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One of most important decisions in international marketing is market selection. The global market, made up of well over 200 independent nations with their own distinctive characteristics is too vast indeed. It would be very difficult for a company to operate in all these markets. There are barriers which make entry to a number of markets impossible or very difficult. There may be markets which are not profitable or are worth the trouble. Further, there may be markets which are very risky due to political or other reasons. Moreover, the company resources may not permit the operation in a large number of countries. There are of course companies which operate in majority of the countries of the world. These companies have not achieved such a massive expansion overnight. It has been a gradual expansion achieved over a long period. Further, all types of business do not lend themselves for such substantial international expansion. A company which wants to enter many markets should do it systematically. Too fast an expansion without the resource and organizational strength for such an expansion could be suicidal. The Bulova Watch Company expanded into one hundred countries. It spread itself too thin, made profits in only two countries and lost around $40 million. All these factors highlight the need for market selection. Even a company with ambitious plans and good prospects for global expansion has got to rank the markets for prioritization of the expansion plans. Market selection is based on a thorough evaluation of the different markets with reference to certain well defined criteria, given the company resources and objectives. Marketing research therefore becomes necessary to obtain the data required for evaluating the markets. It is also necessary to prepare a profile of the selected markets to help the company to formulate the marketing strategy. It may be noted that many of the items of information contained in the market profile are collected for the purpose of evaluation of the markets for market selection. International Marketing Objectives: The first step in any management decision making process is to determine/ ascertain the objectives. The market selected to serve a particular international marketing objective need not necessarily be the best suited to achieve some other international marketing objective. Various markets may have different degrees of attractiveness from the point of view of different objectives. More about this is stated under the subtitle firm related factors little later in this article. Parameters for Selection: For proper evaluation and selection of the markets, it is essential to clearly lay down the parameters and criteria for evaluation. Important parameters often used for market selection. Preliminary Screening: After determining the criteria for market selection, the next important step in market selection process is to conduct a preliminary screening of the markets. The objective of the preliminary screening process is to eliminate the markets which are obviously not potential enough as revealed by a cursory look. The evaluation matrix requirement is described in this article in the paragraphs below. The parameters used for the preliminary screening may vary from product to product. However, parameters like the size of population, per capita income, structure of the economy, infrastructural factors, political conditions etc. are commonly used. Information about some of the factors would enable
a company to eliminate certain markets from its consideration. For example, in a country where there is no telecasting, there is obviously no market for TV sets. Similarly if the rural areas are not electrified, there may be no demand for electrical agricultural pump sets. If the household income of the majority of a country with a small population is very low, the demand for costly consumer durable will be limited. Further, there may be countries which should be omitted due to political reasons, including government policies. A lot of information required for the preliminary screening is available from such publications as the Statistical Year Book of the United Nations and the World Bankâ€™s World Development Report. Short listing of markets: Preliminary screening enables to eliminate markets which obviously do not merit consideration at the very outset. There would be a large number of markets left even after preliminary screening. They are further screened with the help of more information than was used at the preliminary screening stage. The objective is to distill out a small number of markets which are likely to satisfy the company criteria for market selection for detailed analysis for ranking them and final selection. Evaluation and selection: A thorough evaluation of the short listed markets is done with reference to the specific parameters and criteria and the markets are ranked on the basis of their overall attractiveness. One or more market(s) is/are selected from the rank list.
The International Market Entry Evaluation Process
How to Enter a Foreign Market
. The International Marketing Entry Evaluation Process is a five stage process, and its purpose is to gauge which international market or markets offer the best opportunities for our products or services to succeed. The five steps are Country Identification, Preliminary Screening, In-Depth Screening, Final Selection and Direct Experience. Let's take a look at each step in turn.
Step One - Country Identification
The World is your oyster. You can choose any country to go into. So you conduct country identification which means that you undertake a general overview of potential new markets. There might be a simple match - for example two countries might share a similar heritage e.g. the United Kingdom and Australia, a similar language e.g. the United States and Australia, or even a similar culture, political ideology or religion e.g. China and Cuba. Often selection at this stage is more straightforward. For example a country is nearby e.g. Canada and the United States. Alternatively your export market is in the same trading zone e.g. the European Union. Again at this point it is very early days and potential export markets could be included or discarded for any number of reasons.
Step Two - Preliminary Screening
At this second stage one takes a more serious look at those countries remaining after undergoing preliminary screening. Now you begin to score, weight and rank nations based upon macro-economic factors such as currency stability, exchange rates, level of domestic consumption and so on. Now you have the basis to start calculating the nature of market entry costs. Some countries such as China require that some fraction of the company entering the market is owned domestically - this would need to be taken into account. There are some nations that are experiencing political instability and any company entering such a market would need to be rewarded for the risk that they would take. At this point the marketing manager could decide upon a shorter list of countries that he or she would wish to enter. Now in-depth screening can begin.
Step Three - In-Depth Screening
The countries that make it to stage three would all be considered feasible for market entry. So it is vital that detailed information on the target market is obtained so that marketing decision-making can be accurate. Now one can deal with not only micro-economic factors but also local conditions such as marketing research in relation to the marketing mix i.e. what prices can be charged in the nation? - How does one distribute a product or service such as ours in the nation? How should we communicate with are target segments in the nation? How does our product or service need to be adapted for the nation? All of this will information will for the basis of segmentation, targeting and positioning. One could also take into account the value of the nation's market, any tariffs or quotas in operation, and similar opportunities or threats to new entrants.
Step Four - Final Selection
Now a final shortlist of potential nations is decided upon. Managers would reflect upon strategic goals and look for a match in the nations at hand. The company could look at close competitors or similar domestic companies that have already entered the market to get firmer costs in relation to market entry. Managers could also look at other nations that it has entered to see if there are any similarities, or learning that can be used to assist with decision-making in this instance. A final scoring, ranking and
there is a strong movement against globalisation of world’s markets coming from different pressure groups that view globalisation as a way to obstruct the development of the economies of developing countries. the music you listen to. Marketing manager or their representatives should travel to a particular nation to experience firsthand the nation's culture and business practices.weighting can be undertaken based upon more focused criteria. At the same time. Now you will need to be careful in respect of selfreferencing. shortlist.1 Definition of international marketing International marketing has been defined by many authors and box. 1. than. The business is built around the customer as a point of reference. But what is marketing? One of the most well known definitions of marketing was given by the American Association of marketing that defines marketing as “the process through which the company plans and executes the concept. because of the environmental differences encountered. After this exercise the marketing manager should probably try to visit the final handful of nations remaining on the short. however. but their application to different markets varies. what do you notice? How many of the products and/or the services that you have consumed in the last period originated solely from your own country? According to the marketer’s assumption. the price. there is one thing certain in international marketing. processes and principles are universally applicable and the marketer’s task is the same. the distribution and the promotion of goods.2 Here are some of the definitions of international marketing . the film you have seen last week at the cinema.Direct Experience Personal experience is important. However. But let’s see first what international marketing is! 1. the shoes you are wearing might be obtained in Italy. the soft drinks you drink. services. On a first impressions basis at least one can ascertain in what ways the nation is similar or dissimilar to your own domestic market or the others in which your company already trades. and don't be judgmental .happy hunting Chapter one Introduction to international marketing If you think about what you have been doing recently. Whether if we talk about the clothes you wear. Step Five . service and value in the goods and services they purchase. there is a good chance that some of these to be produced by a company that is located somewhere else in the world. in the simplest way international marketing can be defined as marketing across borders. in order to create exchanges that satisfy both individuals and organizations”. If marketing concepts. In a marketing oriented firm the customer is the centre around which the business evolves. Under a marketing perspective. The marketing concepts. Welcome to the new world! A global market place has emerged! Consumers’ tastes in many regions are converging. International marketing is about the application of marketing skills and techniques to markets beyond the domestic market. skills and techniques are universal. and the coffee you are drinking might originate from Latin America. Remember that your experience to date is based upon your life mainly in your own nation and your expectations will be based upon what your already know. the computer on your desk might be produced in Taiwan. Try to be flexible and experimental in new nations.it's about what's best for your company . People in different countries welcome quality. and this is the different environment that is evolving and developing permanently. ideas. the customer is the starting point.
Actually the marketing’s task is to mould the controllable elements of marketing decisions (product. 2002). promotion and distribution) within the framework of uncontrollable elements of the market place (competition.The controllable elements can be altered in the long run and in the short run. Domestic uncontrollable refer to the home country elements that can have a direct effect on the success of a foreign venture and they are out of the immediate control of the marketer. Foreign markets are unique due to the unfamiliar problems that appear. 2001). that of USA against South Africa because of its apartheid policy in 1970’s. promote and direct the flow of company’s goods and services to consumers or users in more than one nation for a profit (Cateora et al. price.. promotion. it is also the foreign environment of the foreign market). etc) in such a way that marketing objectives are achieved. They cannot be controlled but instead the company must adjust or adapt to them. but the environments in which marketing plans must be designed and implemented are different..• IM is the performance of business activities designed to plan. consumer behaviour. What is the difference between domestic and international marketing? The concepts are not different. wholly owned subsidiaries. At international level the environment in which the companies function (the uncontrollable elements) can change dramatically from one country to another and this is the international marketer’s primary concern: the difficulties created by different environments and how to deal with them. turnkey operations and management contracts (Czinkota et al. to adjust to changing market conditions. pricing and servicing of the goods and services desired by intermediate and ultimate consumers (Albaum et al. promoting. government measures. Cateora et al. 1998). (2002) present the fact that the international marketer’s task is more complicated than that of the domestic marketer. . • IM is the process of planning and conducting transactions across national borders to create exchanges that satisfy the objectives of individuals and organizations. Among the domestic environment elements that can influence the activity of a company abroad are: Political decisions (such as the embargo imposed by USA against Libya because of terrorism.. product. the UN embargo against Yugoslavia at the beginning of 1990’s because of the civil war) in this country. joint ventures. distribution. price. consumers’ tastes or corporate objectives. consumers with different tastes. are uncontrollable elements. politics. distribution). Marketing controllable are the elements the marketer controls and he can change at his own will (price. International marketing has forms ranging from export-import trade to licensing. This happens because the international marketer must deal at international level with at least two levels of uncontrollable variables instead of one (besides the domestic environment of the home market. Elements such as the legal system. IM is that segment of business concerned with the planning.
