Marketing strategy in the Baltics: standardise or adapt?

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Abstract:

Purpose ‐ The question of whether a business should pursue a marketing strategy that is standardised across national markets or adapted to individual markets has long troubled practicing managers and academics. The purpose of this study is to examine such marketing mix standardisation in the Baltic states. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This cross-sectional study employs a survey of management responses from multinational companies active in the Baltic states to capture their marketing strategies. Another survey is used to capture customer perceptions of the degree of marketing mix standardisation. Findings ‐ This research supports the idea of marketing standardisation across the Baltic countries, but it also points at particular areas for adaptation. Research limitations/implications ‐ The three Baltic countries present an interesting case due to close geographical location, shared history and economic development, alongside differences in consumer behaviour caused by independent national development. This makes for unique market conditions when it comes to marketing standardization in the region. Practical implications ‐ The research results support multinational firms in their pursuit of the right balance between adaptation and standardisation in their marketing mix. Originality/value ‐ This study contributes to research in the areas of international marketing strategy and marketing standardisation.

Keywords: Baltic States; Marketing mix; Marketing strategy; Multinational companies

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/17465260610663872

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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