Table of Contents
2.0 Contextualizing Adaptation and Standardization.
2.1 Dell’s adaption/standardization.
2.2 Dell’s market orientations in the international market
3.0 Dell’s international marketing issues.
3.0 Dell response and recommendation.
An international organization like Dell needs to provide extra concentration on contextualizing standardization/adaptation and its international marketing processes/issues (Palmer, 2014). The marketing communication mix (most importantly, product, price, place, and promotion) must be adapted and standard its business process to survive in the competitive market and gain sustainable competitive advantages (Kotler et al, 2016).
This paper focuses on Dell’s standardization/adaption and its marketing issues in international markets. Dell is one of the leading and global technology companies. The key products of Dell are desktop and laptop computers, and related accessories and technology products. It is also selling printers, network devices, data storage devices, and other related products. It is now operating in more than 150 countries and serving millions of customers every week with its over 100,000 skilled and experienced staff. The main customer segments of Dell are individual customers, all kinds and sizes of businesses, educational institutions, and government organizations. The main strategy of Dell is to customize and standardize its products and services according to its customer changing needs and expectations (Dell Annual Report, 2018).
2.0 Contextualizing Adaptation and Standardization
2.1 Dell’s adaption/standardization
Both adaption and standardization represent a way of selling a business’s product in the international market. A business like Dell cannot mention standardization without mentioning adaption. Adaption is the process of changing and/or modification product features to attract and reach new markets or new customers. Production may also include the introduction of new products by customizing existing products (Kotler et al., 2016). An example is Dell’s pc only for the Bangladesh market. Additionally, adaption may include different selling and marketing strategies for a particular international market.
On the other hand, with standardization, a business neither modifies nor changes marketing strategies for its products. Rather, the business develops a “one size fits all” strategy and tries to capture the international market (Doole and Lowe, 2016). Dell contextualizes its business strategies in many cases. For instance, Dell follows ISO standards in every international market. In comparison to adaption, standardization is cheaper and efficient. This is because standardization does not penetrate new markets like adaption. However, a business like Dell cannot escape a certain degree of adaption because of local rules and regulations (Doole and Lowe, 2016).
Figure: Standardization vs. Adaption Source: (Doole and Lowe, 2016)
2.2 Dell’s market orientations in the international market
Market orientation refers to a set of activities and processes to attract and satisfy customers by continually assessing and evaluating their changing needs and expectation. The key reason for market orientation is to increase business performance and gain sustainable competitive advantages in the market (Johanson and Wiedersheim-Paul, 2014). To analyze the market orientation of a business ERGP model is used. This model classifies the market orientation into four groups: a) ethnocentric; b) regiocentric; c) geocentric; and d) polycentric. Ethnocentric means the business is home country superior and provides similar products in foreign markets. Regiocentric means the business provides similar and different products in a world region. Geocentric means the business provides similar and different products in the home and host countries. Polycentric means each host country is, so the business provides different products (Doole and Lowe, 2016).
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Figure: EPRG Model Source: (Doole and Lowe, 2016)
In terms of Dell, it is applying to combine regiocentric and polycentric market orientation in its international market. Due to the changing and advance in technologies, the completion is very intense and the competitors offer new products with the latest technologies. That is why Dell always needs to focus on product customization and introducing new products to meet the changing needs and expectations of its customers in the international market. Due to the variation in earning and disposable income and social status, Dell needs to apply regiocentirc market orientation. For example, Dell needs to customize its products separately for every single region including South Asia, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, Europe, and America. As customer needs and wants vary from culture and every country has a unique culture and tradition, Dell needs to apply polycentric market orientation for each international market (Dell Annual Report, 2018).
3.0 Dell’s international marketing issues
Marketing issues of business are analyzed using the marketing (communication) mix model. The marketing mix model focuses on four key issues that are products, prices, places, and promotion (Kotler et al., 2016). This means effective marketing refers to offering the right products in the right places with the right prices using the right promotional activities (Palmer, 2014).
Figure: Marketing (communication) mix Source: (Kotler et al., 2016)
The key products of Dell are desktop and laptop computers, and related accessories and technology products. It is also selling printers, network devices, data storage devices, and other related products. Dell manufactures customized products uniquely for every single region of international markets based on customer needs and expectations. In this case, product quality varies in every single region of the foreign markets based on consumer income and social status. Dell also customizes its products based on competitors’ products and customer demands. Additionally, Dell offers a standard database for supporting its suppliers and ensuring standard products with its power edge servers, internal metrics, dynamic website, and fiber channel storage and back-up services (Dell Annual Report, 2018).
Dell is now operating in most of the global markets and all of the regions including South Asia, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, Europe, and America. It provides samples as well as its pragmatic stages in all of its the international market. It uses the same logo, name, uniforms, and brand in all of its international markets. It has been successfully able to adapt its operations and activities in all the geographic areas of the world. Whenever Dell finds an opportunity in any international market, it emerges its market. Particularly, it is emerging its market in developing countries including South African and South Asian countries due to huge opportunities from labor markets and governments (Dell Annual Report, 2018).
Dell applies a market penetrating strategy to attract a large number of customers and capture a bigger market share. Dell sells quality products through its direct distribution channels and centers at cheaper prices that beat competitors like Apple and IBM in the market. Dell’s JIT system reduces the operational costs that enable it to offer competitive product prices. As a market penetrating strategy, Dell offers its exclusive product (like AlienwareM17X laptop) at a bit higher price, around $2000 dollars. As a market optional product strategy, Dell increases its profit by offering additional products and services. For example, if you buy a desktop computer, Dell charges for some other additional products like premium colors, warranty, and antivirus. As a promotional pricing strategy, Dell offers several options. For example, if a customer buys a laptop starting at $449, he/she is provided up to 40% off (Dell Annual Report, 2018).
Dell has been able to do excellent promotional standardization by applying different marketing and promotional tools and techniques. Its dynamic website provides the required information to customers in international markets that increase its selling opportunities. Additionally, it applies digital marketing through social media, email and mobile devices, and event sponsors. These promotional activities attract exciting and new customers and increase market share in international markets (Dell Annual Report, 2018).
3.0 Dell response and recommendation
The finding discloses that in terms of adaption and standardization Dell is capable and successful in the international market. However, it is essential for Dell to do market and customer analyzes on a regular basis to understand the changing needs and expectations of the market and customers. In this case, Dell can monitor and review customer feedback from time to time. In this term, Dell can do customer surveys, new product experiments, feedback, and comment through mobile messaging, emailing, and social media. Additionally, Dell can analyze and reviews the activities of competitors in the market. Based on customer and market analysis and competitor analysis, Dell should develop its adaption and standardization strategies. Finally, Dell should give extra focus on its distribution channels to cover new markets, new products with advanced and latest technologies, product prices, and promotional activities.
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