The current trends in marketing undergo some basic transformation from the traditional marketing process to more effective and lower-cost interactive channels such as emails and SMS messaging. The traditional marketing process with its tools and technology that existed during the recent past, however, is still viable for reaching today’s customers or consumers. During the early 1960s, marketing used to be simpler that TV networks could send ad messages to great audiences on a regular basis. When people were not watching TV, consumers used to read some broadly-targeted tabloids or magazines that carry huge circulations (Kimbal). These traditional and still functional practices, however, cannot be completely ignored vis-à-vis the surfacing of newer and effective marketing tools and technology. Rather, these practices should be adapted or streamlined as to the emerging current needs. As to marketing process, the US marketing systems could serve as a pattern for other related marketing countries to scrutinize further and to follow.
Marketing and Flow of Goods
In the USA, merchants such as retailers, importers, exporters, wholesalers flourish contributing about 70 to 80% to the national economy; which is more than what agriculture contributes. With the participation of the US in the global marketing, this raises the demand for both inside the country and outside. When new markets for US-made goods have been opened abroad, this invigorates the national economy. This marketing results to more jobs and higher pays for more and more people including the marginal residents of many nations. Global trading based on economic cooperation is indeed needed to effect better living standards worldwide.
Undeniably, most Americans make money with imports. Such foreign goods trigger the buyers’ impulse perhaps because the products have an exotic appeal or they simply bring them with some magical touch. With this, importers have some potential buyers, making sure that markets for particular products do exist.
Some importers start in a very simple, small way, ordering samples as demonstration products. They believe that samples are more effective in trading than merely having words or pictures. After all, having samples on hand could be worth a thousand images.
In this digital age, some trade opportunity magazines still flourish. Importers are always keen about watching some supplier offerings that have mass appeal, or just simply appealing. Similarly, offerings are available in other media sources like advertising, some general magazines, trade journals, and particularly, metropolitan newspapers. Some offerings here may prove rewarding for those in the import trading practice.
Since familiar faces are certainly easier to approach than strangers, beginners of import trade start by selling to his close circle: family, friends, co-workers, officemates, etc. Selling imports has plenty of success and thus, generates stories. One says that he made their first sale the second day he showed his samples to some of his business friends. The biggest day sale he made so far is $1, 8845. One says that when he called on some potential customers in his neighborhood, they immediately took orders for 20 cameras.
A man from Ohio has been praising his cuckoo clocks imports saying that the clocks have been his best sellers with a good markup. He positioned the clocks in several fine furniture shops in his area and they made a hit. Besides, the man added, an import store nearby also bought some of his other imports and continues trading in anything he has to offer.
Marketing Then and Now
Before the advent of the Web, imports were mainly distributed through direct selling. The importers would call personally all the prospects and even associates. Then traders display samples, quote terms and prices, and get the buyer’s orders. Trading this way, the process of direct selling then made a substantial chunk of the total sales for both the retailers and the wholesalers in the country.
Importers also use the indirect method of trading. They could sell their products to people they have never seen acquired the products or services they wanted. One could sell from his ad, which method is called mail order. This method has been reinforced now by ‘email order.’ By placing an ad in a national or local magazine, customers send their orders with payment by mail. Once the order and payment have been confirmed, traders now ship to customers the goods. If a wide variety of items is offered for sale, importers could offer the entire line of goods with the use of printed catalogs. The catalog is offered free or with small charge for shipping and forwarding. From the catalog, customers then order consumer goods. Using the direct mail selling, one should work up his own name list. One way of securing names is by buying them from reputable list brokers.
Alternatively, imports could be distributed without much contact with buyers. By recruiting salesmen, they could distribute the imported goods to consumers. Upon signing up, salespersons are tasked to handle and sell the goods. These direct selling salesmen acting as the sales force, make it possible for the importers to have a wider sales coverage within a short period.
