Discuss about the Standardization Versus Adaptation In Global Markets.
In marketing, global standardization refers to a marketing approach that is standardized and can be applied anywhere around the globe. This strategy can work in the promotion of a product in any country across different cultures. Global standardization makes use of the same range of products. It also applies similar pricing as well as similar strategies in promotion and location. Globalization has transformed the world into a small village thanks to advanced technologies in communication. This has made it easy for multinationals with a global reach to standardize by creating a homogenized market. The reasoning that informs standardization relates to the homogenization in terms of the consumer needs. The marketing strategy allows the multinational to develop a consistent brand across all markets. Several global companies have been using the standardization approach such as Coca Cola, Nike, Unilever, Adidas and Johnson & Johnson. Global adaptation on the other hand is the practice where a multinational varies some aspects of their products and service in order to suit the varying needs of customers in the global market taking into consideration their cultural differences. This marketing strategy is consumer-orientated. By use of the adaptation strategy, the multinational can meet the specific needs of the clients at different levels and as such enhance customer satisfaction. The differences in consumer needs are better addressed using this approach. The fact that territorial legislations on conditions of product consumption vary from one country to another makes global adaptation an effective consumer oriented marketing strategy. Red Bull GmbH, is an example of a multinational that uses the adaptation strategy. The Austrian manufacturer of drinks uses red, silver and blue cans for the Red Bull drink in North America. In North America, the color blue symbolizes young energy and dynamism while the red color is associated with courage and action. On the other hand Red Bull uses red and gold color for their cans in China because gold color is associated with wealth and the red color symbolizes good luck.
Companies Using Adaptation as a Marketing Approach
The giant phone manufacturer Nokia Corporation is a global company specializing in global communication and information. In Africa the company sells low cost basic phones which most of its customers in the continent can afford such as the Nokia 3410 and Nokia 105. This is an adaptation to the low purchasing power of most customers (Batraga & P??e 2015, p. 32). At the same time the company offers high end smartphones such as Nokia Lumia and Nokia E series to its customers in the European and North American markets.
McDonalds is global fast food chain which is using the adaptation model. In India, for instance the food chain has introduced the Maharaja Mac while in the Middle East it has launched the Mc Arabia and Mc Nuggets. The food chain is using different brand names for different markets in order to appeal to the consumers. In Singapore, the food chain has recently introduced the Kaisu Burger named after popular local comedian Mr. Kaisu.
Unilever, a transnational manufacturer of consumer goods is using the adaptation approach in the marketing of one of its soaps called ‘Dove’. Although its television advertisements are similar in terms of scenery and text, the models that market the brands and the language used in the advertisement are dictated by the local culture of every targeted market.
Red Bull GmbH is another example of a global company that is using the adaptation approach. Adaptation in marketing recognizes the need to respond to variations in preferences of customers (Kustin 2010, p. 301). The company is based in Austria and manufactures drinks. For its North American market the company uses cans that are red, blue and silver in color. The rational is that the blue color is associated with youth energy and dynamism while the red color symbolizes action and courage. Conversely, for its Chinese market Redbull is packed in gold and red cans. In the Chinese culture, the gold color stands for wealth while the red color is associated with good luck.
Gillette, a manufacturer of safety razor blades for men and women and other personal care products has had to adapt to international market segments in several ways too. Its brand of Shampoo called Silkience Shampoo goes by the name Soyance in France. In Italy, it is called Sientel while in Germany the same shampoo is called Silience. Sometimes companies have to vary product formulations to suit the needs of specific markets (Wilken & Sinclair 2011, p. 8). Product advertising messages are designed by the country managers according to what they deem to have potential of increasing sales locally. The effect of this is reduced brand power.
How can an Old care Homes Employ Standardization and/or Adaptation?
As for standardization, old care homes can come up with new methods which guarantee that individual client’s needs is always central in the process of care. This can be done through the development of short stay care plans. If the nurses adhere to these, the old home will have come up with standard plan for care. Additionally, the home can generate a comprehensive strategy for pre-admission assessment of clients seeking to be admitted into the home (Davies et al. 2014, p. 12). This helps to meet the needs of every client as they join the program and makes them feel at home. This should be carried out in a manner that is cost effective and sets out high quality of services. Also, an old care home can choose to use pre-fashioned customer satisfaction survey methods to periodically assess the level of client satisfaction.
The success of old care homes can be measured based on a number of pillars; the level of engagement of the residents in the home activities/the quality of life, the quality of care (which is assessed by the indicators of clinical factors), the value of the environment and the role of the management. To provide better care, old homes must adapt to the changing trends (Panevchik, Samoilov & Kakoshko 2012, p. 43) for instance, the use of digital technology in order to improve the quality of life for the residents. Benchmarking with other old care homes is also an avenue for learning new ways to improve care for the old. Old homes should consider transforming their institutions into ‘community hubs’ in order to adapt to the changing needs of the old. Sticking to the traditional ‘people first’ approach is a valuable standard but may not always succeed (Ballard et al. 2018, p. 10).