This is what the self reference criterion is. 1. if it is a good economic climate in the home country.2 Self reference criterion and how to deal with it The self-reference criterion is the primary obstacle to success in international marketing. Foreign uncontrollable: refer to the elements outside the home country that are not in the immediate control of the company (politics. So. Competition in the home market: when Kodak started to loose market share on the USA market in favor of Fuji. we simply react.An example of political problems that may appear in a foreign country is the “alien status” of a company. technology. experiences and knowledge as a basis for decisions”. therefore investing a lot in this activity. Technology: the differences that exist between developed and developing countries as far as technology is concerned determine different understandings of concepts. Our reaction is based on meanings. values. For instance. In these conditions the company has to take extra steps to make sure that the importance or routine maintenance is understood and carried out everywhere. we react spontaneously on the basis of knowledge assimilated over a life time. 2. The most effective way to control the influence of the self-reference criterion is to recognize its existence in our behaviour. its strategy was to defend its domestic market. Domestic economic climate: the capacity to invest in plants either in domestic or foreign markets is a function of the economic vitality. the fact that the company belongs to foreigners and they are seen as outsiders and the company may have an unfair treatment coming from politicians and legal authorities. symbols and behaviors relevant to our own culture that usually is different from the ones of other countries. High competition in the home market affects a company’s domestic or international plans. It is impossible for someone to learn every culture in depth. as the company has to invest heavily to protect its home market. we do not think. Such decisions are not usually valid in a foreign environment. Why? Because this is what we usually do: when we are confronted with a set of facts or with a problem. can be open to differences and can also ask questions when does not know the new environment. Some of the elements of the foreign environment worth taking into consideration are: 1. but a person can be aware. economic climate). the company prospers and therefore gains the money to invest either home and/or abroad. As part of its funds went to defend the domestic market and did not go to invest internationally. the concept of preventive maintenance for equipment means one thing in the developed countries and may mean a different thing in developing countries due to the lack of adequate technical knowledge. If a company has problems in the domestic market the likely-hood to go international is small. A company has to have the money first and than to spend it. Political issues: . Here are some of the way to deal with the self-reference criterion in order to be successful in international marketing is:- . to invest it home or abroad. It was defined by Cateora at al (2002) as being “un unconscious reference to one’s own cultural values.
The internationalisation process is seen by Albaum et. the main target of the marketing activities. means:• To be objective in order to be able to correctly assess opportunities. political and social trends are important to know as the evolution of a country change according with the change in these trends. World market potentials must be known because they are changing rapidly. (1998) as a process. History is important to be known because the way people think is influenced by their present but especially past history. an end result and a way of thinking. (2002). from the developed countries become saturated.5 Stages of international marketing involvement When we talk about the degrees of international marketing involvement. Companies generally develop different marketing strategies depending on the degree of experience and the nature of the operations in international markets. General trends such as global economic. A knowledgeable marketer will identify an opportunity long before it becomes evident to others. To be tolerant towards cultural differences. To be knowledgeable of culture. and further on international marketing activities. to be globally aware. At present all over the world some regions have increasing potential. as well as to the continuous changes in the international competitive environments. Culture is important to be known in order to understand behaviour in the market place. According to Cateora et al. To develop global awareness.. Some markets. . No Direct Foreign Marketing: A company in this stage: Does not actually cultivate customers outside national boundary. markets potential and general trends. there are five stages of international marketing involvement. Culture is the element of the foreign environment that influences to the larger extent the behaviour of the consumers. while other markets are emerging. assess potential and respond to problems. This means to understand and accept cultural differences and accept working with others whose behaviour is different from yours. According to Cateora et al. Looking back at history we can understand why the British were reluctant about the channel tunnel between Britain and France and why Greeks do not like Turkish products. This brings about the internationalisation process. al. 1. we have to start our discussion from the process of internationalization. while Luostarinen defines the internationalisation process as a “step by step process of international business development whereby a firm becomes increasingly committed to and involved in international business operations through specific products in selected markets”. The degree to which the companies involve themselves in international marketing activities depends on the degree of their overall involvement internationally. history. The present emerging markets of Asia will become the large potential markets in the next 20 years. The present interest that firms show towards international marketing can be attributed to the shifts that took place in the demand and the supply of different markets around the world. 1.
Infrequent Foreign Marketing: Temporary surplus caused by variations in production levels or demand may result in infrequent marketing overseas. production is allocated for foreign markets. Or Products may reach foreign markets via domestic wholesalers. and products may be adapted to meet the needs of individual foreign markets. as overseas demand grows. Sales may be made to trading companies as well as foreign customers who come directly to the firm. As domestic demand increases and absorbs surpluses. However. . 2. foreign sales activity is withdrawn In this stage. However. The primary focus of operations and production is to service domestic market needs. there is little or no change in company organization or lines. with little or no intention of maintaining continuous market representation. this company’s products may reach foreign markets. 3. The firm may employ foreign or domestic overseas intermediaries or it may have its own sales force or sales subsidiaries in important foreign market. few companies use this model because customers around the world increasingly seek long-term commercial relationships. or distributors who sell abroad without explicit encouragement or even knowledge of the producer. Regular Foreign Marketing: At this level: The firm has permanent productive capacity devoted to the production of goods to be marketed in foreign markets. However. Sales to foreign markets are made as goods are available.
as one market. At this point a company becomes an international multinational marketing firm. global marketers say no need of different strategies to the world one market. Market segmentation decisions are no longer focused on national boundaries. and other factors. Such companies seek markets all over the world and sell products that are a result of planned production for markets in various countries. . This generally needs not only the marketing but also the production of goods and services outside the home market. Hence. Two factors do contribute for the development of such orientation of global marketing are: Increasing similarities in marketing environments and customer requirements and the need to expand market coverage in order to recover large investments made in technology. etc. promotional efforts and distribution strategies. 4. 4. including their home markets. Companies treat the world. They tend to adapt same products. International Marketing: In this stage: Companies are fully committed and involved in international marketing activities. Toyota Company. Some examples of global companies can be general motors. usage patterns. Global Marketing: In this stage: The most profound changes are the orientation of the company toward markets and associated planning activities. logistics. Global marketing treat the world market as one market. Profit expectations from foreign markets move from being seen as a bonus to regular domestic profits to a position in which the company becomes dependent on foreign sales and profits to meet it goals. etc. IBM. Instead by income levels.
polycentric. Unilever is one of the companies that traditionally was guided by a polycentric approach to international business and developed local products for all countries was operating in and adapted marketing plans. Today such an approach is one of the largest internal threats for a company. 1. The company guided by this orientation thinks that success requires adaptation to local . The company that bases its activity on this orientation recognizes the importance of market differences and develops one marketing program for each market. Consequently each subsidiary will develop its own unique marketing strategy in order to succeed. The international operations are seen as secondary to its domestic production. regiocentric and geocentric. Fifty years ago the use of an ethnocentric orientation mainly by companies originating from developed countries could assure success when going internationally. The management beliefs that each country with which the company does business is unique. The company assumes that products and practices that were successful in the home country will be successful anywhere.The marketing involvement in a foreign market refers to the degree of market control. 1. The Japanese company Nissan in its first years on the USA market showed its ethnocentric orientation when exporting trucks.6 International marketing orientations The way a company responds to international market opportunities depends on management’s assumptions and beliefs about the world and the international activities. Even if consumer needs and wants in foreign markets are different from those in the home country. Ethnocentric orientation Assumes that the home country is superior compared to the rest of the world. The orientations a company’s management and personnel can have are collectively known as the EPRG framework: ethnocentric. this being the main reason for selling abroad. These companies miss opportunities outside the home countries. Even through the stages of international marketing involvement are presented in a linear order. 2. The foreign sales are only extensions of the domestic sales and usually they take the form of export. those differences are ignored. Polycentric orientation Is the opposite the ethnocentric one. the firm does not progress automatically from one stage to another. the company exports excess production. due to their proven superiority in the home market. The vehicles were designed for the mild Japanese winters and were difficult to start in many parts of USA during the cold winter months. It is also known as the domestic market extension concept. It is also known as the multi-domestic or multinational concept. No systematic marketing research is conducted outside the home country and no major modifications are made to the products.
They are looking at markets for commonalities. coming from both the domestic environment and from the foreign environments. The regiocentric orientation Belongs to those managers who view regions as unique and try to develop regionally integrated marketing strategies. These companies are looking for standardization in order to obtain economies of scale and they search for global market segments. that can be standardized across regions or country market sets. but adapted products A standard advertising theme. This can mean: • • • Standard product but country specific advertising A standard brand (image). Such approaches are usually used in the case of geographic regions that have been integrated economically (such as European Union or NAFTA). the marketing plan wishes to be standardized wherever it is cost and cultural effective. They are looking for market segments that are similar. By serving a global market segment. 4. that have similar demands all over the world. but country specific appeals. will have localized advertising and will make local decisions on pricing and distribution strategies. the world. Companies guided by the global marketing concept see the world as being one market. 3. Chapter two The geographical and the historical international environments We remember that we have been discussing the task of the international marketer as being to mold the controllable elements of marketing (product. . The company will adapt the product for each market. price. The geocentric Orientation Stands for the philosophy when management considers that there is only one market.country markets. There will be no co-ordination with other country market. distribution and promotion) to the uncontrollable elements of the environment.
legal environment and economic environment. The international environments have more elements. How can geography influence the marketing decisions of a company? Geography can be studied by looking at its elements and their possible influence over the company: • Climate (temperatures. International Marketing 2. historic environment. political environment. while the foreign environments are formed of variables that have to be studied in order to adapt the marketing strategy of the company to them. cultural environment. We will be discussing the international environment from the perspective of its components. forms) • Resources (raw materials. that all have to be studied: geographic environment. humidity) • Physical terrain (altitudes. energy) .The domestic environments are usually known and do not need to be studied.1 The geographical environment We will look at how the geographic environment of a country can influence the marketing activity of a company in that country.
growth rates. when we talk about products suitable for certain markets depending on the climate. Climate can affect on the one hand the type of products that can be sold or not in a specific market and on the other hand it can affect the use and the function of the product and consequently to require the product’s adaptation. One of the classical examples is the one of automobiles. Again. that will have air conditioning by design in Southern Europe and in the Arab countries and a better heating system in northern countries. Climate of a country/market can also require the adaptation of the product for those specific climates. the climate differences in Europe determined Bosch-Siemens company to modify its washing machines: for the north of Europe where the climate is cold they designed the washing machines with a spin cycle of 1000-1600 rotations/minute so that the clothes come out almost dry as consumers do not have the possibility to hang them . it does not make sense to sell winter boots in the warm Africa and probably swimming suits or ice-cream are less sold in northern countries with colder climates.• Population (size. structure) First of all through its climate. For instance.
they were not sufficient to preserve the Coca-Cola bottles in the minus 30-400 Celsius degree winters of Siberia.to be dried by the sun. while hot weather requires refrigerators for food products. 59. High humidity requires better packaging and cold weather requires too better packaging. For the south European countries the number of rotation/minute is usually lower. McGraw Hill. . International Marketing. At the beginning a large quantity of the products ended up damaged (broken bottles) at destination because of the very low temperatures. Ph. Given the fact that the trucks had 1 Cateora. The geographical and the historical international environments only the metal structure and in rest were formed of plastic covers. 2002. For instance. Climate can also influence the way the products are distributed in a country.. et al. The company had to equip the trucks with special heating systems in order to be able to use these trucks during winters in the cold Siberia. around 500 rotations/minute. transferred its transportation trucks from Romania to Siberia. p. as people would hang their clothes out in the sun to be dried1 . the Coca-Cola company when expanding in Russia.
