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留学生论文写作:MARKETING ACROSS CULTURES

时间:2010-11-24 09:38:19 来源:www.ukthesis.org 作者:英国论文网 点击联系客服: 客服:Damien

its first store in Mainland China was opened.During the next 9 years,IKEA took its time,getting to know the Chinese customers.A series of prudent experiments have been proven effective.IKEA’s sales in China increased 500%from2000 to 2005.
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At the same time,price has also been paid for a lesson on how tobalance global marketing strategies and local marketing activities.Ian Duffy,IKEA’sCEO of Asia-Pacific region,admits in an interview that IKEA has made little profitsince entering the Chinese market(Song 2005 translated by the author).Therefore,formultinational companies like IKEA,who want to proceed in different markets withdistinctive cultural characteristics,the research on IKEA Shanghai’s marketingperformance provides useful information onhow to think globally and act locally.
1.2 Structure of the thesisIn order to demonstrate the central topic,how IKEA integrates its global marketingstrategies with its local marketing activities taking culture differences intoconsideration when designing marketing strategies for the Chinese market,the thesisproceeds as follows.Part 1,Introduction,raises the research question and proposesthe importance of the research to multinational companies as whole.It also introducesthe thesis structure and summarizes previous research on similar topics.The secondpart discusses the research’s methodological points of departure—a case study.Thewhole process involves the interaction of qualitative and quantitative approaches aswell as hermeneutics to interpret and analyze the collected data.Part 3 accounts for the key theoretical concepts applied in the research.Theories concerning marketing and marketing process are illustrated with IKEA’s global marketing concepts, followed by the development of the culture concept and discussion of the Chinese culture.The interdisciplinary feature of cultural studies enables the author to examine marketing strategies from a cultural perspective,providing a theoretical support for further arguments in the case of IKEA Shanghai.Part 4 begins with the story of the
IKEA saga as a cultural background introduction of the Swedish home-styling company,especially its earlier experiences of struggling in the USA and Japan.It then moves on to the case study of IKEA Shanghai.The model of the marketing mix,i.e.the 4Ps—product,price,place and promotion,is followed to discuss the culturalconcerns shown in the company’s marketing activities.The research shows culture’sin 1998,when its first store in Mainland China was opened.During the next 9 years,
IKEA took its time,getting to know the Chinese customers.A series of prudent experiments have been proven effective.IKEA’s sales in China increased 500%from 2000 to 2005.At the same time,price has also been paid for a lesson on how to balance global marketing strategies and local marketing activities.Ian Duffy,IKEA’s CEO of Asia-Pacific region,admits in an interview that IKEA has made little profit#p#分页标题#e#
since entering the Chinese market(Song 2005 translated by the author).Therefore,for multinational companies like IKEA,who want to proceed in different markets with
distinctive cultural characteristics,the research on IKEA Shanghai’s marketing performance provides useful information on how to think globally and act locally.1.2 Structure of the thesis In order to demonstrate the central topic,how IKEA integrates its global marketing strategies with its local marketing activities taking culture differences into consideration when designing marketing strategies for the Chinese market,the thesis proceeds as follows.Part 1,Introduction,raises the research question and proposes the importance of the research to multinational companies as whole.It also introduces
the thesis structure and summarizes previous research on similar topics.The second part discusses the research’s methodological points of departure—a case study.The whole process involves the interaction of qualitative and quantitative approaches as well as hermeneutics to interpret and analyze the collected data.Part 3 accounts for the key theoretical concepts applied in the research.Theories concerning marketing and marketing process are illustrated with IKEA’s global marketing concepts, followed by the development of the culture concept and discussion of the Chinese
culture.The interdisciplinary feature of cultural studies enables the author to examine marketing strategies from a cultural perspective,providing a theoretical support for further arguments in the case of IKEA Shanghai.Part 4 begins with the story of theThesis is provided by UK thesis base http://www.ukthesis.org/
IKEA saga as a cultural background introduction of the Swedish home-styling company,especially its earlier experiences of struggling in the USA and Japan.It then moves on to the case study of IKEA Shanghai.The model of the marketing mix,i.e. the 4Ps—product,price,place and promotion,is followed to discuss the cultural concerns shown in the company’s marketing activities.The research shows culture’s
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the analysis of archival information.Each of them has particular advantages and disadvantages.The case study is the preferred strategy when a“how”or“why” question is being asked about a contemporary sets of events,over which the investigator has little or no control.The strength of the case study lies in its ability to deal with a full variety of evidence—documents,artefacts,interviews,and
observations.Hence,in order to solve the research question—how IKEA designs marketing strategies for the Chinese market,integrating its global marketing strategies with
culturally-based marketing activities—conducting a case study is a sensible selection
First of all,since IKEA’s establishment in 1943 at a small village in the south of Sweden,the company has stood the test of time alongside the world’s economy’s up and downs in the past few decades and developed into the world’s No.1 furniture retailer;secondly,the author plays a role of an observer and analyst during the#p#分页标题#e#
research,who has no control or influence on designing IKEA’s marketing;last but n east,data and facts can be collected from a wider range of sources,therefore,the
findings are more likely to avoid bias and approach reality.Based on the above understandings,the author conducted a case study,focusing on IKEA Shanghai whil
referring to IKEA Malm?in terms of the 4Ps model,tracing culture’s influences on he company’s marketing decisions in China.Some first-hand information was gaine
by the author’s own observations during the fieldwork in both shops.Other evidence was collected from all kinds of publications,from academic writings to official websites of IKEA.
