Marketing innovation: A consequence of competitiveness

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by Suraksha Gupta, Naresh K. Malhotra, Michael Czinkota, and Pantea Foroudi

A hopefully interesting read! Please find a brief excerpt of this published article along with the link to the full article below.

Abstract: This research uses complexity theory to probe the relationship between competiveness and innovation in the marketing practises of large manufacturing firms that offer their branded products in a foreign market by engaging a network of local small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as resellers of their brand. A deductive, quantitative research approach was employed and data were collected over a nine-month period from resellers of international IT firms in India using a questionnaire. A structural equation modelling technique and fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) were employed on a sample of 649 respondents to find answers to the questions raised. This research indicates that a successful business relationship between a brand and its resellers can enable both parties to compete in a competitive market. This study finds that innovativeness in the marketing initiatives of the brand can be a function of the contributions made by the brand to its competitiveness. Nevertheless, the findings are also subject to some limitations and provide direction for future research on the topic.

1. Introduction

Various studies recommend that managers aiming to venture into the challenging field of internationalisation should create a competitive edge that helps them to demonstrate the superior abilities of their firm (Barney, Wright, & Ketchen, 2001; Porter, 2011; Samli, Wirth, & Wills, 1994). But, fear of the unknown deters managers from stepping out of their home country and benefiting from internationalisation because growth markets tend to be very complex as they foster competition (Knight, 1995; Thai & Chong, 2013). A business-to-business model of distribution allows managers of international firms to successfully deal with entry barriers and enter smoothly into a foreign market and effectively address the complexity of a place that offers high potential of growth to their businesses (Yan, 2012). A distributor simultaneously facilitates the entry of multiple firms with competing products into the market and engages micro level small and medium firms in the local market for selling (Chen, 2003). Since distributors offer multiple similar and competing products to resellers, markets being served through resellers become very competitive for international brands. Competition in a market encourages competing firms to demonstrate their ability to innovatively serve customers (Freeman, Edwards, & Schroder, 2006). Lack of in-depth native knowledge in such markets is a major shortcoming for firms aiming to internationalise because it decreases their capability to innovate their marketing related business practises by predicting the business environment and trends in the consumption patterns of the foreign market (Bell, 1995; Johanson & Vahlne, 2009). Distributors and resellers have an important role to play in the successful penetration of a foreign market showing that an international firm develops its capability to innovatively market its products through reseller networks that needs to be understood. The resource advantage theory recognises the creation of a competitive edge as a function of marketing and identifies the role of branding in creating the capability of a firm to demonstrate its superior abilities (Hunt & Morgan, 1995, 1996; Srivastava, Fahey, & Christensen, 2001). Simultaneously, the industrial practises of industrial brands particularly in the IT and telecom sector indicate that the managers of strong brands can compete in foreign markets based on their brand leadership and brand relationships in the local market. It has also been noticed and reported in the literature of local firms by studies like Gupta and Malhotra (2013) that a brand that contributes to the competitiveness of the reseller is able to compete at the local level using innovative marketing initiatives. These observations of various researchers indicate that the relationship between an international brand and its resellers in foreign markets becomes very important for brands in a market that poses strong competition (Anderson & Weitz, 1992). This study examines the relationship between competitiveness and innovation in the marketing practises of large manufacturing firms that offer their branded products in different countries through a network of local small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as resellers of their brand. It builds on both the resource-based view and complexity theory to understand what features of the brand and the reseller enable them to adopt innovative marketing practises in an international setting. We aim to bridge the gap in the existing marketing literature by reviewing current academic knowledge surrounding competitiveness and marketing innovation. Thus, the study addresses the following research question: What configurations of brand and the reseller enable the adoption of innovative marketing practises by two firms in an international setting? This study addresses the research question by first developing a suitable theoretical framework which is then used to investigate the question by means of empirical data. This study addresses this question in four phases. The first phase underpins the arguments about competitiveness and marketing innovation with the current academic knowledge about theory of competitive advantage and resource-advantage theory. The second phase explores the concept and assumptions using expert insights. During the third phase, this study conducts a field survey to collect data from resellers of international brands and use structure equation modelling (SEM) and fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) (Ragin, 2006, 2008). fsQCA has received increased attention as it gives an opportunity to the researchers to gain a deeper and richer perspective on the data, particularly when applied together with complexity theory (Leischnig & Kasper-Brauer, 2015; Mikalef, Pateli, Batenburg, & Wetering, 2015; Ordanini, Parasuraman, & Rubera, 2013; Woodside, 2014; Wu, Yeh, & Woodside, 2014). The fourth phase leads to interpret the results in order to make recommendations and consider future avenues for the research. This research contributes to the literature on business-to-business and international marketing. Finally, the study advances the current understanding about the interdependence of brand and reseller firms for developing their competitiveness and adopting innovative approaches to marketing