High mountains. deserts constitute natural barriers that make transportation and communication more difficult in a country. at 330C. the work capacity is reduced at 50% and over 350C the work capacity is reduced at 20%. The countries of Latin America have a topography that is dominated by high mountains and tropical forests. In case of intellectual work. conferring a higher degree of heterogeneity to these markets that would require adapted products. packages and distribution means. and the aspect becomes more important when the degree of involvement in that market increases. Physical terrain is important to be studied in a country because it can affect the distribution of the product in that country. tropical forests. Another geographical aspect worth studying is the physical terrain or the topography of the land in foreign countries. if enough motivated. Russia. people will work with similar efficiency up to 330C 2 . Temperature also influences the efficiency of people at work. This is inhabitable but also . The tropical forest from the Amazon basin is the largest rain forest in the world with a three million square meters surface. Empirical research had showed that at a 260C temperature only 80% of the work capacity is used by individuals. USA.There are countries where the climate differ from one region to another. such as Canada.
There are inadequate roads and poor communication between the major cities of those countries. seas and oceans is considered to be a positive aspect for transportation. . But even in this case a careful study of the natural phenomena has to take place because otherwise mistakes can be made. Because of the physical isolation. They had to close down the operation 3 . People live in large urban areas that are usually isolated from one another. They wanted to transport the ripe fruits on the river down the stream to be canned and afterwards to load them directly on ocean ships and send them to various markets of the world. Also lakes and seas could facilitate transportation and access to that country. an American food processing company decided to build a plantation of pineapples in Mexico in the delta of the river Mexico. Existence of rivers. Such a landscape represents a strong natural barrier that inhibits national growth. sport. For instance.impenetrable. tourism products. trade and communication. But when the ripe season arrived the company noticed that it had a problem: the crop maturity coincided with the flood stage of the river and the water stream was so strong that the barges could not go up stream up to the plantation. At the same time they can also indicate that those countries can be markets for certain products such as entertainment. different cities have different lifestyles and different population characteristics and therefore can be treated as different markets.
Population is a good indicator to estimate the market size in a country for most consumer goods. run out of it and become net importers of that raw material. Another important element of geography is population. therefore making that country more interesting for foreign investors. its degree of dependency on foreign resources increasing from 36% in 1973. sources of energy. Even . Also countries that have been self-sufficient in respect to the use of one mineral.Another element of geography that will have an influence on the company’s activity is represented by the natural resources. In many cases a nation’s demand for a particular mineral or energy does not coincide with domestic supply and the need of imports appear. The location of the earth’s resources is not equally distributed between countries. when the company intends to make production investments in that country. to more than 56% in 2000 4 . Is the case of USA that up to 1942 was completely self sufficient as the petroleum is concerned and who became a major importer by 1950. These are important to be studied in a foreign country. such as raw materials. Knowing the availability of natural resources in one country can be an indication of larger potential for economic development in the future.
The company should be interested in: • the size of the population.when we talk about industrial goods. Op. Ricks. Cit. 20. as it gives us an idea about the actual market potential for certain goods (mainly consumer goods.. 2002. Blackwell Publishers. The geographical and the historical international environments • • • 5 . Blunders in International Business. 3 4 David A. but also industrial goods). p. 67. 2000. Therefore. population is important given the fact that industrial demand is a derived demand from the demand for other products. et al. the study of the population of a country is absolutely necessary when studying a foreign market. Cambridge. p. Cateora Ph.. in many instances consumer products.
How much is it worth to be involved in that country? The higher the future market potential. It is not enough to have a great market potential now. the density of population and the urbanization degree is another . no. as it gives us an idea about the future market potential. An example of future shifts in the structure of population of China is presented in box. education offers information about potential market segments. The evolution of population on different structures gives an indication about how different market segments will evolve in the future. Sometimes the present market potential is not very high. the structure of population according to different criteria such as age.6 the growth rate of population is also of interest. making worth the entry. The increase in the life expectancy in many countries indicates that third age population will increase and there will be market for products designated to this group in the future.1. the higher the involvement. gender. but there are chances that this will increase in the future. 2. it is important to see what will happen also in the future.
There are produced 14 000 tons of garbage everyday and only 8 000 tons are processed. In Mexico City for instance. Not always living in urban areas. The more concentrated the population (usually in urban areas) the easier the distribution and communication will be. the population of the world will reach almost 8 billion inhabitants and more than 60% of them will live in urban areas 5 . that has over 20 million inhabitants there are 2 million families who have no running water and no sewage facilities in their homes. It is estimated that by 2025.important indicator. means better life conditions. the rest being left on the streets and getting into the . education. The way the population is distributed between rural and urban areas in a country influences on the one hand the market segments existent in the country. incomes. as consumers in urban areas have different characteristics. The more dispersed is the population the more difficult distribution and communication will be. Also the way the company will distribute the product and will communicate with people depends on their density. lifestyles and consequently demands than those in rural areas.
1 Shifts in the population’s gender structure in China In China. due to the large increase of the population. 71. International Marketing At present the largest city in the world became Tokyo. International Marketing. 1999. The migration from rural to urban areas is a phenomenon met in many countries due to increased desire to access to education. while in the urban areas where people are more educated people will have what God . this defined preference of parents for boys and the possibility to prenatal scanning. due mainly to the migration from rural to urban areas. p. by allowing only one child per couple. Consequently Mexico City has major pollution problems 6 .gov Cateora Ph. Given the fact that in rural areas people are more traditional and willing to have boys they will give up girls before birth. BOX NO. et al.census.atmosphere. McGraw Hill. will disequilibrate the balance of the gender structure in China. health facilities and better life of people all over the world. that over-passed 26 million inhabitants in 2000. the government took measures to control the population growth. http://www. 2. This regulatory measure coupled with the traditional values (that dictate the superiority of male over the female).
Cateora Ph. Table no. 2. The geographical and the historical international environments Table no.1 Structure of world’s population on groups of countries. and Graham J.2 presents the population of a number of selected countries from the 208 total number of countries existent in 2002. p. Consequently there will be more girls in towns and more boys in villages.. 2002 (thousand) Group of countries World .1 presents the structure of the world’s population by its provenience from different groups of countries according to their level of development and table no. with 15% positive difference in favor of males in urban areas and 45% positive difference in favor of males in rural areas. 2.1999. it will also take place an educational and lifestyle mismatch. It is appreciated that in 10 years time the number of male will be higher than the number of female.75. while in urban areas will live many educated female. Few of them will find a suitable partner.gave them. There will be more less educated men in rural areas. McGraw Hill. even if is a girl. Besides the gender desiquilibrium. 2. International Marketing.
920 .Low income countries Middle income countries Lower middle income Upper middle income Low and middle income countries East Asia and Pacific Europe and Central Asia Latin America and Caribbean Middle East and North Africa South Asia Sub-Saharian Africa High income European Union Population 6.603 2.737.198.688 2.494.
401.428 5.org.165 305. .522 1.823 1.2 Population of selected countries.907 966. 2.483 Source: http://www.2.455 688.492 329.485 472.905 305.838.worldbank.948 524. Table no.232. 2. 2002 (thousand) Rank in total 1.408.
4.3. 21. 11. 5. 9. 6. 90. 47. 25. 7. 22. 20. 15. 12. . 10. 8.
Country China India United States Indonesia Brasil Pakistan Russian Federation Bangladesh Nigeria Japan Mexico Germany Turkey France United Kingdom Italy .
worldbank.485 .716 174.org.048.819 82.684 132.641 288. Population 1.Ukraine Romania Bulgaria Source: http://www.485 144.071 135.150 100.902 144.280.369 211.785 127.400 1.
By studying the history of a country we can find out and understand: How it perceives its neighbours: as Romanians look suspiciously at Hungarians and vice-versa due to history.229 57. How it sees itself: we remember the well known “history book image” of Romania as a little country attacked by other empires over time. prejudices and fears.485 59.626 59. But the image was .2 The historical environment It is important to know the history of a country because history influences present behavior of nations and consequently of consumers.965 International Marketing 2.300 7. If we look at the map of Europe we are not so little and there are many other countries that are much smaller than Romania.69.690 48. Current and especially past events explain a country’s attitudes.717 22.
By looking back at history we can understand why Greeks do not like Turkish products. What are the sources of management authority: such as age and experience in Japan and abilities and skills in USA. because history is subjective: the same historical event is interpreted in one way in a country and can be recorded and interpreted completely different in the other country. Its attitudes towards multinational companies: a country that was always in war over time. as the locals see it. While USA sees itself as the guardian of the Latin America and considers all its interventions in the countries of South America as justifiable acts of foreign . Austro-Hungary. Looking back at history we can understand the reluctance of British in building the Channel Tunnel because of their continuous history of war with France. Russia.transmitted over time due to the permanent fight of the Romanian people for autonomy and independence in front of the empires of the past such as Turkey. What is the role of government in the business sector in that country. why Arabs (or at least some of them) boycott American products. On the other hand is very important to know the history. will be reluctant to open to foreigners.
2.2. 2. See box no. 2) abstention of the USA from the European political affairs and 3) non-intervention of European governments in the regions of Western Hemisphere. USA and South America: whose history? A lot of USA activities in the past two centuries in South America is based on the Monroe Doctrine and the Manifest Destiny. At beginning of 1900’s Theodore Roosevelt further developed the Monroe Doctrine. 2. Latin American countries see American acts as unwelcome intrusions in their affairs. but not south of it. The event might be dismissed as irrelevant history north of border. During the war the San Patricios .American intervention in Latin America. The Monroe Doctrine. New Mexico and California to USA during and after mid 1800’s. but it would also police the area.policy. The Mexican-American war lasted from 1846 to 1848. The geographical and the historical international environments BOX NO. in what is was known as the Roosevelt Corollary that stated that not only would the USA prohibit non. The Manifest Destiny meant that Americans were chosen people by God to create a model society. Oregon. This was justifying for the annexation of Texas. that is a cornerstone of the USA foreign policy was enuncited by president Monroe and has three basic ideas: 1) no further European colonization in the New World.
