This article discusses how culture influences marketing communication and consumer preferences. Compare the United States with other countries.
Cultural differences can affect business relationships in the global markets, but this is often underestimated, especially in international team-building efforts. Language issues are only one source of the problem. Foreign companies need acceptance by the local market and understanding of the local business culture. For example, global communications through Internet could create miscommunication cultural factors. Knowing what level of communication is appropriate for a certain level of trust is mainly important in digital communication environments, where face-to-face contact may be more limited.
Consumer preferences is another task international marketers need to overcome. Just by using the same product, in the same language, with the same advertising campaign translated into different languages won’t work. Global marketers need to take into consideration that each of the languages or countries targeted has a specific audience, competitors, demographics; financial, political and cultural environment, and industry buying behavior
Some of the things marketers need to take into consideration are the following:
- The top products or services for other languages or countries won’t necessarily be the same than the ones of your main language or country version.
- The sector or industry seasonality might be different in each country or language, with specific cultural or geographic influenced festivities.
- The competitors in different countries or languages won’t necessarily be the same, neither their unique selling proposition nor the offering that you will need to compete with.
- How different is the financial, political and cultural environments. This are very important and I could write an entire paper on this, but for the sake of the length if this post, I won’t.
And when it comes to online advertising, I could ad the following criteria:
- Marketers need to make sure that the Search Engine search volume and potential organic traffic in other languages or countries are different.
- The products or services in other languages or countries won’t be searched necessarily with the exact same “translated” phrases or terms online.
- There might be local search engines in some countries that are more important that Google and you will need to optimize and rank for them to be where your audience is (for example, in Russia is Yandexand in China is Baidu).
If a corporation in United States is interested in having a global presence, it needs to know how its business work, and what is its business model it has. If the organization wants to start selling to another country or countries, the organization needs to know what’s its global goal first. Do the organization wants to open a storefront or a subsidiary office in that country? Or do they want to rather provide services on the Internet via eCommerce presence or a website? The organization needs to make sure that they have the capacity to provide its services in another country and targeted the product or service in that country’s language, and do extensive market research to find cultural similarities that it can explore. Furthermore the organization needs to research what existing restrictions and what additional cost they need to inquire to open a business in another country.
For example, maybe the organization sells some type of food that need complex permissions to obtain in another country. Perhaps the organization can send its small products worldwide but there are important delivery costs and timings that needs to be taken into consideration first. The genetically modified foods controversy GMO, is a dispute over the use of foods and other goods derived from genetically modified crops instead of conventional crops, and other uses of genetic engineering in food production.
A review article of European consumer polls concluded the E.U. has opposition to GMOs products been sold in their territories. Some countries – notably the European Union – have implemented regulations specifically governing co-existence and traceability. Traceability has become commonplace in the food and feed supply chains of most countries in the world, but the traceability of GMOs is made more challenging by the addition of very strict legal thresholds for unwanted food mixing. (Wikipedia). I don’t meant to get off topic, but I just gave a very clear example of the type of policies marketers and organizations can find themselves up against in another countries. In the case of GMOs products, Monsanto Corporation said on July 12, 2013 that it will withdraw all pending approval requests to grow new types of genetically modified crops in the European Union, due to the lack of commercial prospects for cultivation there. (Dunmore, 2013)
Marketing managers need to learn the tools that enable them to abstract, analyze, understand, and predict global marketing phenomena, and formulate effective decisions.
Dunmore, C. (2013, July 17). Reuters. Retrieved 2014, from reuters.com: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/17/us-eu-monsanto-gmos-idUSBRE96G16R20130717
Helsen, K. (2010). Global Marketing Management (5th ed.). JOHN WILEY & SONS, INC. .
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Genetically modified food controversies. Retrieved 2004, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food_controversies