The Role of Standardization and Adaptation in the Marketing Mix : A case study on a professional service firm
Abstract: Background: The service sector has grown immensely during the last decades and the demand for services is increasing. For professional service firms (PSFs) that want to internationalize and move to other markets, it is important to know how to attract customers and how to accommodate their needs. Therefore, it is important to know what aspects of the marketing mix to consider and how these elements can be standardized or adapted in regard to different markets and needs. It is vital to know what factors influence how the elements should be standardized or adapted in order to be able to flourish as a service firm in international markets. Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to explore the factors that influence the standardization or adaptation process within the marketing mix consisting of the 7Ps. Additionally, investigating to what extent each of the components of the marketing mix has been standardized, adapted or used both approaches. This thesis aims to contribute with knowledge and understanding behind these decisions as to why the marketing mix has been standardized or adapted in certain components. Method: This study makes use of a single case study for which an exploratory approach is implemented with use of a mixed methods approach. The study uses an interpretivist philosophy and an inductive approach. Primary data was collected through interviews and a survey, while secondary data came from the company website and marketing material. Conclusions: This study came to the conclusions that the components of product, place and people are adapted, promotion and process are standardized, and physical evidence and price is considered to be a mix. There are different factors that influence the marketing mix components, where customer preferences are considered to have the highest influence.
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