An article by Bert Rosenbloom and Boryana Dimitrova, “Standardization Versus Adaptation in Global Markets: Is Channel Strategy Different?” that was published in the Journal of Marketing Channels (Vol. 17, No. 2, 2010) was the second-most-downloaded article from 2010-2014 (as of November 2014).
The article was downloaded 754 times – an especially high number for a specialized, academic article.
The standardization versus adaptation of marketing strategy in international markets argument has raged for several decades. This argument has generally taken place at the aggregate level to include all four strategic areas of the marketing mix (product, price, promotion, and place) taken together. This article disaggregates the standardization vs. adaptation argument by focusing on just one strategic area of the marketing mix – channel strategy. We argue that three underlying phenomena or forces in global markets, culturally distant distribution behavior, distributive institution rigidity, and international functional fragmentation, inhibit the firm’s ability to standardize channel strategy in global markets to a greater degree than is the case for product, price, and promotional strategies.