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International Marketing Strategy and Tactics

Autor:   •  October 29, 2016  •  Research Paper  •  2,168 Words (9 Pages)  •  535 Views

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Pondering over the correlation between strategy and tactics in international marketing

   —-—Insights from the quote by Sun tzu: “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

YiShu Mo



The usage of the words ‘strategy’ and tactics in business is derived from the original military context. The main purpose of this article is to explore why and how important the efficient coordination of marketing strategies and tactics are in international marketing, as well as any impact on reshaping cross-national business models.

The article body will break down into three main sections. The first section explains relevant conceptual frameworks including definition and purpose of ‘strategies’ and ‘tactics’ under international context, and relative new product launch models. The second section, which is the major part, analyses why and how association of marketing strategies and tactics impacts on international marketing from three aspects using business cases: (1)right strategy with inappropriate tactics by Donut King, Shanghai; (2)misleading strategies with advanced tactics by Barbie Flagship Store, Shanghai; (3)proper strategy with associative tactics by Ferrero Rocher’s chocolate, Guangzhou. The third section shows writer’s concerns about challenges and limitations faced by small to medium international businesses when practicing, as well as concerns about downsides of marketing tactics that solely focusing on achieving strategic goals including outsourcing and manipulative advertisements, which may raise ethical criticism.

Finally it concludes that in order to achieve high level of cost effectiveness, strategies and tactics should be decided accordingly based on the foreign countries’ market and cultural environments. In addition, small to medium international companies preferably select ‘niche and follow’ marketing model during initial launch in order to lower risks.


Marketing strategy and tactics are two key elements that assist with implementing one firm’s marketing objectives. In military context, strategy involves planning and preparing for greater security, unexpected shock and future victory. Tactics on the other hand, deals with carrying out the objectives laid out in strategy (, 2004). In short, strategy is about ‘what one plans to do,’ while tactics is about ‘how one achieves the former in specific’. Thus a concise interpretation of Sun Tzu’s quote would be ‘both strategy and tactics are indispensable, and victory can be achieved only if the two associate with absolute integration and coordination.’


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