Irwin McGraw Hill.. After the Colombian Senate refused to sell the Panama Canal zone to USA. a group of Panamian rebels traveled to Washington and agreed to stage a USA backed-revolution. They became a symbol of the Mexican independence and are honored every year both in Mexico and in Ireland. International Marketing. et al. the constitution and the declaration of independence were created in New York. Patrick’s Battalion) were approximately 250 Irish men who disserted from the USA army and fought for Mexico.(St. 30 of the rebels were hanged and the others were inscripted on their face with a D (from desertor). . In 1977. p. 59. When the region felt to Americans. who very quickly became the financial director of the small state. pp. Cateora Ph. 1999. On 3 November 1903 USA bribed the Colombian garrison to lay down their arms and the revolution began. 77-81. In 1903 the state of Panama was formed in just 67 hours with the American help. The flag. In 1905 based on his corollary Roosevelt forced the Dominican Republic to accept the appointment of an American economic adviser. USA agreed to relinquish control of Panama Canal Zone in 1999. On 6th of November USA recognized the sovereignty of the State Panama and on 18 November 1903 the Panamian Ambassador signed the Panama Canal Treaty.
The guide who had no intention to offend anybody (but she did not ask where from the group was before making her presentation) tried International Marketing to justify herself that a very famous Hungarian historian wrote that. the nation was invented at the beginning of the century”. who perceived Americans and their allies as intruders. A group of Central and Eastern European scholars were in Hungary and were making a trip to Visegrad. the Hungarian guide looked in one direction and said: “In that direction is a country called Slovakia.The past and recent history of Europe is seen differently by different countries. they handed in administration to locals. after two years of constant boycott of the American troups and administration. This country had never existed. . And Anetta from Slovakia argued that the Slovakian historians have written completely different. a well known historical town of Hungary. While USA forces with their allies saw their intervention as being helpful for the Iraqi people. The recent events in Iraq are another proof of the different interpretation of historical events. While presenting the Visegrad castle. Immediately Anetta from Slovakia reacted to the comments.
we have to know. how it sees history. In other words people express their needs and wants differently from culture to culture. For instance. chapyer three The cultural environment Another very important element of the international environment to be taken into consideration when extending internationally is culture. Culture has to be studied because buyer behaviour and consumer needs are driven by cultural norms and cultural forces are a major factor in shaping a company’s international marketing mix programs. But consumers’ needs and buying behaviours are determined further by the culture they come from. an American company producing canned vegetables decided to go abroad and to start . but they express them differently. They have similar needs and wants.If we want to understand attitudes of a country and its behaviour. The marketing concept is focusing on the satisfaction of the consumers’ needs and wants regardless the country they come from.
packaging. Consequently. in Japan. from product design. in Britain. promotion and distribution and it has to be studied. The company did not need to make adjustments to the flavour. corn is used International Marketing as an after school snack and in Korea. styling to pricing. corn is used as a sandwich filler and a pasta topping. in France corn is used cold and added to the salad. but it had to make adjustment to the way the product was marketed because the product was used differently in different countries: in USA (the home market) corn is used as a side dish being hot.with the canned sweet corn. Actually markets are considered to be the result of the interaction of three aspects: . the company adapted its advertising by portraying in each country the actual use of the canned corn 1 . considering that no flavour adjustment will be needed to this product. sweet corn is put on ice-cream. We can see that is necessary to understand the cultural similarities and differences and to set the marketing strategies for the particular needs of each international market. Culture influences all marketing activities.
the marketer’s effort (what the company does). it deals with everyday life and refers to the . But all those definitions have a few things in common. we will ask ourselves what is culture? There are an enormous number of definitions of culture (Kroeber and Kluckhohn counted over 160 definitions of culture 2 ).1 The definition of culture Therefore. laws. the economic conditions of the country and the elements of culture of the country. Two definitions among the most representative. The culture deals with the way a group lives and it contains the entire social heritage of a nation. arts. there are presented also other definitions of culture. 3. beliefs. that actually represent the essence of culture.1. customs and any other capabilities and habits acquired by humans as members of society” 4 . are Hofstede’s and Cateora’s. Hofstede defines culture as “the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category from those of another” 3 and Cateora et al. 3. define culture as “the sum of total knowledge. In box no. morals.
knowledge a nation has.11. Ph.. status differentiation etc 5 . 1999. Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. p. values. G. Kroeber A. 85. food taboos. such as cooking.al. medicine.. 86.. etiquette. 3 Hofstede. behaviours. et al. 5. marriage. et.Cit. p. language. p.Cit. 1985. There were identified a number of cultural universals. 1999. .language. Op. McGraw Hill. that the international marketer can use in order to standardize some of the elements of the marketing program. and Kluckhohn C. 4 Cateora. Randon House. 1 Cateora Ph. Op. p. education. aesthetics.. dancing. religious rituals. Culture: A critical Review of Concepts and Definitions. attitudes. 1991. 1999. family feasting. art. The cultural universals are modes of behaviour that exist in all cultures..
taken together. Prentice Hall. These orientations.1 Definitions of culture Culture is a learned. interrelated set of symbols whose meanings provide a set of orientations for members of society. 1999. 1999. literature or any other . 3. 1998. 61.. attitudes and symbols that shape human behaviour and that are transmitted from one generation to the next. compelling.5 Keegan W. p. (Keegan W. provide solutions to problems that all societies must solve if they are to remain viable. shared. Global Marketing Management. 59) Culture includes the entire heritage of a society transmitted by word. ideas. p.. and Helsen K. Prentice Hall. (Kotabe M. 84) Culture includes both conscious and unconscious values. Global Marketing Management. 2 The cultural environment BOX NO. Global Marketing Management. John Wiley and Sons. p.
and Hennessey H. attitudes and symbols that shape human behaviour and are transmitted from one generation to the next.133) The common characteristics of culture that are met whatever the way it is defined . says. language. Global Marketing Strategies. 1995. 61) Culture may be defined as the ways of living built up by a group of human being transmitted from one generation to another. material artifacts and shared systems of attitudes and feelings. p. It includes everything that a group thinks.form. International Marketing Strategy. 2001. It includes all traditions. Prentice Hall. p.P. Houghton Mifflin Company.. 2001. Hartcourt College Publishers. does. its customs. International Marketing. Culture includes both conscious and unconscious values. p. (Jeannet J. and makes.. art and language. ideas. habits. (Czinkota M. and Ronkainen I.D. religion.. 78) Culture is an integrated system of learned behaviour patterns that are distinguishing characteristics of the members of any given society. (Bradley F.
has an impact on another part. These parts are interrelated to one another and one part of culture. for instance status.are the following: The fact that it is learned. it consists of learned behaviours in recurring situations. Culture is formed of many parts. It is not biologically transmitted via genes. It is cultivated by various groups (family. other organizations) and it is transmitted from one generation to other. interrelated to each other. school. Tastes and preferences for food and drink represent learned responses that are highly variable from culture to culture and can have a major impact on consumer behaviour. International Marketing • • Consists of many parts. a number of elements that we are going to study further. The sooner an individual learns these responses. such as the language . the more difficult is to change them. Culture is always learned.
that the person uses. 3. Figure no.2 The process of cultural analysis In order to make easier the study of culture for both assessing the potential of foreign markets when willing to enter the markets or for evaluating marketing plans when the company already operates in a market. For instance. 3.1 The process of cultural analysis at international level Elements of culture Material culture . See figure no. a framework that studies all elements of culture and the relationships between them. if a person eats the sweet corn on the ice cream at home but other people do not share this habit it means that eating sweet corn on the ice-cream is not part of that nation’s culture.1. It is shared by individuals as members of society. there is a cultural framework that can be used to study culture. 3.
Social Religion Aesthetics Value Language interaction Education systems The analysis of cultures * cultural knowledge * cultural sensitivity * cross-cultural comparisons Adapt to local culture Change the local culture The cultural environment .
value systems. In the process of culture analysis.2. religion. education. etc) will be studied in order to make an analysis of the culture. After cultures have been studied and analysed the company will make the decision of either to adapt to the local culture or to change the local culture in order to get acceptance for its products. social interaction. cultural knowledge will be gathered and cross-cultural comparisons will be done if required. language. 3.The elements of culture (aspects such material culture.1 Elements of culture Let’s see now what are the elements of culture that a company should look at in a foreign market in order to decide how to set its marketing strategies for each foreign market. processes during which the company has to prove cultural sensitivity. Each element will be viewed and searched separately as well as in its interaction with other elements. The culture of a country means: material culture .
the techniques a country uses to produce goods and on the other hand its economics. The material culture affects the level of demand and. the country’s infrastructure. the technical level of the consumer. the quality and types of products .language social interaction religion education aesthetics value systems Material culture. the techniques in the creation of the material goods. The material culture of a country comprises on the one hand the technology. Technology refers to the know-how possessed by that society. the technical educational system and the technical know-how possessed by the people of the society. In order to appreciate the technological level of a country a company may look at: the production process.
Electrical appliances are sold nicely in France and Britain. In the developed countries the technological level is high. some products should be adapted and simplified because consumer can not use them. while in many developing countries this concept does not have the same understanding. the technologies used in production processes are complex and consumers understand many technical concepts while in many developing countries. but they have .demanded. more resistant products should be designed in order to have the same product life length. the technological level is low International Marketing and technologies used in production processes are rudimentary or simple and population has no technological knowledge. they have to be instructed. if we talked about the concept of preventive maintenance. For instance. do not know to use them if they are too complex. this is broadly understood in developed countries. For low-technological countries. What does this mean from the marketing point view? Consumers will not use properly the product.
for instance. the distribution. Societies with different levels of income. The electrical toothbrushes are acceptable and demanded in Western developed countries. use differently resources in production processes and consumers have different consumption patterns. spend differently this income. while in low income countries consumers buy in small quantities and more frequently. referring to the resources a country employs in production. Language is . but they are seen as a waste of money in the countries where the income can be better used on clothing or food 6 . consumption of goods and services and the income obtained through the creation of goods and services.less buyers in the societies (such as the African ones) where less 5% of the population have electricity in their homes. Language is seen by some as being the mirror of a culture 7 . Economics is the other element of the material culture of the country. In high income countries consumers buy in large quantities and less frequently.
