Niche marketing of domestically delivered services

In the past this category of international marketing has largely been dominated by the travel industry with domestic firms such as hotels, tour operators and leisure attractions which generate foreign earnings for the country by attracting visitors. However, with increased international travel and improved access to worldwide communications a much wider range of services to visiting customers is being offered. Examples include the provision of education, specialized training, healthcare, sports, cultural and leisure events and specialist retailing, for example, luxury goods.

Clearly these activities lead to wealth and jobs being generated in the local economy in much the same way as exporting and niche marketing. The international marketing strategy processes and programmes are similar too in customer segments. Consequently issues of standardization and adaptation of the marketing mix elements are equally important. The additional challenge is that the benefits obtained from the service provided must either be unique and superior, and thus outweigh the benefits to the consumer of locally available services as well as the cost of travel that the customers will incur in the course of their purchase.

In addition to the services designed to be offered to individuals in both consumer or business-to-business markets, a whole range of additional services which fall into this category of being domestically delivered are concerned with developing solutions for opportunities or problems identified abroad. These might include technology developments, such as research into new drugs, trial and testing facilities, software development and product and packaging design services. One example of this is Verity (UK) which has used its NXT technology to develop flat panel loudspeakers, ideal for public address systems and home audio use. Rather than make the final product it is licensing its portfolio of technology comprising 100 patents and patent applications to manufacturers, such as NEC, Samsung, Fujitsu and Harman International. Given that 2 to 3 billion speakers are sold in the world each year a royalty of $1 per speaker on 1 percent of the market would generate considerable revenue for Verity.

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