Used Standardization when developing a new product in the healthcare sector
In coming up with new services or products in the healthcare sector the way to go is standardization. Firstly in healthcare, studies have shown that the employments of treatment patterns that are divergent usually result in worse clinical outcomes (Rocha & Silva 2011, p. 70). If variance is done away with a reduction in the risks, costs and inefficiencies can be realized. Standardization in healthcare is also necessary to ensure the mobility of the healthcare providers’ expertise regardless of the country or state, the health facility where the service is provided or the healthcare provider giving the service. Standardization of processes in healthcare ensure that health care workers can deliver services in any hospital anywhere in the globe just like a pilot trained to fly and airbus can do so for any airbus company(Poturak & Duman 2014, p. 254). Standardization helps to lessen the complexity of the processes in healthcare provision so that patients can obtain the correct treatment with a guarantee of consistency. For instance, the employment of a standardized protocol in the administration of insulin has been shown to result in better efficacy and enhance safety in the regulation of blood sugar levels. This practice makes it easier for health experts to compare results and interpret them. Although standardization has been successful in other non-health sectors, it has had a slow traction in the health care sector majorly because the proponents of the approach have not had much success in demonstrating how the approach would impact on the delivery of health services. Most authors agree that standardization would enhance the ability of health care workers to give better care.
Management Attributes that inform choice between Adaptation and Standardization
Outlined below are strong reasons that could persuade management to use global standardization;
Thanks to the widespread use of social media today, there has been a development of homogenized tastes and preferences across a variety of populations. This has also spread similar values and needs globally creating a significant market segment with similar needs. As a consequence the management of a company may choose to react to demand for the same product across its international market. Product standardization achieves production economies whose advantages include effective planning and better control of the production process. (Duman & Poturak 2014, p. 330). This results in a lower cost per unit and ease in monitoring of performance in global markets. Production costs are greatly reduced with standardization. Colgate Pomolive for example is making massive profits with standardized products in the global market.
Reasons Chat Could Persuade Management towards Adaptation
Adaptation recognizes the need for customization. It focuses on meeting the specific needs and wants of the customers. Proponents of this method submit that when entering a global market, a business must take into account the variations in culture, language and values (Dimitrova & Rosenbloom 2010, p. 162). The managing team of the organization has to determine how they will market their products and/or survives in a new market. This means the marketing strategy in its entirety and the distribution and selling of the products must meet the expectations of consumers with different preferences.
Healthcare and the technological Advancements-the challenges and Opportunities
Technological advancements have had an impact on several spheres of life and the healthcare has had to evolve as well. Technology is now playing a more prominent role in health services beginning right from the registration of patients for treatment to data management. In the US for example as at 2009 only 16% of the government hospitals were using the Electronic Health records system. By 2103, the statistics stood at 80%. This is one area in which healthcare has evolved. Now patient records in all the departments from consultation to pharmacy are integrated and easy to track. Remote monitoring tools have revolutionized healthcare provision. A patient with heart problems for instance can have a cardiac cast with a pacemaker that transmits data to the physician’s office. In case there is anything that requires attention, the patient can then be called in. This has reduced the costs because patients no longer have to visit the physician every day. Technological advancements have enabled the development of user friendly self-test kits which patients can use in the comfort of their homes e.g. pregnancy test kit.
On the Social networking end online platforms such as Portal Technology have transformed the way doctors and patients interact. Through this both can interact and share more information online. The patient gets to be better educated on their health as well. Proponents of this technique opine that patients can get empowered to make better life choices aware of the health impacts associated with the same but the underlying issue is the challenge of patient information management. Medical information is too sensitive to be shared on online platforms. Technological advancements has also availed telemedicine/tele-health services which has been of great benefit in remote areas which lack the access that is available in metropolitan settings. Through a live video chat with a physician today, the patient can get a full assessment done. The concern and challenge with this method of treatment is that it does not meet basic requirements of primary healthcare. In a live video chat, the doctor is not able to physically examine the patient and as such there is likelihood of certain vital aspects of the examination being missed out. The m-Health services are also becoming a popular trend. Through use of smartphones and tablets health workers can access m-health tools which they can use for order, documentation and many more. The challenge is that m-health has to create a connection between communication and biometrics.
How to overcome the Challenges
Tele-health services such as the medical assessment though live video chat should be developed to include more elaborate tools for meeting the primary healthcare objectives. In order to enable the patient to become an active player in their treatment, this tool should not just be about a wireless connection. It should create a relationship and a connection between communication and the biometrics of the patients.
Advantages of technological advancement in healthcare
Accounting is one area where Information technology has aided businesses. Small business owners usually have a challenge building and managing an accounting system by themselves. (Ostaletskyy 2014, p. 92). But with software like QuickBooks and Microsoft Money, they can set up accounts and post daily transactions with much ease. These way small businesses eliminate the need to hire full-time accountants hence saving on costs.
Internet has played a role in leveling the playing field when it comes to marketing. Marketers of small business can employ video editing tools and graphics to come up with marketing content that is professional and can compete with those of established companies (Shinn 2012, p. 21). Web marketing tools (such as Google AdWords) which are much cheaper than traditional marketing methods can greatly reduce the cost of advertising for small businesses while reaching thousands to millions of customers at the same time.
The technological advancements in computer and mobile phone technology allow owners of small businesses to take advantage of software for scheduling and customer relationship management (Drnevich & Croson 2013, p. 499). They can also allow entrepreneurs to conduct business meetings online and venture into new market segments online.
Global standardization and adaptation are international marketing strategies that have been in existence for a while. Although each of them has merits and demerits as discussed above, not many businesses exclusively use one approach. It is the prerogative of the managerial staff to decide which of the two to employ or determine what mix of the two approaches will yield the best results. Technological advancements have had an impact on virtually every sector of life; including the health sector. Healthcare providers including small businesses and old care homes have an opportunity to revolutionize the way they do business by exploiting the tools availed to them by technology.
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