. Prentice Hall. By knowing the foreign language the international marketer does not rely completely on the opinions of others. the spoken language and also through the non-verbal. International Marketing Strategy. but can also see and hear personally what is going on. 64.. The cultural environment Language as a communication tool is manifested both through the verbal. International Marketing. 6 7 Bradley F. 144. • the diversity of languages spoken across borders. Hartcourt College Publishers. p. p. Language is multidimensional by nature.important in information gathering and also in the evaluation of efforts. The verbal language ensures the communication of the company with both . There are two aspects related to language that are of interest for the international marketer: • language as a communication tool. the silent language. 2001. And Ronkainen I. Czinkota M. 1995.
employees, but especially customers in the foreign markets. To be able to better communicate with the consumers, translations are used when marketing products across borders. Translations not only that have to be grammatically correct, but they have to keep the cultural meaning. The most difficult to translate are the idioms. In many cases dictionary translation is not sufficient for an accurate translation, as the idiomatic, interpretation is different and reflects the real meaning. Translations that do not take into consideration this fact, not only that they loose their intended meaning but they might suggest something completely different. For example, an American travel company when translated its advertising message “Fly on leather” in Spanish it came out with the meaning “Fly naked”. Another American company producing deodorants wanted to market in Germany a product under the name of ,,Mist’’ that in English means “boare, ceaţă” being willing to suggest a romantic atmosphere, but in German the word “mist” means garbage and animal excrements. Box no. 3.2 presents some other international blunders related to translations and
interpretations of meanings internationally. Another consideration related to language is its capability to convey different shades of meaning. For instance, a one-word equivalent of the English word “aftertaste” does not exist in many languages. To communicate the idea may require a lengthy translation such as “the taste that remains in your mouth after you have finished eating or drinking” 8 . The non-verbal language refers to gestures, body language, eye contact, accepted conversational distance (personal distance), etc. These are things that differ from one culture to another and can cause misunderstandings when they are not known. For instance, the sign with the finger and the thumb forming a circle, means O.K in USA but has an obscene meaning in Greece and in Brazil, in southern France the meaning is that the sale is worthless and in Japan the meaning is that a little bribe is asked for 9 . In Australia, the former USA president Bush senior gave “V for Victory” sign with his palm turned inward, not realizing that this was equivalent to the middle finger salute in the USA 10 .
8 Ibid., p .65. Ibid., p. 67. 10 Grayson L.James., 1999, ”Gestures: the DO’s and TABOO’s of Body Language Around the World”, Security Management, March, p.122. 9 International Marketing BOX NO.3.2. Blunders at international level (meanings and translations) The American Motors Corporation’s car „Matador” suggest virility and strength in USA, but in Puerto Rico it means „killer” and this is not a favourable connotation in a place with a high trafic fatality rate. A private Egyptian airline „Misair” proved to be very unpopular with the French nationals as the name meant in French „misery”. Pepsi Cola used its ad „Come alive with Pepsi” in different countries, but the
Americans have a big personal distance (1 m). „Look See! Anyone Do Read This and It Will Make You Laughable”. Goldsmith collected a number of hotel signs translated into English..translations came out with completely different meanings: in German the literally translation meant „Come alive out of the grave with Pepsi” and in Asia the translation meant „Bring your ancestors back from the dead with Pepsi”. B1. that are translations errors. „How to avoid business blunders abroad” in Business. April 1984). but Latin and Arabs have a small . (Ricks D. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable”. p. The Wall Street Journal. (Goldsmith Charles. it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose” Romania: „The lift is being fixed for the next day. less harmful but funny: Paris: „Please leave your values at the front desk” Japan: „You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid” Zurich: „Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom. 19 November 1992.
while for the North Americans the closeness will be an invasion of their personal space. Arabs have an old tradition in seen as following the movement of the eye pupil during negotiations in order to interpret reactions. Switzerland (French. That is why they look right in your eyes when talking to you and that is why they have sun glasses in many occasions. . German.personal distance (0. but not common for Northern European countries. Flemish).5 m). This may cause misunderstanding when North Americans will step back to restore the normal personal distance (for them). For Japan it is offending to look straight into eyes for a prolonged period. Italian). Touching while talking is very common for Latin countries and for Southern Europe. there are countries were more languages are spoken. such as Canada (French. India were there are 14 official languages and around 750 dialects. this being interpreted as avoidance by the small personal distance peoples. Belgium (French. English). Considering the diversity of languages used across nations.
presents some more examples of this kind.3. in Australia. Box no. 3. in Britain. We can see that the understanding of the language and the interpretation of the . in USA you go to the restroom and in Canada you go to the washroom. in Ireland. Peru. Spanish is spoken in Latin America.The cultural environment As language is considered to be the mirror of culture more languages spoken in one country may mean more cultures in the same national territory. cubiertas in Argentina. gomas in Porto Rico. Accordingly. There were found different words for tires: cauchos in Venezuela. Even when the same language is spoken in more countries meanings and expressions can differ from one country to another. in UK you go to the toilet. llantas in the other countries like Mexico. New Zeeland. These are heterogeneous markets that might require different marketing strategies in the same national territory. Columbia 11 . English is spoken in North America.
and consequently the buying and consumer behaviour. the family unit is the extended family (parents and children. Family is the most crucial expression of social interaction in a society. group behaviour. uncles and other family members). meaning the roles of men and women in society. social class. All these aspects affect marketing as each of them influences the pattern of social behaviour on overall. who is a person who translates not only among languages but also among different ways of thinking and among different cultures. the family. the family unit is the nuclear family (parents and children). grandparents. Latin America). the members of a society relate to each other. In other countries (Asia. What companies need when going internationally is a cultural translator. In some African countries cousins and uncles are called .language is very important in international marketing. In Europe and most of the Western countries. the value system and the social hierarchy. aunts. Social interaction refers to the ways in which people. marriage and rituals and so on.
K and Vernon I. Ryan J.. p. the expression „tabling a proposal” means for the USA negociators to postpone. „Coordinating International Advertising”.. no. 3. Journal of International Marketing.56. 2.A. 1998. while for the British negociators means to make the decision immediately and to take action right away.brothers. p. Global Marketing Strategy. Big Business Blunders. p. 4) .sidewalk (Chee H. International Marketing BOX NO. Britain pavement and USA .R. 145) During negotiations.petrol and USA .biscuits and USA. Britain .3 The same language spoken in different countries English: Britain . 3. 1995.cookies. 1983. Financial Times Professional.. Homewood Il.gasoline. 11 Hani D. (Ricks D. vol. And Harris R.: Irwin. to delay the decision.
For instance. they have no pension and they depend on their children. Companies adapt to this economic role of the extended families. in Asian countries the responsibility for old persons stays with the children. For . old people have no material means.Romanian: Romania – sufragerie and Moldova – sală Romania – castraveţi and Moldova – pepeni Romania – roşii and Moldova – pătlăgele Romania – salam and Moldova – cârnaţ Romania – batistă and Moldova – basma Romania – borcane and Moldova – bănci Romania – fraier and Moldova – şmecher Romania – încălţăminte and Moldova – papuci (Collected by the author) Family units (either the nuclear or the extended families) play many roles in society including the economic and the psychological support roles.
p. The cultural environment and Arabic countries and therefore delegate less authority to their wives when . Op. In Hong Kong when paying income-tax. . 88. the expense is deducted from the sum for which the income tax will be paid. Cit.instance. In Los Angeles a radio contest aimed at Hispanic families offered two tickets to Disneyland. in Sri Lanka banks promote saving programs that allow participants to build up savings to support their parents when they will retire. For instance. The contest failed mainly because it asked Hispanics to pick two members out of their extended families 12 . The role members of families play in the family are also important for international marketers as they influence buying and consumption patterns.. the husband has a dominant role in many Latin American countries 12 Kotabe M. et al. the income used to support a parent or grandparent is free of tax. Other companies that do not adapt to the form the families are organized. make mistakes.
acquiring goods such as automobiles. Upper classes in almost all . wealth. whereas in others (USA. washing machines. In the class system members of a society are generally ranked according to a number of criteria based on income. most of the developed ones. decisions are taken jointly. etc. gender roles are becoming more blurred and less predictable. life insurances and even products such as furniture or major home appliances (fridges. power. Men and women may adopt different roles in the family and in society.). In the advanced industrial societies. religion. In some societies only a small number of distinct social classes (Scandinavian countries) can be identified. India) there are many different social classes and each of them has its own wants and goods. cookers. In many societies there is a social hierarchy and a class system. In other countries. Social classes tend to have quite different consumption patterns that affect the purchasing of different goods. increasingly women are competing with men at the work place. In the developing countries women and men still play different and usually complementary roles.
practices. they are less aware of other cultures. whereas “middle classes” are more prone to participate in the process of “cultural borrowing”. Therefore. spiritual quality and power and is defined by birth. habits. Promoting a product as a sign of upward mobility would not work in the Indian market 14 . In one word religion influences the value . the larger the upper and the middle classes are. In the Hindu India the social system is formed of „castes”. Understanding this social stratification system. customs. Lower classes tend to be more culture bound. help marketers to segment the markets and to position their products effectively.countries are more similar to each other than they are to the rest of their own society. Religion plays a major role in many societies as it refers to the belief system of a society. understanding. In the caste system. the more likely a market is to buy products and services that are not culturally bound 13 . the classes are ranked according to purity. Religion refers to a community’s set of beliefs that relate to a reality that cannot be verified empirically 15 . Religion influences people’s buying motives.
.systems of a society and the value systems of a society affect marketing. Idem. Op. Cit. The Cultural Environment of International Business. Buddhism. and Confucianism. 15 Terpstra V.73. The major religions of the world in terms of number of adherents are Christianity. 142-143. Religion taboos often force companies to adapt their products and their other . 14 International Marketing influence: the products people buy. 1991.. the way they buy them. p. 3.. p.. as they 13 Bradley F. the newspapers they read etc. and David K.4 presents these religions shortly. Hinduism. South-Western Publishing Co. Islam. p. the reasons for buying. Box no. 147.
marketing mix programs. Religious taboos often force companies to adapt their marketing mix programs. clothes and behaviours are accepted or rejected by different religions and what might be innocent and acceptable in one country is unacceptable and offending in another country. there is not numbered the 13th floor in any building as it has bad luck. In USA. Even within the same religion sometimes traditions are celebrated differently. Superstitions are also to be known as they affect people’s behaviours and belief system. breaking a mirror brings bad luck. For . in China the “feng shui” the belief of a harmonious environment influences the position of buildings and the way houses and offices are furnished. as McDonald’s did in India by not selling hamburgers that contain beef and in the Arab countries by not including pork on the menu. Certain types of food. in Romania the black cat crossing your way brings bad luck and spilling the salt means quarelling with someone. too. This is how a French shipment of perfumes was rejected by the Saudi Arabian customs because the bottle cap was in the shape of a naked woman.
