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Impact of the Culture on Global Marketing

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Culture is a defining feature of a person's identity, contributing to how they see themselves and the groups with which they identify. Culture may be broadly defined as the sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings, which is transmitted from one generation to another. Every community, cultural group or ethnic group has its own values, beliefs and ways of living.

Culture forms an important element of social life of a man. It is the culture that makes human animal to man. It regulates his conduct and prepares him for group life. It teaches him what type of food he should take and what manners, how he should cover himself and behave with the fellows, how he should speak and influence the people, how he should co-operative and compete with other. Man has acquired these qualities required to live and social behavior even for complicated situations.

In here we are trying to discuss how culture can affect to the marketing process when it comes to the international marketing because culture is different in every country and also even in the same country there are different sub cultures too. In order to be successes in international marketing, marketers have to understand and these differences of cultures around the world.

Culture Definition

We define culture as the sum total of learned beliefs, values, and customs that serve to direct the consumer behavior of members of a particular society (Consumer Behavior, Shiffman and Kanuk)

Components of culture

* Attitude

* Beliefs

* Values

* Norms

* Religions

* Aesthetics

Why it is important for marketers to understand the cultural impact on Consumer Behavior

Culture has major impact on consumer buying behavior, because most of the buying patterns are determined by the culture. As an example in Hindu culture, they are not eating beef so whatever the foods they buy are free from beef.

* Because culture satisfies needs

Culture exists to satisfy the needs of the people within a society. It offers order, direction and guidance in all phases of human problem solving by providing 'tried and true' methods of satisfying physiological, personal, and social needs.

e.g.:- Culture provides standards and 'rules' about when to eat, where to eat, what is appropriate to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner. In Muslim culture, there is a time of period which they do not eat or drink water in day time called "Nohmbi". Most of the countries the requirements of clothes are varied depending on their culture e.g: In India- sari,

* Because culture is learned

Unlike innate biological characteristics, culture is learned. The three distinct forms of cultural learning are formal learning, informal learning and technical learning.

Although a firm's advertising and marketing communications can influence all three types of cultural learning, it is likely that many product marketing messages enhance informal learning by providing the audience with a model of behavior to imitate.

* Because of Acculturation

Acculturation is an important concept for marketers who plan to sell their products in foreign or multinational markets. In such cases, marketers must study the specific cultures of their potential target markets to determine whether their products will be acceptable to its members and if so, how they can best communicate the characteristics of their products to persuade the target market to buy.

As an example, Many indigenous peoples, such as First Nations of Canada, Native Americans of the US, and Australian Aborigines have lost much of their traditional cultures (most evidently, languages) which have been replaced by those of the more dominant cultures. This is just one example of 'acculturation.'

Second-language learning is a good example of acculturation on an individual level. The cultural diffusion of foods, music, religion, etc., between neighboring nations or between majority and minority groups is a good example of acculturation at the societal level.

* When using Language and Symbols

To communicate effectively with their audiences, marketers must use appropriate symbols to convey desired product images or characteristics. These symbols can be verbal or nonverbal.

A symbol may have several, even contradictory meanings, so the advertiser must ascertain exactly what the symbol is communicating to its intended audience.

Ex: Honda company launched a bike named "Honda Puch" but it was failed in Sri Lanka because in lanka culture that word mostly pronounce as "Honda Puk" so it was failed in SL

* When facilitating Rituals

Most important from the standpoint of marketers is the fact that rituals tend to be replete with ritual artifacts that are associated with or somehow enhance the performance of the ritual.

Ex: celebrating Halloween night. Sri Lanka awrudu

* Because culture is shared

Various social institutions within a society transmit the elements of culture and make the sharing of culture a reality. Such institutions are family, educational institutions, houses of worship and most importantly mass media because consumers receive important cultural information from advertising.

* Because culture is dynamic

To fulfill its need gratifying role, culture continually must evolve if it is to function in the best interests of a society. For this reason, the marketer must carefully monitor the socio-cultural environment in order to market an existing product more effectively.

Ex: Conformity. People's culture changes over time as we begin to see it as "Taboo" or unfit for social darwinism. Then those people begin to act a new way, or alters the values they held onto before this change. Soon more and more people begin to act the same way and then it just becomes an entire culture. Foot binding for example, what was considered a normal act of beauty in women (Such as circumsizing men) is now considered barbarous and is banned in China.



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