The issue of qualitative versus quantitative methods has been a heated topic in social science for a while.Attempts have been made to bridge the gap between the
two.Kvale(1996)believes qualitative and quantitative methods are tools,and their utility depends on their power to bear upon the research questions asked.In the case of this thesis,the whole research process involves the interaction of qualitative and quantitative approaches.The research question is initiated by a qualitative analysisThesis is provided by UK thesis base http://www.ukthesis.org/
 oIKEA’s performances in China and the concepts of associating marketing with cultu studies.The following phase of data collection and analysis also sees qualitative and quantitative methods intermingle.The final conclusion of the research is mainly qualitative but it does not mean qualitative method is given priority in general.As6
tools,qualitative and quantitative approaches are selected for the purpose of approaching the reality hidden underneath the research question.
According to Alvesson and Sk?ldberg(2000),hermeneutics has two main approaches:objectivist and alethic hermeneutics.The former advocates the part- whole circle in the process of interpretation whilst the latter supports the preunderstanding-understanding circle.The debate between the two schools has been intense,however,the intensity also implies the two approaches are complementary rather than mutually exclusive…Hermeneutics presupposes a general preunderstanding as a basic,harmonious unity in the parts of the work,a unity which expresses itself in every single part:the postulate of the absolute foundation in the shape of uniform meaning.This hidden,basic precondition will then express itself in the interpretation,and in our analysis we reach via a circular route that we had
presupposed…namely the harmonious,basic wholeness(ibid).Marketing theories and cultural studies are both independent disciplines.However,when marketing strategies are studied from a cultural perspective,the two disciplines are combined into a bigger theoretical circle of understanding,i.e.how IKEA deals with cultural differences in terms of marketing strategies.In this way,a general pre-understanding of marketing and culture respectively develops into a further understanding of culture’s influences on marketing in international business.#p#分页标题#e#
3.Key Theoretical Concepts
As its title indicates,this part of the thesis presents the key theoretical concepts to be applied in the case study of IKEA Shanghai in Part 4,including theories concerning
marketing and concepts concerning culture.Marketing theories summarized in Section 3.1 are based on Armstrong and Kotler’s(2006)understanding of marketing
and marketing process and illustrated with IKEA’s global marketing concepts.The importance of designing a customer centered marketing strategy and the implementation of such a strategy through the marketing mix(the 4Ps model)are als discussed.The development of the culture concept and cultural studies depicted in Section 3.2 explains the feasibility of associating marketing theories with cultural7
studies,which serves as the theoretical foundation for studying IKEA Shanghai’s marketing performances through a cultural approach.
3.1 Marketing and marketing process
Marketing,among all business functions,is most down-to-earth in terms of dealing with customers.As ordinary customers,every one of us already knows about
marketing.After all,it is all around us.Many people may be under the impression that marketing is only selling and advertising,i.e.what we can see.However, Armstrong and Kotler(2006)argue that selling and advertising is only the tip of the marketing iceberg.There exists a massive network of people and activities,competin for customers’attention and purchases.In today’s marketplace,marketing must be
understood in the new sense of satisfying customer needs.They define marketing as the process by which companies create value for customers and build strong custome
relationships in order to capture value from customers in return.