Romania is one of them. In the year 1054 the Catholicism has separated from Orthodoxism. In some countries. 3. Consequently international marketers have to be aware of differences between religions. there are presents offered on 6th of December (usually smaller presents) and also for Christmas on 24-25 December. Nicholas.many Christian countries. et. p. The Catholicism recognizes the supremacy of the Pope and . and also France. The cultural environment BOX NO. 16 Jeannet J. but also within the same religion in different countries. there are presents offered on 24-25 of December. Op. 84.P. It is based on the Old and the New Testament and it has as its founder Jesus Christ. In Holland. where 6th of December is also called ”the little Christmas” 16 . Cit. during the celebration of Christmas. the presents are given on 6th of December with the occasion of St. al.4 Religions in the world Christianity has more than 2 billion followers.
not the following of religious rituals.unity = the concept of centrality. central Asia. Later.his strength as far as faith is concerned. The attitude towards making money is different in Catholicism and Protestantism.zakaat = 2. including Tanzania. While the first is questioning it.5% per year compulsory tax to all those classified as not being „poor” .supremacy of human life = compared to other forms of life objects.legitimacy and equality of people = fair dealings.usury = charging interest on loans is not possible . reasonable level of profits . The main fundamental islamic concepts are: . the second emphasizes the importance of work and of accumulation of wealth. Islam has 1. western China. human life is of supreme importance .community = pilgrimage to Mecca is required at least once in their lifetime if they are . oneness of God. India and Malaysia. on the Protestantism has siplified the Catholicism by proclaiming that more important is the power of the faith of the individual.2 billion adherents in the world who spread from the West coast of Africa to the Philippines. harmony in life .
It is a newer version of Hinduism. based on the caste or class in which you were born. stressing loyalty to central authority and placing the . Guyana. It is more a code of conduct than a religion. with achieving nirvana. Suriname and Sri Lanka. The emphasis is on spiritual achievement. but it has no caste system. Buddhism has 360 million followers and is spread from Asia to Sri Lanka and Japan. Confucianism has over 150 million followers in Asia. The family is an important element in the Hindu society. Hinduism has 860 million followers mainly in India. Malaysia. In addition of being a religion is also a way of life. with the caste system being the norm.able to do so . a state marked by an absence of desire. Nepal.abstinence = during the month of Ramadan Muslims are required to fast without food and drink from the dawn to sunset. consumption of alcohool and pork as well as the gambling are forbidden. mainly among Chinese. The followers place value on spiritual rather than materialistic achievement.
90-92. formal and informal plays a major role in passing on and sharing culture.. Education shapes the wishes and the motivations of people. International Marketing Education is a means of transmitting culture from one generation to another. An educated consumer is easier to be instructed about how to use a new product. 1998. Sasu C. (Czinkota R. but also the potential employees of companies. Usually societies with a low level of education. Iaşi. The level of education in a country has an impact over the receptivity of consumers from that country to foreign marketing methods.A. International Marketing.group before the individual. 67-69.. p. 2001. Editura Polirom. the types of employees and managers that can be hired in that country.. John Wiley and Sons.M and Ronkainen I.73-77. p. Hartcourt College Publishers. have low incomes and consequently the consumption potential is also low. 1998. p. Kotabe M and Helsen K. . The level and the quality of education is influencing the potential consumers of a country. Marketing Internaţional. Global Marketing Management. Education.
Both quantitative and qualitative aspects related to education have to be taken into consideration when analysing the environment of a foreign country. Consequently when studying the education in a foreign country. There are different types of educational systems in the world that may result in different way of thinking of consumers around the world. . The educational systems can take many forms and it is important to the marketer to understand the differences because it can indicate the type of consumer market available. People who go through different educational systems develop different ways of thinking and different aptitudes and they are valuable for the international company. the traditional European system emphasizes accumulation of knowledge while the American education system emphasizes on the development of analytical and problem solving abilities. the company should be interested in: 1. Japan and Korea emphasize the sciences. The type of educational system. For instance. especially engineering to a greater extent than some Western countries do 17 .
78. Cit. science and history in different 17 Czinkota M. Op. the education forms (full-time day. distance learning) and number of hours allocated. p. part time evening. twelve classes in Romania before 1990). The level of education and the enrolment levels. 3170 hours per year in Japan. and Ronkainen I. The following indicators should be of interest in order to evaluate the level of education in a foreign country: number of years of compulsory education (four classes in Mexico.. there are differences in the number of hours spent by high school pupils on core subjects such as mathematics.. The cultural environment countries: 1460 hours per year in USA.2. The level of education and participation of young people in educational systems drives a country’s level of literacy and knowledge. . For instance. eight classes everywhere.
2001 Illiteracy rate both male and female – country.1 presents countries that have the degree of illiteracy above 50%. 3.1 Selected economies with illiteracy rates of 50% and over.3280 hours per year in France. Table no. 3. 2001 Niger Burkina Faso Mali Gambia Senegal . In Muslim countries education is largely preserved to males and often males are better educated in such societies than females. 3528 hours per year in Germany 18 . the access of women to education. Table no.
6 Mali 63.6 75.1 73.5 Niger 75.Iraq Ethiopia Bangladesh Mauritania Nepal Pakistan Mozambique Yemen Burundi Morocco % Male % 83.2 Burkina Faso 65.3 62.2 Gambia 55 .
3 Senegal 51.7 Bangladesh 50.3 50.9 60.1 56 54.1 59.9 59.3 57.4 59.7 Ethiopia 51.8 50.8 52.2 Female Niger Burkina Faso Mali .61.
Iraq Benin Guinea Bissau Nepal Yemen Senegal Pakistan Mozambique Bangladesh Morocco Egypt India Sudan Haiti % .
2 62.3 75.1 83.2 53.1 71.8 73.4 75.91.3 74.4 76.1 85.2 71.6 .8 55.2 70 69.
International Marketing the picture on the label showing a baby.3 51.org. P. and Hennessey H. 92-93.uis.1 Source: www. 3. Cit. For instance. The literacy rate it is also of interest for the international marketer. Education is important as it can influence the marketing activities of the company in a country. Op.52.unesco. in some African countries a baby-food company found out that one reason for its low sales in the region was the fact that 18 Jeannet J. For instance: a high level of illiteracy especially for women means that products . p. was interpreted by locals (due to their low level of education) as containing babies 19 . . A high level of illiteracy will suggest he use of visual aids rather than printing materials in advertising.
. music. a high level of illiteracy affects marketing research as communication with consumers is difficult and qualified researchers and operators are difficult to find. promotion has to be adapted: no written ads will be used and the message will be simple and explanatory. Such things are very important in international marketing because they show how each culture interprets symbols. shapes. dance. colours and what are the beauty standards of a culture. the cooperation with the members of the distribution channels depends on their level of education.have to be modified. colours. Aesthetics refers to the ideas of a culture about beauty and good taste that are expressed through art. the nature and quality of marketing support services (such as advertising agencies) depends on the way the educational system of the country trained people for such occupation. simplified and packaging and labelling have also to be adapted.
Red is a good luck colour in many Oriental countries. Op. Muslim leaders complained as 19 Kotabe M. while in African countries has a negative connotation. Colours have different meanings in different countries and international marketers have to know the symbols of colours in different countries before using them..Colours are often used as a way to identify brands and to differentiate products. While in Europe black is the symbol of death in some countries of Asia (Japan) white is the symbol of mourning for the deceased. Colours have different connotation and symbolic value in international markets. If these are not taken into consideration. and Helsen K. Green is the symbol of illness in Malaysia and symbolizes death in Singapore.. 94-95. pp. Cit. . Customers everywhere respond to images and myths that help them to define their personal and national identities. mistakes can take place. In 1997 the shoemaker Nike had to recall one model from the international market because it had a logo intend to represent flames but that was resembling the Arabic script of the word ”Allah”.
Standards of beauty also differ from one country to another: what is beautiful for some countries might be ugly for others. The international marketer has to know what are the aesthetic standards in a country in order to design the product styling. Both consumption and business behaviour are directly related to values. Imagine an ad for a Chinese product that is done in Romania using Chinese music. Most of the human behaviour depends on values and attitudes. Values and attitudes help us to determine what we think is right and wrong and what is important and desirable and what is not.The cultural environment finding offending the logo and the company withdraw the shoes from the world market 20 . They have their origin in history and cannot be changed in a short time. Social norms represent models of behaviour and the accepted roles and . And international marketers have to understand them. the packaging and the adverts. The value systems shape people’s norms and standards and they vary a lot across cultures.
Edward Hall defines two time systems 24 that can be found in different cultures: the monochronic time and the polychronic time. Values are shared beliefs or group norms 23 . They are important to be known in order to communicate effectively with the consumers.standards in a society. For instance. as they act according to these beliefs. Marketers should be interested in people’s beliefs. Someone may think that the German products are the best quality products and this will lead to a certain behaviour towards German products. Attitudes are usually difficult to change and marketers can try to fit their products into existing attitudes rather than trying to change them. A belief is a person’s opinion about something and may be based on a real fact. In the societies that are based on the monochromic time . someone can believe that Dove soap is a very smooth and creamy soap. People’s attitude towards time vary across cultures and consequently will affect the operation of the company in a foreign market. An attitude is a person’s point of view towards something and usually involves liking or disliking 22 . subjective opinion or faith 21 .
Chee H.. These are North Americans. they are the “time is money” type 20 Cateora Ph. In the societies that are based on the polychronic time (P-time). Financial Times Pitman Publishing. Scandinavians. people have a completely .(M-time) people do one thing at a time. p. p.. Op. 2002. Swiss. they have an organized agenda. Anchor Press. and Graham J. 1976. 23 Ibid. Global Marketing Strategy. and Harris R. 24 Hall. Beyond Culture. 147. E... people are very punctual. 22 Ibidem. 106. they do not waste time. 1998. 21 International Marketing of people. Cit. Germans. T. New York.
they are less organized. Recently most business-people from P-time cultures are adapting to M-time. but they have a tendency to be either M-time or P-time.different concept of time: people do several things at a time. they are less punctual. inferior). France and Romania people should use the polite form in the business environment (these languages have two forms of addressing). Most cultures represent a mixture of M-time with P-time. in Germany. they are less rigid regarding the schedule. An example is Japan. in USA and UK people talk on their first name even in business environment (there is only one form of addressing in English). These are Latin American peoples. For instance. where people arrive at meetings on M-time but allow for P-time once the meeting begins. in Japan there are three forms of addressing/greeting according to the social status and the hierarchical level (superior. equal. . not the other way around. people allow for relationships to be built. Formality also differs from country to country and is important to be known as it affects the communication between people. for them business is a way of socializing.
