Many marketers have found the international marketplace to be extremely hostile. A study by Baker and Kynak,4. for example, found that less than 20 per cent of firms in Texas with export potential actually carried out business in international markets. But although many firms view in markets with trepidation, others still make the decision to go international. Why?
In one study, the following motivating factors were given for initiating overseas marketing involvement (in order of importance):5.
• large market size
• stability through diversification
• profit potential
• unsolicited orders
• proximity of market
• excess capacity
• offer by foreign distributor
• increasing growth rate
• smoothing out business cycles
Other empirical studies over a number of years have pointed to a wide variety of reasons why companies initiate international involvement. These include the saturation of the domestic market, which leads firms either to seek other less competitive markets or to take on the competitor in its home markets; the emergence of new markets, particularly in the developing world; government incentives to export; tax incentives offered by foreign governments to establish manufacturing plants in their countries in order to create jobs; the availability of cheaper or more skilled labor; and an attempt to minimize the risks of a recession in the home country and spread risk.6.