Cultural Problems in Indian Market

“What are the Cultural Problems Faced by Advertisers in Indian Market”

Theoretical Aspect:

In this Dissertation topic we are going to discuss the cultural problems faced by advertisers in Indian market. For this we must first understand what is culture and definition of culture first. In Business culture is an important tool to be successful in a globalised economy. According to scholar Schein,E. H.(1985) defines culture as “ a set of assumptions –shared solutions to universal problems of external adaptation ( how to survive) and internal integration ( how to stay together ) –which have evolved over time and are handed down from one generation to next.” It is shown by the reasonable evidence that due to homo –cultural, the world has become common market place. Global advertisement is found in cosmetics, perfumes, watches and luxury items.

The multinational companies have problems as whether we should adjust to specific needs related to local culture or international brand must create a global image. The worth of brand is different in different culture. According to Nisbett et al (2001) western societies are more analytical thinkers and East Asian countries are more holistic thinkers. Cultural change in the style of thinking could influence the advertising in understanding different cultures, that is analytical thinkers are concentrated on dividing groups and attributes to make decisions while holistic thinkers are more concentrated on relationships. Cultural factors influence the consumer to shape the customer awareness and also help to get results of advertisement. So Culture is an important factor of advertisement to be successful. Since India is a country of diverse culture, we are exploring the cultural problems faced by advertisers in Indian market like gender, education, cultural and religious similarities.

According to Lin (2001) the cultural factors caused Asian consumers to provide less information than western consumers. Asian consumers mostly buy products when they have reason or feelings to buy the products. So in order to understand these differences we should understand the differences in the culture of India like we should study Hofstede`s cultural theories like collectivism, individualism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity and feminist dimensions in the Indian market. According to Kim et al (2002) customer quality is considered as the ultimate output of culture and also helps in shaping consumer entity and consumption habits. So little research is conducted on these factors in Indian culture and Indian responses to advertisement so conducting research on these areas will be useful to international brands, as India is one of emerging markets in the world.

Advertisers have to consider a number of factors relating to consumer behaviour in India. The culture plays a significant role in determining the perception of advertisement. According to Zhang Gelb’s (1996) studies show that Chinese cultures are more adapted to collectivistic culture than individualistic culture. So by studying about Indian culture will be interesting area of research. Cultural differences needs to be understood in order to determine the advertisement race otherwise it will be difficult to advertisers to identify cultural problems in Indian market. There are different studies conducted on cultural problems faced by advertisers and brief study is taken from these studies conducted which are shown on Table 1.

Table 1. Advertising Appeals from Cultural Perspective

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India is a country of diverse culture and so in India itself there is cultural differences within national culture so we have to identify different cultures in different way in perception of advertisement. Religion is a significant factor in evaluating the perception of advertisement. In religion aspect different religion have different customs and values, so we must consider religious values while analysing cultural problems in India. So in this we are discussing how advertisement will affect the cultural differences like age, education, religion, values and income in Indian market.

In India the perception of advertisement is affected by following cultural differences like age, individual and collective habits and education and this is the dependent variable in calculating the effectiveness of advertisement in India. According to Albers et al (1996) advertisement perception is affected by individualistic and collectivistic factors. The study is more concentrated on individualistic factors in USA than western Part of the world. According to Srivastava (2009) education play a vital role in buying behaviour that is younger people are more attracted than older people. By Formulating advertisement according to culturally congruent kind of appeals, the advertisers can find good response from consumers. So according to this it leads to the following hypothesis that is

H1:

In Individualistic and collectivist society the culturally congruent attractiveness will earn more support perception.

H2:

The perception of advertisement is affected by age, religion and education.

The limitation of this study is that it is conducted in Mumbai city as this does not involve the entire India so overall result of the Indian culture regarding age, education and religion is not conducted and in this study non qualified participants are not included in the study.

Empirical Aspect:

In this topic qualitative research methods are adopted that is questionnaire method is used and data is collected through questionnaire survey. The study is mostly concentrated on individualistic and collectivism factors. Consumer perception approach is widely to test the real hypothesis. The data is collected using primary and secondary data. Primary data is collected using journals, articles, books and secondary data is collected using questionnaire.