Making It with Import
One could purchase goods abroad as an import merchant on his own account. This import merchant notifies the supplier of goods the method of shipment. Then he arranges for Custom House Broker to clear the shipment. Merchant brokers, on the other hand, takes steps in selling goods to jobbers, to retail stores, or to individuals. He could even open his own store and proceed selling over the counter. Import broker receives payment or commission for his service. This broker does not fund the purchasing of goods or possess the goods. After an arrangement, domestic buyer imports goods on his account paying directly the foreign supplier. The import broker is paid with commission from one of the parties he serves. The import sales representative acts as the sales agent of a foreign supplier and gets his pay through commission. This operator sells to domestic buyer representing his foreign principal. The foreign supplier ships goods directly to domestic buyer. The sales representative could bill and collect payment for the domestic buyer, deduct his commission and expenses and then forward the balance to the foreign principal. Alternatively, the supplier collects payment from the buyer direct and remits commission to the import representative. A letter of agreement exists between the representative and the foreign supplier.
A trader may be hired full time by a firm to purchase abroad representing the firm. This trader is an import buyer or a purchasing agent. Import buyer may work for some domestic principals based on retainer fees or other payment arrangements.
Making it with Export
The other side of the American trading practice involves exporting of goods. With this trading, exporters devote most of their time in finding customers, exploring the possible markets, and pricing the export goods. Exporters cannot avoid some non-productive time spent on packing goods, filling out of export documents, and arranging for shipments and getting insurance. By letting a Freight Forwarder handles the shipments, exporters save time to other better use in building his export business.
It is important that exporters are familiar with all the sides of business operations from packing to documentations, as exportable goods will undergo a very rough journey by steamer or other forwarding facilities. Some forces or strains are enevitable like gouging, dropping, and scrapping, which is enough reason in providing pilfer-proof, tough and durable containers. With good packing, other hazards or breakage could be avoided. With refined containerization, global traders’ goods are now carried without much hassle and without further handling right at the customer’s doorstep.
With computerized handling of the flow of containers worldwide, the chance of losing cargoes have been reduced or eliminated. Traffic now flows smoothly and shipping schedules are now well planned in advance. Similarly, with good forecasting of delivery dates, buyers are surely advised on the certainty of arrivals of goods from departure to delivery. Smaller exporters also gains from the container system of shipping goods. Thru sharing with other exporters, burgeoning exporters enjoy added cargo security, and saving of time and cost,
With much trade documentation, traders are burdened by much paper work but made lighter with the advice and help of a Freight Forwarder. The forwarder also handles most of the documentation involved being a part of its service. Basically, three documents are needed for the export trading: the Bill of Lading, Invoices, and the insurance policy. The Bill of Lading is needed to effect shipment. It has some clauses printed, which protect the vessel owner against unwarranted claims. It also carries the terms of contract between the exporter (shipper) and the vessel owner (carrier). This bill indicates the description of goods, freight charges, and the destination or movement of goods concerned.
To clear export goods that arrived through the customs house, some invoices are needed like certified invoices, consular invoices, or the certificate of origin. The paper certifies the origin of the exported goods. Other supporting documents needed are:: sanitary certificate for some foods, plants, or seeds, Export Declaration containing information on the description of goods, marks, destination, among others.
Australian Market and Economy
For this project, I have chosen Australia or the Commonwealth of Australia, a country in the southern hemisphere. Australia’s neighboring countries are East Timor, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Indonesia, New Caledonia, and New Zealand. This country has a stable government having liberal democratic system. Australia’s population now is nearly reaching the 22 million mark. About 60% of the population is densely concentrated on the mainland capitals of Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, and Brisbane. In 1931, the constitutional links existing between the United Kingdom and Australia was ended. Due to UK’s defeat in Asia in 1942, Australia turned to the USA as an ally and as a defender.
Australia’s government is a constitutional monarchy that follows the parliamentary system. Three branches of the government exist: the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary. It has a bicameral commonwealth parliament consisting of the Queen, the Senate made up of 76 senators, and the House of Representatives with 150 members.
Currently, Australia is enjoying a prosperous economy characterized by having a mixed Western style. One weakness of the Australian economy is the lack of an export-oriented industry that concerns manufacturing activities. Australia’s prominent export markets include the USA, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, and China. Australia strongly pursues international trade liberalization. It has espoused some major free trade agreements such as the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement and Closer Economic Relations with New Zealand (Wikipedia).
