In the past 50 years, the world has gone through a process of globalization with enormous changes. Today’s “global village” has gradually evolved from many individualistic societies with local companies to an increasing rate of companies expanding by entering new countries (Quelch, 1999). This is a result of globalization, which has created many new opportunities for companies in new markets (Luo, 1999). With new and improved communication and transportation abilities, people can travel and communicate all over the globe.
Today’s improved technology has made it easier to collect information about countries and markets. It has also increased the understanding of new cultures and their living conditions. Overall new technology has improved company’s opportunities to do business overseas and it will continue to stimulate globalization (Engdahl, 2006).
There are many reasons for companies to look for and act on opportunities in new foreign markets. Some are pure economic factors, like achieving economics-of-scale or spreading the economic risk on more markets. This will make the company better prepared for changing economic conditions (Engdahl, 2006).
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Other reasons for firms to go international could be pressure from external forces, such as saturation of the home market or even forced into exporting to new markets due to increased competition. When foreign brands and competitors enter and create the presence on a company’s home market, the firm needs to take actions to meet that new competition (Kotler, Wong, Saunders & Armstrong, 2006).
As described above, there are a lot of different factors and forces that drive companies towards internationalization today. And even though the world is becoming more globalized, there is still a lot of obstacles that need to be considered when working with new markets.
Factors such as infrastructures, religion, politics, customer preferences and beliefs are important factors and companies need to consider and respect them. These aspects can have huge implications for a firms business and therefore firms need to consider them when it comes to marketing in different and new markets (Whitelock & Pimblett, 1997).
In 2005, the world could witness how fragile today’s business climate has become and how different cultures can clash with each other with companies caught in the crossfire.
On 30th of September in 2005, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published a number of caricatures of the Muslim prophet Muhammed. Nobody believed that this action would echo throughout the world in the form of mass demonstrations, boycotts and eventually a full-scale diplomatic crisis.