Opportunity awaits U.S. marketers willing to explore the world’s underserved markets In times past, intrepid explorers feared falling off the edge of a flat Earth into a nether space full of man-eating dragons and other dangerous unknowns. Today, adventurous marketers rarely fear a fall off the world’s edge or find themselves the main course of a feast, but they do fight their own battles—with the modern dragons of business strategy, campaign development and program execution in unfamiliar locales. Executing programs in the world’s high-potential developing markets represents a direct marketer’s most complex undertaking. Not only must you select the appropriate channel and communication strategy
One reason a company may choose to market its product or service internationally is to increase sales, particularly if it is a mature company with little or no room for expansion or growth in its domestic market. Such was the case for U.S. credit-card marketer MBNA, who in 1993 entered the U.K. market after identifying a need it could satisfy. Global Equals Growth In the early 1990s, MBNA was a leader in an increasingly competitive U.S. credit card market. The credit culture in the United Kingdom, however, was complacent and underdeveloped. Four major banks—Barclay's, NatWest, Lloyds and Midland—provided the lion's share of U.K.