International marketing must take into account the laws of the home country and the host countries in which the firms operate. This is not risk free. Political factor is the third factor influencing foreign direct investments. International relations are influencing international marketing and vice versa. Political risks may emerge as serious barriers to Multinational companies. However, those effects are not out control of a well-trained international marketer (R.W Griffin et W. Michael. Pustay/2005).
As world is assimilated to a global village, many multinational companies are willing to invest in Africa in general and West Africa in particular. So, it might be helpful to look for what kind of political risks firms may face in West Africa? West Africa’s problem is that, African countries are not investors' nations; they rarely invest in other countries. However, all of them are host countries. It is necessary to focus on what investors should do to avoid African government-induced political risks, and how those countries can behave to preserve a safe business environment (R.W Griffin et W. Michael. Pustay/2005).
International marketing is the extension of marketing activities across national boundaries. It involves firms trading in two or more countries. International marketing retains basis markets tenets of satisfaction and exchange. The fact that in international marketing; transactions take places across national borders; highlights the difference between domestic and international marketing (R.W Griffin et W. Michael. Pustay/2005).
The basic principles of marketing still apply, but their applications, complexity, and intensity may vary substantially. Some adjustments are necessary in international marketing context. For example, a company looking for improvement in its present position by exploring market abroad, could do it only through international marketing analysis and perspectives. International marketing have forms ranging from import-export trade to licensing, joint ventures, owned subsidiaries, turnkey operations and managements contracts. With international marketing, some specific approaches have been developed. The approaches supply the answers of standardization and customization concerns (R.W Griffin et W. Michael. Pustay/2005).
The ethnocentric approach is a managerial approach in which a firm operates internationally the same way it does domestically. This approach avoids the expense of development of new marketing product. It is used by some firms experiencing first internationalization. Firms adopting this approach may fail because it does not take into account the needs of its foreign customers. Should there be an attempt to adjust the firm's marketing mix to satisfy customers using the polycentric approach? In this approach, the corporate customizes its operations for each market it serves. Polycentric approach is more costly. However, it may yield revenues, since it exactly meet customer’s needs. Multi-domestic international firms use to adopt this approach (R.W Griffin et W. Michael. Pustay/2005).
Finally, the firm may choose the geocentric approach, in which a firm analyses the needs of its customers worldwide and then adopts standardized operating practices for all markets. There is a nuance between ethnocentric and geocentric approaches. Both argue for standardization. However, ethnocentrism is stagnated on the basis of what the firm does in its home country, whereas geocentric starts without such home country bias. Instead, the geocentric approach considers the needs of all the firm's customers around the world and then standardizes on that basis (R.W Griffin et W. Michael. Pustay/2005).
How may the local ideas, goods, and services fit into the international markets? May supplies be domestically-based or from abroad? What are necessary adjustments the firm might do to overcoming global competition? These are some issues the international