The objective of study is to determine the cultural problems faced by advertisers in Indian market like age, education, religion and culture factors. Random sampling is used to collect data. Pilot survey is conducted consisting of 50 consumers and it was used to find out the mistakes in research and also to make any adjustment to questionnaire. In this the companies like Vicks, Sony, Pentium and Nokia were taken for study and why they chosen for the survey is that they have very strong brand presence in India and SARC countries and also have a good advertisement plan.

The sample size consists of 1000 participants and in that 131 were rejected due to incorrect data. The sample is conducted based on age, education and religion in Indian culture .The study is conducted in Mumbai, India which is known as financial capital of India. The Mumbai is chosen as a sample place because Mumbai have variety of culture like people speaking variety of languages and variety of religious practices so that is why it is chosen as a sample place for research. In this survey regarding age group most of participants are aged up to 50 years followed by 40 years and 30 years age group. In case of religion most of the people are Hindus that is followed by Muslims and Christians. In case of education most people who participate in this survey are postgraduates followed by graduates and doctorates and this study is mostly concentrated on working people.

For successful advertisement understanding of culture is very significant. According to Boddewyn et al (1986) it shows that customer is more able to respond to advertisement than that is corresponding with culture. So understanding of culture is very essential in order to achieve success in advertisement. First study is about likings of domestic/foreign products. This study shows that when the customer is intended to buy foreign goods and also knowledge about the attractiveness of the foreign goods. The attractiveness of foreign products depends on national identity and national identity may change according to age, education, religion and culture of the nation. In this study younger people are more attracted to foreign goods than older people.

Education also plays a significant role in buying foreign/domestic products. Thus education and religion affect the attractiveness of advertisement and this proves H2 hypothesis because it is affected by religion and education. In this study it is also shows that individualistic culture are more attracted to global advertisement than collectivistic culture. More qualified Indians like to have Indian goods compared to undergraduates. Hence this proves H1 Hypothesis. According to latest study it is shown that Indian culture is changing from collectivistic to individualistic society.

Recent development in world economy has made the cultural aspect of advertisement attractiveness to be completely changed in appearance. Advertisers must decide whether they want to globalize or localize their advertising attractiveness and to be successful in advertising advertisers should balance cultural differences and standardization. As India is land of different culture we should analyse each culture with best use of agriculture effectiveness.

In overall the undergraduate are less attracted to foreign goods than post graduates and graduates. In case of education the highly qualified Indians are more attracted to Indian goods than undergraduates. In case of religion the Christians are more influenced by advertisement perception followed by Hindus and Muslims. Studies shows Muslims are less influenced by advertisement perception as Muslims are more conservative. In case of age factor older people are less attracted to advertisement perception and attractiveness of advertisement is different in individualistic and collectivistic society. So these are cultural problems facing by advertisers in Indian market. At last for the future research we must analyse the cultural factors like age, education, and religion factors in order to become successful in advertisement in Indian market and it become more relevant to advertisement if you are targeting middle or young aged people.

References:

Albers-M, N.D. & Gelb, D.D. (1996), “Business Adverting as Mirror of Cultural Dimension”, Journal of Advertising, 25 (4) : 57-70.

Boddewyn, J., Picard, J. & Robin, S. (1986), “Standardization in International Marketing”, Business Horizon, 26(6): 69-75.

Schneider, S.C & Barsoux, J-L. (1997), Managing Across Cultures, Essex, Financial Times/Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0-13-272220-8.

Schein, E.H. (1985), Organisational Culture and Leadership, San Francisco, Jossey- Bass.

Kim, J., Moon, S.J., Forsythesis, S.& Gu,Q (2002),” Cross Cultural Consumer Values, Needs and Purchase Behaviour”, Journal of Marketing , 19(6) : 481-502.

Lin ,C.A.9(2001)” Cultural Values Reflected in Chinese and American Television Advertising, Journal of Advertising 30(1): 83-94.

Nisbett, R.E, Choi,I., Noreanzayan, A.& Peny,k.(2001), “ Culture and Systems of Thought: Holistic versus Analytic Cognition”, Psychological Review, 108 : 291-310.

Srivastava, R.K.(2009),” Role of Gender in Automobile Purchase”, A report of 4th SIMSR –Asia Marketing Conference, Mumbai, January 4-5.

Zhang,Y & Gelb, B.D. (1996), “ Matching Advertising Appeals to Culture”,25 (3) : 29-47.

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