On the basis of the above definition,Armstrong and Kotler(ibid)move on to describe the marketing process in detail and divide it into 5 steps.The first 4 steps
create value for customers and build customer relationships.At first,the company ha to understand the marketplace and customer needs and wants.Therefore,the compan
needs to research its customers and the market place in order to collect and manage marketing information and customer data.The second step,designing a customer-
driven marketing
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strategy,takes place once the market place and customers are fully understood.The company will select which customers to serve through market
segmentation and targeting.A value proposition will also be decided through differentiation and positioning.After deciding on its overall marketing strategy,in th
third step,the company is ready to construct a marketing programme,which transforms abstract strategies into real value for customers.The programme is also known as the marketing mix which consists of 4 elements(the 4Ps)—product,price, place and promotion.The fourth step,which is actually throughout the whole marketing process,is to build profitable relationships and create customer delight.To#p#分页标题#e#
achieve the goal,the company must establish strong relationships with marketing partners as well.8
The fifth step is when the company can finally reap the fruits of its strong customer relationships by capturing value from customers in return.Once the company has created satisfied and loyal customers,it can capture customer lifetime value with a result of increased share of market and customer.However,in order to succeed in today’s changing marketplace filled with competitors,the company also
has to take into consideration the new features of the marketing landscape:advanced technology,globalization and social responsibility.International companies like
IKEA have to transform challenges posed by the new marketing environment into opportunities,which echoes Armstrong and Kotler’s earlier argument—a good marketing strategy is a must.
3.1.1 Designing a marketing strategy
As it mentioned previously in Section 3.1,marketing strategies should be made in thsecond step of the marketing process based on a thorough understanding of the markand customers.Only when this condition is fulfilled,one may expect a winningmarketing strategy from marketing management.According to Armstrong and Kotle(ibid:49),marketing strategy is the marketing logic by which the business unit hopeto achieve its marketing objectives.Marketing strategies are decided by marketingmanagement(ibid:9),which is the art and science of choosing target markets andbuilding profitable relationships with them.This kind of art and science follows
certain orientations,namely,the production,product,selling,marketing,and societalmarketing concepts.The evolvement of the above concepts can be traced in thedevelopment of IKEA’s global marketing concepts.IKEA’s business actually started from the production concept,which holds thatconsumers will favour products that are available and highly affordable(ibid:10).Inits earliest days,IKEA was selling products which Kamprad thought would bepopular and bought in bulk from Stockholm.The goods were delivered by the localmilk van to the train station and then the buyers.In this way,the products were easilyavailable to his customers and at low prices.Because of its competitors’jealousy andhostility,IKEA had to design its own products and search cheaper suppliers in9Poland,when the product concept was proved worth trying.The product conceptholds that consumers will favour products that offer the most in quality,performanceand innovative features(ibid).Nowadays,in order not to impress its customers as it sacrificing quality when charging low prices,the company has been working onquality assurance even at low prices.The work remains one of the company’s focusein 2007(IKEA Facts and Figures 2006).
The other by-product of being boycotted by its rivals and suppliers in Swedenresulted in IKEA’s inability to follow the selling concept for long.Instead,it foundthe marketing concept more useful.The selling concept contrasts with the marketing#p#分页标题#e#
concept that the former starts with the factory,the existing goods and focuses onselling and promotion to make a profit;the latter starts with a well-researched markefocuses on customer needs and gains profits by satisfying customer needs throughintegrated marketing(Armstrong and Kotler 2006:11).In recent years,the world seea rising trend calling for more ethics and social responsibility.Hence,the rise of thesocietal marketing concept,i.e.a principle of enlightened marketing that holds that acompany should make good marketing decisions by considering consumers’wants,
he company’s requirements,consumers’long-run interests,and society’s long runinterests(ibid:12).Companies,which ignore ethical issues and social responsibilitiemay not be well received in international business.IKEA has realized that and takenactions.The company joined forces with The United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF)to implement the UNICEF-IKEA Project to combat child labour and waspraised as an example of how the private sector can do business in developingcountries in a socially responsible manner(UNICEF 2005).
As one can see in the development of IKEA’s global marketing concepts,marketing strategies must suit the marketing environment and most importantly
always centre on customers.Hence,customer-centred marketing strategy has beenchosen as the company’s overall strategic plan.Guided by the marketing strategy,th
company designs a marketing mix made up of factors under its control—product,price,place and promotion(the 4Ps).3.1.2 The Marketing Mix(the 4Ps)
A marketing strategy remains only on paper without detailed planning of themarketing mix.According to Armstrong and Kotler(2006),the marketing mix is one
of the major concepts in modern marketing.It is the set of controllable tacticalmarketing tools—product,price,place,and promotion(the 4Ps)—that the firm blend
to produce the response it wants in the target market.One should notice that the 4Psmodel is a framework under which marketers can design marketing programs moresystematically.It does not overlook those Thesis is provided by UK thesis base http://www.ukthesis.org/
marketing activities whose names do notstart with P.In stead,the non-Ps can usually be subsumed under one of the 4Ps.Asone can see in Figure 4.1 there are various marketing tools under each P.
Figure 。

 

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