Most American firms have discovered that many opportunities exist in international marketing, as evidenced by the vast amount of goods exported by US-based firms. There are many reasons why US firms choose to engage in international marketing. Perhaps the most attractive reasons are the market expansion and profit opportunities afforded by foreign markets.
Basic principles of domestic marketing apply to international marketing. However, there are some differences, many of which are centered on environmental factors which affect international marketing: (a) the economic environment, (b) the competitive environment, (c) the cultural environment, (d) the political/legal environment, and (e) technological environment and the ethical environment.
Once a firm has decided to enter a particular foreign market, it must decide upon the best way to enter that market. A firm has five basic foreign market entry options, the selection of which depends largely on the degree of control that the firms wishes to maintain over its marketing program.
When a firm chooses to market its products internationally, it must decide whether to adjust its domestic marketing program. Some firms choose to customize their market programs, adjusting their marketing mix to meet the needs of each target market. Others use a standardized marketing mix. In making the decision to customize or standardize, there is a wide range of possibilities for adapting a firm's product, price, promotion, and distribution strategies.