The Role of International Marketing

International Marketing has never been more important or more powerful as world trade has increased exponentially in the past several decades. The rapid expansion in globalization has been driven by the inclusion of billions of new customers and new competitors in the world marketplace from countries like China, India, and the former Soviet Union, along with revolutionary improvements in communications and transportation, and further economic liberalization. Dramatic growth in disposable income in emerging markets and increasing access to a broad array of media channels allow new audiences much greater access to the many benefits that international marketers offer for a better quality of life.

Yet there are also fears and challenges emanating from the field and its activities. Just like the Roman god Janus, who had two faces and has come to embody the notion of contradiction to modern thinkers, international marketing brings both good and bad to the global marketplace. Exploitation of factory workers by global apparel and footwear marketers in previous decades, or by electronics and computer brands more recently, exemplifies the negative consequences of globalization. While there are operations and management dimensions involved as well, this negative impact is primarily a marketing issue because this discipline interacts closely with customers and suppliers. Unethical and inappropriate actions carry many risks such as negative brand publicity.

The role of global businesses and marketers in the financial crises that began in 2008 has led to public anger and increased scrutiny by society, particularly those who experienced great hardships. Not all markets experienced serious economic setbacks, but some of the poorer nations in the world were profoundly impacted.