With the current heavy use of the Web as an extension for modern trading, developing and developed or advanced countries have been experiencing serious and persistent problems regarding its use. In the USA and elsewhere including Australia, business establishments have become worried about some unscrupulous trade practices surfacing with the use of new gadgets including computers and the likes. In the US, owners of some famous trademarks have become uneasy about imitators because they make fraudulent plans to gain some fast bucks from using some well-established brands. A celebrated case is illustrated with the established search engine Google and of that emerging search engine Booble. Google has complained that Booble.com, a basically porn search engine has infringed its marks using parody to make gains from Google’s famous trademarks. Google, an internet search engine, has surfaced as one of the popularly used search engines worldwide. Besides, Google’s trademarks and applications have ramified far and wide after it has invested great amount of money and substantial time in establishing the popular trademark with unique value. Google has asserted that the porn site Booble.com has unfairly copied the distinctive look and feel of Google site including its “trade dress” and its logo. With such funny duplication and infringement of Google’s right, this search engine wants to disable Booble.com to cease and desist using the domain name.
In the American ways of marketing products, the surfacing of goods with similar or nearly similar names causes more consumer confusion. This marketing blunder occurs when some establishments or names get free ride on established products or trademarks. Here are more players: Apple, Profit Pod, and Tight Pod. Similar to Google’s case, Apple sent a feeler in the form of Cease and Desist letter to companies like Profit Pod and Tight Pod for having infringed on Apple’s trademark. Apple’s iPod product came first but Profit Pod and Tight Pod followed suit using the word “Pod” to their names.
Currently, Profit Pod makes compiler device for vending machines while Tight Pod manufactures covers for laptops. Apple points out that their names have proximity to its product iPod. Besides, Apple says that Profit Pod’s device is somewhat very close to the iPod device; and the company is in the process of requesting for similar trade name. Regarding this, Apple’s Cease and Desist letter has advised the companies to abort their plans of requesting for similar trade names.
Meanwhile, a report says that the Australian Government consumer watchdog group, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, has sued Google Inc, Google Australia, and Google Ireland for misleading and deceptive conduct arising from the deceptive Adwords ads presented next to Google search results, which has led to breaching the Australia’s Trade Practices Act. Google believes that this claim has no merit but observers see that Google would have hard time defending itself because Australia has tough trade practice laws (Marketing Vox).
The current marketing practices worldwide are replete with unfair practices, which include the ever-evolving problem of consumer fraud. For this, consumer protection laws have been made to prevent fraudsters from perpetrating fraudulent trade practices today and in the future.
With the proliferation of more brands, as more and more new companies and products have come to market daily, wiser consumers now turn by instinct or not to the strongest brands they know and trust.
Australia has entered the new era of globalization. For some countries, globalization seems to be a threat to live life in a traditional way. It is also a threat that impinges on blocking one’s cultural identity. For Australia, globalization is a new door to a wider adventure that could lead to newer ideas, to more financial gains, to new beneficial technologies, and to new unsuspected potentials that they cannot realize within the Australian territory.
On a vantage point, while Australian see that the US devotes much time in lobbying, which causes economic stagnation, they feel that the US counterpart should do more to increase their trading efficiency and become more competitive globally. With Australia’s continued implementation of trade reforms according to its World Trade Organization commitments, it has reinforced competition in the local market resulting to improved economic efficiency (WTO).
Formerly, the Australian economic ideology supported what they called the “White Australian Policy,” which strengthened its unions. This transported Australia from a third world to first world economy. Now the winds are blowing to different directions that Australia needs to change or adapt itself to new momentum. The choice is moving to the extreme opposite that now supports a color-blind immigration economic policy. Australians believe that this is essential if they want to continue and maintain it globalizing economy.
With the conviction of not clinging to the past traditional ways, now they opted to progressive, lateral thinking. Australians are in fact thankful and praising for including the two animals, the kangaroo, and the emu on the Australian Coat of Arms. These animals, as a matter of fact, cannot walk backwards, which is a right and proper metaphor for how Australia will chart it own progress in the global marketing practice and arena.
Australia. 5 February 2008. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 12 February 2008. http://wikimediafoundation.org./
Kimbal, Steve. 2008. American Marketing Association. A New Brand of Marketing. 11 February 2008. <http://www.marketingpower.com/>
Marketing Vox. 16 July 2007. Australia Sues Google for Misleading and Deceptive Conduct. 11 February 2008. http://www.marketingvox.com/
WTO. 25 September 2002. Trade Policy Reviews. 10 February 2008. <http://www.wto.org/index.htm>