Skills Obtained from International Marketing Class: A Personal Reflection
Contribution of the class to analytical and behavioural skills
I have gained huge benefits from learning the module of International Marketing both at personal and professional levels. Professional benefits include the knowledge I have gained regarding the subject and all the related principles, and theories like the impact of globalisation in international marketing, the importance of segmentation, the current global marketing issues, the global marketing environment and its influence to companies, global market entry strategies, components of a global marketing plan etc.
Personal benefits I have obtained as results of the module include skills I have gained like increasing the level of my cross-cultural awareness, the ability to critically analyse global issues, improving my communication skills etc.
I was familiar with the subject of marketing even before the module through marketing management module I have attended before. However, International Marketing module has equipped me with knowledge and way of thinking that allowed me to approach the issues of marketing I was already familiar with from a global perspective.
For example, the analysis of external business environment in marketing management which is done using PESTEL strategic tool, external factors affecting the business were looked at in a specific country level. In international marketing, on the other hand, each individual factor of PESTEL analysis is looked at in the global level, allowing me to see the bigger picture.
This is very important taking into account the fact that the forces of globalisation are ever-increasing, the importance of trade border between the various countries are decreasing, and as a result today companies may expect competition for their businesses from any parts of the world.
I found the decisions regarding the components of marketing mix to be more challenging in international marketing than these decisions to be taken within company’s home country alone, because increasingly more factors needed to be taken into account when taking decisions of such a nature in external markets. However, during the classes this specific topic was covered in great detail, and I have obtained knowledge about many of these factors affecting marketing mix decisions on international level.
Also, I was taught about the barriers in international marketing that do not exist in traditional marketing that is marketing done within home country only. Specifically, apart from the cultural differences, different language in new markets was found to be serious barrier to be addressed by international marketers.
The efficiency of achieving learning outcomes was greatly enhanced by efficient teaching style of the lecturer, as well as effective teaching tools and materials used during the classes.
Before attending International Marketing classes I did not fully recognise the impact of the changes the globalisation has made in the business world.
The true huge impact of globalisation to the international business in general, and to international marketing in particular was found to have two reverse aspects. Specifically, it was revealed that globalisation had provided advantages for companies in a way that it was made easier for them to access foreign markets even in other continents.
However, at the same time globalisation has made it possible for competition for the company to emerge from other countries as well. During the international marketing classes I was taught about how to take advantage of opportunities globalisation provides for marketers and business managers, and how to minimise harms globalisation causes to companies.
The issues of global market entry strategies were comprehensively covered during the classes. This aspect of the global business was totally new for me and turned out to be very interesting. Because of this module now I can say that I am closely familiar with global market entry strategies including technical innovation strategy, low price strategy, adaptation strategy and others, including advantages and disadvantages associated with each of them. Moreover, the topic related to the modes of engagement in different markets, that are exporting, joint-ventures and direct investments were well covered during the lectures, through describing advantages and disadvantages associated with each individual mode of engagement.
The importance of segmentation in global perspective was learned by me during the classes as one of the most efficient tools of brand and product positioning that allows companies to identify their target customers globally on the basis of belonging to a certain group, or having common characteristics.
The level of my cross-cultural knowledge has been greatly increased during the classes, as a result of studying local cultural differences, and their importance to be taken into account when companies are formulating their integrated marketing communication strategy aimed at foreign audiences. For instance, it is a known fact that some companies in various industries use sex appeal in order to attract customers in US and European counties by featuring attractive individuals with minimum clothes in their advertisements.
However, the same marketing technique might not prove efficient in some Arab countries, or even may cause reverse effects due to cultural differences. I became closely familiar with these issues as a result of attending International Marketing classes.
The level of my cross-cultural awareness was further enhanced as a result of my interactions with my colleagues during the classes and outside of classes, when I started paying more attention to cultural differences among us that were primarily caused by differences in our values. These differences were present all the time, but I only started noticing them more closely after became familiarised with cultural issues in International Marketing classes.
I can also state that my critical thinking abilities have been greatly improved as well by encouragement from the tutor to critically analyse the key concepts and principles of the module. For instance, the application of PEST and SWOT analysis in the case of any company in global perspectives required me to critically analyse the impact of each of the force to the company, thus developing my critical mindset in positive terms.
Also, I found my communication skills greatly improved as a result of engaging in interesting group conversations during the classes. The discussions were encouraged to focus on any specific marketing issues and proved to be interesting, as well as, very informative.
Contribution to My Future Employability
The knowledge and skills obtained when studying the module will benefit me in many ways in my future employability, as well as in my personal life.
Marketing has been acknowledged to be one of the key aspects of any company. Now that I am familiar with the global marketing issues closely I can apply this knowledge in the future when a company I would be working for is planning for international expansion.
First of all, using my knowledge in marketing management I can analyse many potential markets for expansion and choose appropriate ones, on the basis of undertaking PESTEL analysis on those markets.
Moreover, I could prepare a report or a presentation outlining new market entry strategies available, and recommend which strategy we should choose providing justifications for the choice. Without any doubts, such a pro-activeness on my behalf will not go unnoticed by senior level management of the company.
Cross-cultural knowledge is another point that will benefit me in the future in my career in many levels. First of all, due to the forcers of globalisation and other reasons workforce in many organisations is comprised of representatives of various cultures. Having equipped myself with cross-cultural knowledge, I would be in a better position to manage them more effectively because I would be able to see things from their point of view. Moreover, the knowledge of cross-cultural awareness will tremendously benefit me when I found myself engaged in devising integrated marketing communication messages aimed at potential customers in other countries. Specifically, I became aware of differences in perceptions caused by cultural differences, therefore, would be able to devise effective marketing communications messages taking into account those differences.
Critical analysis approach I mastered when participating in International Marketing classes can be applied in many aspects of the business in the future when I join the workforce on full-time basis. Specifically, all business processes and practices could be critically analysed by me with the aim of identifying opportunities for improvements. Improvements in this case could be gained through eliminating waste and inefficiencies identified as a result of critical analysis, as well as, spotting new business opportunities.
As stated above, as a result of participating in group discussions in International Marketing classes my communications skills, and self-confidence have significantly improved. This is a good personal achievement realised with the help of tutor, and these skills will prove priceless later during my career. This is true because as we know managers spend the majority of their time communicating with various stakeholders of the company, and now I have better communication skills and self-confidence, I will be able to communicate my thoughts and feelings in a best possible manner through different communication channels, and this benefit the company as well as me personally.