Leadership, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, Part 7: Curative Marketing

Curative international marketing restores and develops international economic health and may be the next step up for marketing. “Restore” indicates something lost that once was there. “Developing” refers to new issues to be addressed with new tools and  frames  of  reference. “Health” in turn posi­tions the issue as important to overall welfare. Marketers must deliver joy, pleasure, fulfillment, safety, personal growth,  and  advancement towards a  better society.

Curative international marketing accepts responsibility for problems to which marketing has contributed. It then uses marketing’s capabilities to set things right, to heal past wounds, and to increase the well-being of the individ­ual and society on a global level. Curative marketing’s two perspectives consist of looking back to check on what marketing has wrought and making up for past errors with future action.

Global problems require a global approach. Curative international  market­ ing needs to draw on fields like jurisprudence, cultural anthropology, philoso­phy, and history. Such a perspective acknowledges that marketing is too important to be left to marketers alone, consonant with Keynes’s questioning “how and whether economics should rule the world.”

International marketers need to focus on  past  errors  and  mistakes  inflicted  by international marketing and sweep these out from under the carpet in the spirit of  Wiedergutmachung, or restitution.

Marketing’s disregard of local idiosyncrasies has sometimes been like the introduction  of  a destructive virus on a  culture,  akin to  bringing snakes to Guam which almost exterminated all the local birds and to how European outsiders brought smallpox, flu, and typhus viruses that decimated the Inca of Peru. More contemporaneous is a current lawsuit:

The Pine Ridge Indian tribe is suing five beer companies for their role in the alcohol­ ism and fetal alcohol syndrome that plague the tribe’s reservation. The Oglala Sioux Tribe claims that the beer companies—which include Anheuser Busch and Molson Coors一sold beer on the perimeter of the teetotalling South Dakota reservation with the knowledge that it would be smuggled in demanding $500 million for healthcare and rehabilitation. Whiteclay, a nearby town in Nebraska with four beer shops and only about a dozen residents, gets most of its customers from the reservation.

Tom White, the lawyer representing the tribe, told the Associated Press: “You cannot sell 4.9 million 12oz cans of beer and wash your hands like Pontius Pilate, and say we’ve got nothing to do with it being smuggled.” The reservation, which is about the size of Connecticut, has dealt with poverty and alcoholism for decades. One in four children born suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome, and the life expectancy, between 45 and 52 years, is the lowest in the U.S.

Eastern Europe, in its transition from socialism to  market  practices,  pro­ vides another example. Advertisements were taken literally, leading to grave dis­ appointments by consumers because they did not  win  the  “promised”  car  or  look like model Heidi Klum. Local foods (and their producers) disappeared  because newly entering chain stores already had suppliers. People were condi­tioned to increase their consumption of products, which led, for many, to con­sumption  addiction.

Growth is seen by many as the envisioned key accomplishment of market­ing. Executives planning only to maintain market share last only for a very short time in their job. More is expected. Citius, altius, fortius (“faster, higher, stronger”) may be a great motto for the Olympics, but it leads to unexpected repercussions for marketers and their customers.

Consumers’ interest in and preparation for marketing are not evenly dis­tributed. Negative effects may result from marketing’s misleading of consumers or simply from unawareness or neglect. It is the obligation of international marketers to understand local conditions   and to anticipate and limit possible ill effects. Not everything that can be done should be done. There must be a marketing Hippocratic Oath: “First do no  harm.”  Beyond  that caveat,  market­ers need to do everything  possible  to  make  people  be  better  off  and  actually feel better.

A second key concern is the future outlook: how can marketing set things right again? Four core areas are international marketing’s pillars for a shining position on the hill: truthfulness, simplicity, expanded participation, and per­sonal responsibility.

Interview with Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) , in German

Überlebt Volkswagen?

Es wird eng für VW. Seitdem der Abgas-Skandal publiziert wurde, wollen viele den Konzern finanziell bluten sehen. Milliardenklagen, Milliardenstrafen, Milliardenkosten – gigantische Summen.
Volkswagen ist reich, aber Forderungen dieser Größenordnung sind in der Geschichte einzigartig. Wenige Tage nach den ersten Meldungen von manipulierten Abgaswerten sprach der neue VW-Aufsichtsratsvorsitzende Pötsch von einer „existenzbedrohenden Krise“.