https://cyberleninka.org/article/n/529841/viewer

Cause-Related Marketing in International Business: What Works and What Doesn’t?

Recently, I co-authored “Cause-Related Marketing in International Business: What Works and What Doesn’t?”with Prof. Demetris Vrontis, Prof. Alkis Thrassou, Dr. Michael Christofi, and Dr. S. M. Riad Shams. The paper is published in the International Marketing Review. 

We brought together empirical and theoretical advancements connecting the research gap of cause-related marketing (CRM) changes in the international context. We also focused on how extant and emergent variables and constructs can be leveraged in order to develop insights into what does and what does not work in international business in the context of CRM.

An Early Announcement Academy of Marketing Science World Congress University of Kent Canterbury, UK, July 20-23, 2021

Kent Business School, University of Kent, UK- World Marketing Congress

The 2021 Congress will provide an opportunity to connect with marketing scholars and colleagues from around the globe. It will provide a supportive forum for insightful ideas and engaging discussions about topics across the marketing spectrum through expert panel sessions, special topic sessions and peer-reviewed, cutting edge research presentations.

The Congress will be held at Kent Business School’s (University of Kent) Canterbury campus located in the historic and picturesque city of Canterbury in the UK. Canterbury is located an hour from London and has equally close connections to continental Europe (it is quicker to get to Paris from Canterbury than it is to get to Manchester!). It is home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Canterbury Cathedral and has a unique place in the history of England through these connections and others. Written about and frequented by authors such as Chaucer and Dickens, the City has a long and deep-rooted history. For a small city, it punches above its weight and has much to offer!

Program Chairs 

 Call for Papers (some details subject to change)

In search for the soul of Marketing

Through the poetry of St John Henry Newman and the composition of Edward Elgar, we are offered a vision about the nature of one’s “soul” as the very essence of their living being. In light of rapid technological and societal change, we may ask questions about the “soul” of our discipline; the body of marketing changes shape rapidly, however, we should not lose sight of its soul. “Where is the life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” So asked the great poet TS Elliott in 1934. These questions are more applicable now than ever, in our data-driven world where technology has proliferated and become ubiquitous, and where a myriad of global challenges are at the forefront of our minds.  

Set within the historic City of Canterbury (Kent, UK) we invite you to come and contemplate these challenges in the footsteps of Chaucer, Dickens, Austen and others. Home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites and at the center of the “Garden of England”, the Congress offers a unique setting to explore these themes within an hour of London and with close connections to continental Europe. 

The “soul” centers our activities and inspirations. Leading on from prior congress themes about “discovery with social impact” and “enlightened marketing”, the AMS WMC 2021 will provide an ideal opportunity for a marketing “pilgrimage” where scholars can reflect on and share ideas about the changing nature and “soul” of marketing as a discipline, in a collegial and open forum. New knowledge tackling global and economic challenges will be developed, presented and explored, continuing a tradition of collegial debate around the concept of marketing and its contribution to business and society at large, further strengthening our academic community. 

A search for the soul of marketing which in a setting like Canterbury and its Cathedral will certainly provide us with many opportunities for new thought and actions. For any queries please contact the conference committee. We all look forward to seeing you in Canterbury. 

International Marketing & Terrorism

In this video, Prof.Czinkota reminds the public that Terrorism is not  far from us, even more, it is a significant issue in international marketing.  Not only are emerging economies threatened by the rise of terrorism, but developed economies will be affected as well.Terrorism preparedness matters!