sales) and pricing, which in many cases are two facets of the same challenge in international business.
  • The aim of the book is insight, rather than comprehensive coverage. This applies both to the topics covered--where the focus is on the key challenges facing executives--and to the conclusions reached.

Of course, I hope the book will prove of value to MBA students as well as managers, dependent upon the extent to which their studies are managerially oriented. And of course, theoretical frameworks are introduced where relevant, since all the top managers I have met are thinking managers.

The spur to writing this book is the fact that managers and students have repeatedly asked me over the years to recommend a concise, managerially focused book on international marketing. The wider context in which the book is framed consists of two principal characteristics I have observed in international companies. The first is the rapid rate at which companies are globalizing--advances in network technology and the opening up of huge new labor markets are among the drivers of this trend. The result is that companies are globalizing far faster than markets, leading to an increased risk of mismanagement in addressing those markets. The second is an older pattern--the tolerance of lower managerial standards in international operations than are demanded in home market operations. More experienced multinationals are beginning to manage their executive talent and operations on a global basis, and so address this issue, but many nevertheless, for example, overestimate the potential sales in emerging markets, and of course global management systems can produce company-driven rather than market-driven decisions.

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