In Western societies achievement is well rewarded and this motivate people to work more and to accumulate more. as it was a positive image of this country in Romania.Attitudes towards achievement differ from one society to another. where innovations and new products are accepted more slowly and with higher difficulty. Attitudes towards foreign cultures will affect activities such as positioning in marketing. while Scandinavian countries are more innovative and more open to change. At the beginning of 1990’s American cigarettes were promoted in Romania using the theme of the American dream. the well known slogan ”We don’t sell our country!” influenced more the acquisition of Romanian companies by foreign investors. more resistant to change. by acquiring goods and services. Japan is seen as a conservative country. In other societies. such as some Asian societies. There are countries more resistant to change than others. Attitudes towards change can also differ from one country to another. . Later on. achievement does not motivate people and spiritual rewarding is more important.
The cultural environment The Japanese raise a huge wall against foreigners (gaijin) and many middle aged bureaucrats and company officials think that buying foreign products is unpatriotic. In Korea you should use your both hands when you hand in an object to another person. In China it is polite to belch at the end of the meal as a sign of satisfaction with the food. Social behaviours are also important as they might have different meanings in different countries. In Indonesia it is considered rude to point a . In most countries is impolite to make noises when eating and to belch. In Saudi Arabia it is an insult to question a host about the health of his spouse or to show the soles of your shoes. while in China if you eat all on the plate it is considered that the food was not enough and you receive more food.rather than the acquisition of foreign products by Romanian consumers. The Chinese think that one should build relationship (guanxi) first and if that is successful the transaction will follow 25 . In UK is polite to eat all what is placed on the plate.
2.1 Cultural knowledge When analysing the culture of a country the marketer will gather information in order to get knowledge about that country’s culture. 25 .2. the facts that a marketer can study and understand. Such factual knowledge can be the meanings attached to different colours and tastes. There are two types of cultural knowledge relevant to the international marketer. the factual knowledge and the interpretive knowledge. The factual knowledge refers to straightforward information about a cultural environment. 26 3.2.finger at another person. 3. or statistics about a country’s population etc. it is usually obvious and it has to be learned.2 The analysis of cultures The cultural analysis implies gathering cultural knowledge that should be interpreted by showing cultural sensitivity in order to make cross-cultural comparisons.
Keegan K. and Ronkainen I. 67. but what it actually means this? What is the interpretation of this information? Do they have the same traditions like other Catholics around the world or do they have different traditions? 27 The interpretive knowledge is also known as experiential knowledge as it is .. p. Cit. International Marketing The interpretive knowledge about culture refers to the ability to understand and appreciate the nuances of different cultural patterns and traits. Op.. p. Op. For example.26 Czinkota M. This type of knowledge requires a degree of insight that may be described as a feeling and goes beyond factual knowledge.. 69. The international marketer has to have both types of knowledge: the factual knowledge and the interpretive knowledge.. factual knowledge is the fact that 98% of the Mexican population is Catholic. Cit.
They should try to get rid of the self reference criterion (SRC).2. 1) as being the root to most international business problems. He also proposed a four steps analytical approach in order to reduce the influence of one’s own cultural values 28 : 1. 2. and based on the belief that one’s culture is superior to another culture.usually acquired based on experience in that particular cultural environment. the international marketer has to show cultural sensitivity or cultural empathy.2 Cultural sensitivity When analysing culture. Define the problem or goal in terms of domestic cultural traits. habits or . James Lee was the one who has introduced the concept of self-reference criterion (discussed in chapter no.2. Define the problem or goal in terms of foreign cultural traits. 3. they should stop judging other cultures based on their own experience. habits and norms. it is advisable to work with locals in order to be able to identify and use the interpretive knowledge. In case that experience does not exist in a particular country.
108. „Cultural Analysis in Overseas Operations”.. The cultural environment Cultural sensitivity or cultural empathy means that international marketers have to admit from the very beginning that there are no right or wrong cultures. Marketers should accept that cultures are different but . 1966. Lee James A. Isolate the self-reference criterion in the problem and see how it complicates the problem. March . 106-114. Harvard Business Review. Make no value judgments. 2002. no. Op. p. 4. and Graham J. 3. 27 28 Cateora Ph. Redefine the problem without the self-reference criterion influence and solve for optimal the goal situation. there are simply different cultures. p.norms.April. 44.. Cit.
Be culturally prepared. as well as to identify which ones of the old ones do not work in the new environment. tolerance and flexibility. Harris and Moran presented ten tips in order to deflate the stress and the tension of cultural shock 29 : 1. . Another important aspect when going internationally is the feeling of people.equal. Mix with the host and nationals. one of the main dangers for the international marketer. conflict and miscommunication arises. 3. that is known as the cultural shock. going to work abroad. Business people moving to another culture usually experience stress and tension. Learn local communication complexities. An individual who enters a new different culture has to learn how to cope with the new cultural values. If there is no cultural empathy. The belief that one’s own culture is better just because it is his own depicts the philosophy of ethnocentrism. 2. Just because a culture is different does not make it wrong.
Also in order to diminish the cultural shock when going internationally and also to foster cultural sensitivity and acceptance of new ways of doing things. Be creative and experimental. It is of little use to the international manager. 29 . Be culturally sensitive.4. 10. 9. 7. Accept the challenge of intercultural experiences. Perceive oneself as a culture bearer. 8. Be patient. training and educational programs are needed. Recognize complexities in host cultures. 5. Czinkota and Ronkainen present a few cultural training methods 30 : 1. understanding and accepting of oneself and one’s hosts. Area studies programs through which is provided factual information about a particular country. but should be the prerequisite for other training programs. Be most realistic in expectations. 6.
On-line training based on detailed scenarios. Gulf Publishing. The cultural assimilator is a program in which trainees must respond to scenarios of specific situations in a particular country. 3. on relevant exercises and on-line discussions that are delivered gradually and based on a set of support materials. Czinkota M and Ronkainen I. The results are evaluated by a panel of judges and the program is usually used to assess the suitability of assigning a new manager abroad on a very short notice. 4. p.. Field experience that consists of sending the manager in to the different cultural environment for a limited period of time. 5. . p.30 Harris Ph. 212-215. 1987. Sensitivity training programs focus on enhancing a manager’s flexibility in situations that are quite different from those in the home country.. Managing Cultural Differences. and Moran R. Cit. International Marketing 2.. 86-89.. Op.
3 Cross cultural comparisons The analysis of culture in order to understand the environment of a country and also to make cross-cultural comparisons envisages both macro analysis and micro analysis. Further we will be discussing a few aspects relevant to micro-analysis of cultures. It tries to identify how cultural influences affect individuals in the market place. The macro-analysis of the cultural environment includes an examination of the variability.3. cultures were divided by Hall in low-context cultures and high-context cultures 31 : The low-context cultures are those in which words carry most of information .2.2. heterogeneity and degree of interdependence of a country’s culture. The macro-analysis is trying to identify the climate in a country and its attitude towards business and products. From the point of view of complexity. The microanalysis focuses on the cultural impact on the target market or segment. complexity. Aspects discussed under cultural values are relevant for micro-analysis. cultural hostility.
(message). Germany. the context in which things are said does not matter. Countries with high context cultures. Switzerland. Arab countries. if we talk about distribution based on personal selling. T. the Scandinavian countries. they depend on explicit verbally expressed communication. Asian countries. 1976. New York. or implicit cultures are Japan. Beyond Culture. For instance. what is meant is what is said.. China. The high context countries are those in which communication depends on context and non-verbal language. less information is contained in the verbal part of the 31 Hall E. Anchor Press. Countries with low context cultures are USA. Latin American countries. a lot is implicit. To know the contextual background of countries is important for communication in business between people from different contextual backgrounds as well as for planning marketing activities. The cultural environment message. in low-context cultures like USA sales people are rotated across .
there are exceptions to the general tendency in a country and these exceptions are found in subcultures.territories. Table no. ritual and a strong sense of distinct identity 32 . In high context cultures where trust and friendship and social relationship play an important role in business they are not rotated. For instance. 3. 3.2 Dimensions of the high and low-context cultures Dimensions High context Lawyers Less important A person’s word Is his or her bond Responsibility for Taken by highest level organizational error Space Time Polychronic – everything in . there is Mafia that has a high context culture that is based on language.2. Although countries can be classified as high or low context in their overall tendency. in USA that is a low-context culture. See also table no.
life must be dealt with in its own time Are lengthy – a major purpose is to allow the parties to get to know each other Infrequent Negotiations Competitive biding People breathe on each other Low context Very important Is not to be relied on. “get it in writing” Pushed to lowest level .
63.People maintain a bubble of private space and resent intrusions Monochronic – time is money. Linear – one thing at a time Proceed quickly Common Source: Keegan W.. International Marketing cross-cultural comparisons.. 1999. Global Marketing Management. There are countries that have homogenous cultures and . This is another aspect based on which one can make 32 Keegan W. p. Cultural homogeneity/heterogeneity refers to the degree to which separate cultures are similar or dissimilar. Cit.. Prentice Hall. Op. 64. p.
India is another example with its 14 official languages and the 750 dialects. Scandinavian countries. political favours and other resources. Korea. Heterogeneous cultures usually have more religions and people’s beliefs differ. personnel. Cultural hostility refers to the degree to which conditions in a culture are threatening to organizational goals. The extent of hostility depends upon the perceived acceptability and legitimacy of the firm. . Hostility means that the firm will be less able to acquire raw materials. One such example is China. Such countries are Japan. For countries with heterogeneous cultures differentiated marketing strategies are needed. New products diffuse more rapidly in homogenous countries. capital. Hostility may also reduce a firm’s ability to dispose of its products and services 33 . they have the same religion and they have the same believes. information. Goodwill.there are countries that have more heterogeneous cultures. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions are also used to make cross-cultural comparisons. where each province it is a culture in itself. In the countries with homogenous cultures people speak the same language.