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On Freedom and International Marketing, Part 5: Some Value Dimensions

This is one of the published series on the linkages between freedom and international marketing.

In a global setting, freedom can take on many dimensions. Privileges and obligations that are near and dear to some may well be cheap and easily disposed of by others. The views of one society may differ from views held in other regions of the world. Such differences then account for misunderstandings, surprises, and long-term conflicts.

There are two value dimensions at work here, both of them highly relevant to inter- national marketing. One may be circumscribed as the freedom and values of a market economy. To make them work governmental, managerial, and corporate virtue, vision, and veracity are required. Unless the world can believe in what institutions and their leaders say and do, it will be difficult to forge a global commitment between those doing the marketing and the ones being marketed to. It is therefore of vital interest to the proponents of freedom and international marketing to ensure that corruption, bribery, lack of transparency, and poor governance are exposed for their negative effects in any setting or society. The main remedy will be the collaboration of the global policy community in agreeing on what constitutes transgressions and swift punishment of the culprits involved, so that market forces can work free from distortion.

A second and even more crucial issue is the value system we use in making choices. Some years ago, the Mars Climate Orbiter mission failed spectacularly as a result of the use of different values by the mission navigation teams. One team was using metric units and the other used the English system of measurement. This mistake caused the orbiter to get too close to the atmosphere, where it was destroyed.

There are major differences among what people value around the world. Contrasts include togetherness next to individuality, co- operation next to competition, modesty next to assertiveness, and self-effacement next to self-actualization. Often, global differences in value systems keep us apart and result in spectacularly destructive differences. How we value a life, for example, can be crucial in terms of how we treat individuals. What value we place on family, work, leisure time, or progress has a substantial effect on how we see and evaluate each other.

On Freedom and International Marketing, Part 4: International Marketing and Disenfranchised

This is one of the published series on the linkages between freedom and international marketing.

International marketing can enable the disenfranchised to develop alternatives. Multinational firms can invest in the world’s poorest markets and increase their own revenue while reducing poverty. With support from shareholders and the benefit of good governance, international marketers can, and should, continue in their role as social change agents. The discipline has value maximization at its heart. If it is worthwhile to fulfill the needs of large segments of people, even at low margins, then it will be done. International marketers after all have as their key desire the creation of new customers and suppliers and they are delighted when, in fulfillment of their aims, they can bring about freedom from extremes of hunger, sickness, and intolerance.



Marketing Textbook by McDonough Professors Cited in 1,000 Scholarly Articles

by MSB Georgetown

International Marketing, an oft-used marketing textbook used in undergraduate business and MBA programs nationwide written by Georgetown professors of marketing Michael Czinkota and Ilkka A. Ronkainen reached, 1,000 citations on Google Scholar.

Google Scholar tracks the number of times each book or article is cited in publicly available scholarly works. The number of citations is a generally accepted indicator of the confidence industry scholars place in a particular book or article. As of Oct. 6, 2014, International Marketing was cited 1,007 times. Czinkota and Ronkainen’s book is on its 10th edition, which was published 2013. The first edition was published in 1988.

Czinkota and Ronkainen note that when they started working on International Marketing in 1984, the world of trade and international investment was, for the most part, left up to the experts. Most firms operating globally were large, multinational corporations, and small- and medium-sized companies were just beginning to establish themselves in the international marketplace.

Since it was first published, International Marketing has differentiated itself from similar textbooks by highlighting how strategies for new-to-market companies and firms differ from strategies for established firms in international markets. Furthermore, because professors have worked and written in Washington, D.C., their access to law makers, regulators, and lobbyists has allowed the two to incorporate research on trade and international business policy into the textbook.

For Czinkota and Ronkainen, focusing on these aspects of international marketing early on has allowed them to continue to feature modern concerns in international marketing in the subsequent editions of their book. “By now, international trade and investment have become a common concern,” Czinkota and Ronkainen wrote. “We gave major play to non-U.S. firms and governments and introduced chapters on logistics, services marketing, marketing with governments, and countertrade.”

–David Chardack