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MKT 4550: International Marketing: Target Markets

Marketing Mix and Product Positioning

Your Marketing Mix or competitive strategy based on a fine-tuned package of Product, Price, Promotion, and Place (Distribution) will be a combination of

  • What potential customers in your target market value and want
  • What your company is uniquely qualified to provide to them. 

It is critical to identify not only what your company does best but also the competitive strengths of other companies in the same market and to adjust your strategy to either avoid a head-to-head competition or to "beat them at their own game", so to speak.

Product positioning emphasizes what your target customers value most. For example, if you know that a certain segment of the vitamin water/energy drinks market (e.g. college students) is price sensitive, then you might make some or all of the following decisions about positioning:

Place: Distribute your product via venues heavily-patronized by your chosen demographic that have historically racked up a high volume of sales for your product or its close competitors   -- for example, Walmart rather than Whole Foods Market. Here's a screenshot of an excerpt from a Mintel table showing sales for energy drinks by retail establishment.

Product: Add a generic product line to your current line of premium-priced drinks.  

 Price: Keep your price low and aim to penetrate this market segment more fully, rather than expecting to make a large profit on each product unit sold.


  • Stress psychological benefits for this age group such as those in this excerpt from a Mintel report.
  • In ad images designed for viewers of that age group, dress models as college-aged people in everyday surroundings like res hall rooms or youth-oriented off-campus housing units. 
  • Get exposure on Internet sites frequented by people in this target market.


Global Demographics and Psychographics

As mentioned under the Market Segments and Demand tab of this guide,

   Passport GMID(Global Market Information Database)

and     Mintel are wonderful sources of both


  • age
  • gender
  • income
  • other characteristics 

and buyer behavior or psychographics

  • family decision-maker
  • attitudes toward different media
  • price sensitivity

If no marketing report is available in either of these, then it's up to you to compile information on the industry and potential customers from newspaper and journal articles via databases listed under the Competition tab of this guide.


It can be difficult to pin down what types of promotions (paid advertisements,celebrity endorsements, coupons, etc.) will work best in an international market and what specific media (t.v. Internet, other) will be most effective for reaching your target customer.

Country Commercial Guides often mention tips about how to reach customers in a foreign market. Here's how to find them:

Click this link for the Market Research Library site  (U.S. Commercial Service).  

Articles from the newspaper and journal databases listed under the Competition tab of this guide might also give you some good hints.