France. the view they have about themselves. identified four cultural dimensions that were used to classify countries into groups according to the way they respond to business and market context. Such countries are USA. Individualism/collectivism refers to the degree to which people prefer to act as individuals rather than group members. A. Germany. everybody is expected to look after himself and his immediate family. uncertainty avoidance and masculinity/femininity. individual initiative is accepted and rewarded. There are individualist societies (the “me” societies) where people have an independent view of themselves. UK.The Dutch professor Hofstede made a research in 66 IBM subsidiaries worldwide and based on this. power distance. ties between individuals are loose. It was noticed that there is a close link between consumer behaviour patterns and the four cultural dimensions identified by Hofstede. The four dimensions identified by Hofstede are: individualism/collectivism. There are collectivist societies (the “we” societies) where people have an .
cohesive groups and these groups protect people during their life’s in exchange of unquestioning loyalty.. these societies are hierarchical and force and manipulation are used as sources of power.interdependent view of themselves. The cultural environment B. There are countries that score high on power distance meaning that: they see as acceptable a high inequality between members of the society. Arab countries and some Latin countries. Such countries are Arab countries. people are integrated into strong. they use knowledge as a source of power. Latin America. 33 Bradley F. p. International Marketing Strategy. to the authority orientation of a society. Such countries are . 147. Prentice Hall. they are willing to connect with others. West Africa. There are countries that score low on power distance: they value equality between members of society. 1995. Power distance refers to the degree to which social inequality is tolerated in a society. Such countries are Asian countries.
UK. to the willingness of a society to take risks or not. they are willing to take risks. they prefer structured situations and clear rules. Uncertainly avoidance refers to the degree to which uncertainty is accepted or avoided in a society. they are intolerant to ambiguity. acquisition of money. Such countries are USA. There are countries with low uncertainly avoidance. they stick to historically tested patterns of behaviour and they do not like and do not take risks. Examples of such countries are Japan. These societies are more rigid. not . These countries tolerate and accept uncertainty. they take a more empirical approach to understanding and knowledge. they are distrustful to new ideas and behaviours. Germany. they look for the absolute truth. success. Masculinity/femininity refers to the importance given by society to either male values (assertiveness. Hong Kong. D. people are more easy going in these countries. There are countries that score high on uncertainly avoidance. Mexico. are not willing to take risks. France. competition. C. that try to avoid uncertainty. Netherlands.USA. UK.
Scandinavian countries. There are masculine societies that score high on masculinity where male values prevail. Such countries are Netherlands. human relationships. longtermism. these values are dominant in the society. where people have values that centre around the future (such as perseverance) and there are countries that score low on long-termism and are short term oriented where values are based on the past and the present (such as respect for tradition). Follow up research of Hofstede’s work in Asia led to a fifth dimension. 3. respect for others). Table no. Germany.3 shows the differences in the family. There are societies with a long term orientation. at school and at the work place according to Hofstede’s dimensions. Mexico. France. International Marketing .caring about others) or female values (quality of life. Such societies are Japan. There are feminine societies that score low on masculinity where female values are dominant. solidarity.
3.3 Differences according to Hofstede’s dimensions A. self(harmony. Differences according to individualism/collectivism Collectivist societies Individualist societies In the family: In the family: Education towards “we” consciousness Education towards “I” consciousness Opinions pre-determined by group Private opinion respected Obligations to family or group Obligations to self (self-interest.Table no. guilt) At school: At school: . respect. shame) actualisation.
Learning is for young only Permanent education Learn how to do Learn how to learn At workplace: At workplace: Values standards differ for in-group Same value standards apply to all and out-group (universalism) Relationship prevails over task Task prevails over relationship Moral model of employers-employee Calculative model of employer-employee relationship .
Differences according to power distance Small power distance Large power distance In the family: In the family: Children encouraged to have a will of Children educated towards obedience to their own parents Parents treated as equals Parents treated as superiors At school: At school: Student-centred education Teacher-centred education (order) .relationship B.
low stress Higher anxiety and stress . Differences according to uncertainty avoidance Weak uncertainty avoidance Strong uncertainty avoidance In the family: In the family: What is different is ridiculous or curious What is different is dangerous Ease. indolence.At workplace: At workplace: Subordinates expect to be consulted Subordinates expect to be told what to do Ideal boss is resourceful democrat Ideal boss is benevolent autocrat C.
strict time tables Teachers may say “I do not know” Teachers should have all the answers At workplace: At workplace: Dislike of rules – written or unwritten Emotional need for rules – written or Less formalisation and standardisation unwritten .Aggression and emotions not shown Showing aggression and emotions accepted At school: At school: Students comfortable with unstructured Students comfortable with structured learning situations. precise objectives. no time tables detailed assignments. learning situations. broad assignments. vague objectives.
More formalisation and standardisation The cultural environment D. Differences according to femininity/masculinity Feminine societies Masculine societies In the family: In the family: Stress on achievement Stress on relationships Competition Solidarity Resolution of conflicts by compromise Resolution of conflicts by fighting them out and negotiations At school: .
At school: Best students are norm Average student is norm System rewards students’ academic System rewards students’ social performance adaptation Student’s failure at school is relatively Student’s failure at school is disaster minor accident At the workplace: At the workplace: Assertiveness appreciated Assertiveness ridiculed Undersell yourself Oversell yourself
Stress on life quality Stress on careers Intuition Decisiveness Source: Chee H. and Harris R., 1998, Global Marketing Strategy, Financial Times Pitman Publishing, p. 153-154. Hofstede supports the view that management practices in a country are culturally dependent, leading to the conclusion that what works in one country might not work in another. The dimensions can be also extended to marketing practices. A high masculine society can mean preference for “high performance” products and the use of the “successful achiever” theme in advertising. A strong uncertainty avoidance may require strategies for reducing the perceived risk in product purchase and use, such as emphasizing the functionality of the product. A low uncertainty avoidance means a weak resistance to new products and a strong desire of the consumer for novelty and variety, ensuring a faster spread of new products.
A feminine society will have consumers preoccupied by “environmentally friendly” products and will accept socially conscious firms. International Marketing 3.2.3 Strategies related to the cultural environment in foreign countries After analysing the culture of a country, the company that wishes to enter that market may decide either to adapt to that culture or to change the local culture. 126.96.36.199 Cultural adaptation In terms of marketing, cultural adaptation is based on cultural congruence. The strategy of cultural congruence involves selling products that are similar to those that exist on the local market, products that correspond to the local cultural norms, by trying to decrease in this way resistance of locals. The cultural adaptation of products is recommended for the traditional societies, resistant and reluctant to novelty, such as Asian cultures (Japan). For instance, Mc Donald’s in Japan started initially with a USA style menu. The company realized that if it wants to go further
of adjusting and adapting to a specific culture other than one’s own. It introduced McChao a Chinese fried rice. The process of acculturation. In terms of business customs a company entering a foreign market has to adapt locally. Business customs have been grouped by Cateora and Graham in three categories 35 : 1. as 90% of the population eat rice daily. The result showed up immediately as. In Japan prolonged eye contact is considered offensive and therefore imperative to avoid. It was noticed that 70% of the McChao sales have been in the form of take out food bought by single businesspeople 34 . you have to avoid to make your partner to “lose face”. For instance: in China you are not allowed to raise your voice. In Latin . Adaptation means to be aware of local customs and to be willing to accommodate those differences that can cause misunderstanding. sales increased 30%. is one of the keys to success in international operations. Cultural imperatives are business customs that must be known and conformed to or avoided. to be aware of the self-reference criterion (SRC) and to avoid it.it has to adapt its menu to the Japanese culture.
it is imperative to do in another. In China. This shows that it can happen that what is imperative to avoid in one culture.. Op.. And Graham J.P. but they are not required. to eat and drink local specific food and. to bow your head in Japan as they do. Cit. p. during . p. 108. 34 35 Jeannet J. For example. A symbolic attempt to participate in adiaphora customs it is always welcomed as it helps to establish a rapport with the foreign person.America if you do not make a strong eye contact you risk to be considered evasive or not to be trusted. Cit.. Cultural adiaphora are business customs and behaviours that foreigners may conform to or participate if they wish. Cateora Ph. The marketer has to pay attention because what is considered adiaphora in one culture may be perceived as an imperative in another. 2002. and Hennessey H. Most of the customs fit into this category.D. The cultural environment 2. Op. 128-131.
it is both conservative as it resists change and is also dynamic because it changes continuously. It is imperative to participate in the toasts and raise your glass but to drink is optional.2. is not acceptable. from which foreigners are excluded. to criticize a country’s politics and morals. when . Cultural exclusives are those customs or behaviours that are reserved for locals. 3. There are not many imperatives or exclusives but most offensive behaviour results from not recognizing them. For instance. praying like a Muslim when you are not one. is not advisable either.2 Cultural change Culture has two contradictory characteristics. 3.3. Arabs offer coffee during negotiations and a person has to accept it even if he does not drink it all. The changing character of culture is the one that is of interest for the international marketer. large quantities of alcohol are consumed and numerous toasts are made.negotiations. There are few cultural customs that are reserved exclusively for locals.
when the company . International Marketing The process of cultural change can take two forms: 1. it becomes approved way and becomes part of the society’s culture. Cultures are unique but they are the result of borrowing from other cultures. In many occasions societies have found answers by looking to other cultures from which they borrow ideas.he is willing to try to change the local culture. The process of unplanned cultural change. Change is a result of the society seeking ways to solve its problems. The process of cultural borrowing is the one that helps the company when. Once a particular behaviour is seen as acceptable by the society. the behaviours they borrow are combined in an unique manner that becomes typical for that society. Cultural borrowing is the process through which cultural ways are borrowed from other cultures in order to find better solutions to a society’s particular problems. not to adapt to it. after analysing the culture it decides that wishes to change the culture. Cultural borrowing is common to all cultures.
2. An innovation that offers advantages but it requires a culture to change in order to benefit of those advantages establishes the bases for cultural change. bread and steak to the Japanese culture during the second World War. For instance. The company acts as agent of change when designs a strategy to change certain aspects of the culture in order to overcome resistance to an innovative product. in order to overcome the resistance of Asian . In this case only the fact that the company introduced a new product whose acceptance requires a change in consumer behaviour even if it does nothing else. an American company producing frozen vegetables. The process of planned cultural change takes place when the company deliberately acts to change those aspects of the cultures that are resistant to the company’s marketing goals. USA occupation forces introduced milk.introduces the new product to a country and hopes for the best. initiates the process of cultural change in that country. Through the planned cultural change the process is accelerated by the company that acts as a change agent. For example.
women to frozen vegetable had to convince Asian mom’s (who were proud of the time spent to cook for the family. the company is responsible.this was a sign of love and care for them) that by using frozen vegetables they will have the opportunity to cook more often the favourite meals for the family. even if they are intentional or not. When a strategy of planned change is implemented the company has the responsibility for the consequences of introducing that innovation. If dysfunctional results happen as a result of marketing efforts. .
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