Culture In International Marketing And Buyer Hehavior

.. s are all dictated by culture. Culture prescribes the manner in which people satisfy their desires. Not surprisingly, consumption habits very greatly. The consumption of beef provides a good illustration.

Some Chinese do not consume beef at all, believing that it is improper to eat cattle that work on farms, thus helping to provide foods such as rice and vegetables. The Culture Sensitivity of Markets: Markets can be divided into consumer markets and industrial markets. Consumer markets can be further subdivided into durable goods markets and nondurable goods markets. A further profitable distinction in the international market place is to divide durable goods into technological products and nontechnological products. Industrial markets: the main distinction between industrial markets and consumer markets is that industrial buyers are interested in solving problems. Generally, these problems are to reduce costs, to increase production administrative efficiency, to produce a particular type of product, or to effect a combination of these goals.

Consequently, industrial buyers tend to be rational and emphasize economic goals. Cultural and social considerations play a relatively less important role in the purchase decision. To some extent, industrial markets can be viewed as global markets. There are, however, differences that need to be considered when selecting the products to be marketed and the marketing programs to be used. Government regulations, the size and sophistication of the potential buyer’s operations, and the context within which the product or service is to be used all have an impact on the marketing effort. Consumer Markets: it consists of buyers interested in satisfying a personal need or want.

They are generally more susceptible to cultural and social forces than are industrial buyers. The influence of sociocultural factors is most apparent in the purchase of nondurable products such as clothing, foods, etc. there are expectations, however, that make the international marketer’s task more interesting and challenging. The Development of Global Culture Rapid changes in technology in the last several decades have changed the nature of culture and cultural exchange. People around the world can make economic transactions and transmit information to each other almost instantaneously through the use of computers and satellite communications. Governments and corporations have gained vast amounts of political power through military might and economic influence. Corporations have also created a form of global culture based on worldwide commercial markets. Local culture and social structure are now shaped by large and powerful commercial interests in ways that earlier anthropologists could not have imagined.

Early anthropologists thought of societies and their cultures as fully independent systems. But today, many nations are multicultural societies, composed of numerous smaller subcultures. Cultures also cross national boundaries. For instance, people around the world now know a variety of English words and have contact with American cultural exports such as brand-name clothing and technological products, films and music, and mass-produced foods. Many anthropologists have become interested in how dominant societies can shape the culture of less powerful societies, a process some researchers call cultural hegemony.

Today, many anthropologists openly oppose efforts by dominant world powers, such as the U.S. government and large corporations, to make unique smaller societies adopt Western commercial culture. Cultural Analysis of Global Markets: Whether a firm is pursuing a national-market or global-market strategy, it is interested in increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of its marketing programs within and across foreign markets. It must therefore know to what degree it can use the same product, pricing, promotion, and distribution strategies in more than one market. Unfortunately, the dual goals of program effectiveness and efficiency are in conflict. Market effectiveness is achieved by adapting marketing programs to marketing characteristics and conditions within markets. While doing so incurs additional marketing and production costs, the firm strengthens its market competitiveness by being more responsive to the needs of the marketplace. Efficiency, on the other hand, is achieved by minimizing marketing program changes across markets.

Thus the firm minimizes marketing and production costs and strengthens its competitiveness vis–vis its competitors. The economic and competitive implications of both goals need to be taken into account when making program adaptation decisions. Both goals depend on understanding the cultural context of each market and the degree to which they are culturally similar. Thus, global companies need to develop a capability to conduct cross-cultural analysis of buyer behavior. Such a capability can help these companies optimally balance the competitive benefits to be derived from effectiveness and efficiency.

Cross- cultural analysis: “Cross-cultural analysis is the systematic comparison of similarities and differences in the material and behavioral aspects of cultures.” In the marketing, cross-cultural analysis is used to gain an understanding of market segments within and across national boundaries. The purpose of this analysis is to determine whether the marketing program, or elements of the program, can be used in more than one foreign market or must be modified to meet local conditions. The approaches used to gain this understanding draw on the methods developed by such social sciences as anthropology, linguistics, and sociology. Standard marketing research techniques, such as multi attribute and psychographic techniques, can be used. For example, Berger, Stern and Johansson used to multi attribute method to study Japanese and American car buyers, and Boote used a psychographics approach to study the segmentation of the Europe community.

In marketing, cross-cultural analysis most often involves identifying the effects culture may have on family purchasing roles, product function. Product design, sales and promotion activities, channel systems, and pricing. One approach suggested by Engel, Blackwell, and Miniard to the study of the effects of culture on buyer behavior, and thus in the marketing- mix elements. This involves answering a comprehensive list of questions, although these are neither exhaustive nor specific. For example, a manufacturer of processed foods would be interested in knowing the impact that culture has on such things as taste, purchasing habits, and eating habits.

A manufacturer of household appliances, on the other hand, would be particularly interested in how potential buyers view a product’s reliability, durability, and reparability. Conclusion: There is no doubt that the international marketing process do faces a large set of variables as it take place over different countries and it does act in different environments. One of the most determinant environments to the success of the international marketing process is Culture, which hold the reason for many human acts and behavior. Reaching to that point international marketer should study deeply culture treaties of a country the company is planning to act in. so that special amendments in the organization overall plans and actions is made to act in accordance with the new market variables. References: International Marketing, Sixth Edition.

Vern & Ravi. Dryden Press. International Marketing, Ninth Edition. Philip Cateora. IRWIN. International Marketing, Sixth Edition.

Michael & Ilkka. Harcourt. International Marketing, Tenth Edition. Phillip & john graham. Consumer Behavior, Eighth Edition. James F.

Engel & Roger Blackwell, Bowel Miniard. Marketing Essays.