Cultural Impacts – Marketing People from different parts of the globe tend to follow different cultures and behaviour patterns. In countries like India, each state has its own language and culture thus making it a highly diverse country. The cultural environments do impact the marketing of the product or service. The needs and requirements of these differing cultural environments of the world are different and hence a successful product in one part of the world might turn out to be a failure at the other end. Culture reflects our life style, behaviour and personality on the whole.
The way we think, eat, dress, education, values etc are all cultural reflections. It’s a fact that culture impacts marketing. Before a product is launched, the product needs to be studied thoroughly and finally make proper communication to attract the customers to buy the product. For example, a stylish western cloth manufacturer cannot promote his brand of clothes in rural Afghanistan. This will not work and hence proper marketing research is essential. (Abdin, 2008) Couple of months back I cam across an article on internet regarding Starbucks Cafe. I am sorry that I don’t remember the source of the article to cite.
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Starbucks changed its logo when it launched itself in Middle East so that it didn’t offend the local people. (The original trademark was a female logo in the middle) This way the organisation has to be conscious about the customers needs. If it fails to understand and make necessary adjustments or modification to its plans then it is bound to make hefty losses. The customer market needs to be properly researched and for this the idea has to be effectively communicated. One of the obstacle which can hamper communication is ‘Self Reference Criterion’ (SRC) and Ethnocentrism.
Disney land is a good example of SRC. Disney land is a very successful amusement park business and they earned a lot in all of their global locations like USA, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. But they failed in France and incurred a tremendous loss in billions. (Abdin, 2008) The cultural characteristics do show up in the kind of marketing decisions taken and the process itself by and large. Any generic kind of marketing problems could be misinterpreted due to the cultural effects and external description of uncertain situations.
These gives rise to alternative choices in marketing and might encourage individual to take a stand on it. The process of decision making could be influenced by cultures rather than opting for quality decisions. It can also be a result of tradeoffs between risk and return. For example, if the Chinese executives are regulated by its culture in making marketing decisions, the diffused orientation would imply susceptibility of problem definitions to concerns outside the scope of risks and returns.
This could lead to unwillingness in creating other alternatives and risky activities of Chinese executives than their American counterparts. (Tse, et. al. 1988) [pic] Figure1: Impact of culture on Marketing Decision The above figure shows how customer’s culture is made up of different life style and behaviour patterns contemplating each other. These get reflected in a marketplace and in turn impact the company’s marketing decisions. In conclusion, it could be said that cultures do impact the marketing and marketing decisions in a business.
The factors contributing towards motivating choice and problem identification is differentiated by cultural influence. This also could result in causing communication problems and recommendations. If people fail to understand the protocol then this could lead to misinterpretations, misunderstandings, misinformation and noisy communication. As a result the individual strategies could also differ with respect to marketing. One way of reducing the impact of culture on marketing is by making “intensive communications, standardization, and employment of similar decision technologies”. Tse, et. al. 1988) Reference: MD. Joynal Abdin (September 2008) Impact of Culture on International Marketing [Internet] Available from: http://papers. ssrn. com/sol3/papers. cfm? abstract_id=1267863 (Accessed on 7th Feb 2009) David K, Tse, et. al. (October 1988) Does Culture Matter? A cross cultural study of executives choices, decisiveness and risk adjustment in International Marketing [Internet] Available from: http://www. theadcompany. com. au/2006/web/creative/articles/Does_culture_matter. pdf (Accessed on 8th Feb 2009)