Compares empirically the marketing strategies and organizational characteristics of 40 British and German companies operating in the machine tool industry. Shows that German manufacturers have a clear objective to develop a long‐term business focusing on quality and reliability as a means of satisfying customer needs. Meanwhile, finds the British companies adopt a more defensive approach to their marketing strategies with their main focus on short‐term profit maximization. While the German companies have developed marketing mixes broadly consistent with their strategy, the British manufacturers have a poor understanding of customer needs leading to a mismatch between strategy and marketing‐mix decisions. The German subsidiaries, although they share their parent′s focus on quality, are seen to be less clear about their long‐term future so that they show a closer resemblance to their British competitors in adopting more defensive strategies.
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