Marketing and Culture

Culture is obviously a core factor in order to make marketing policies. Marketing is the best opportunity to raise your business and attract customers but marketing techniques have differences according to the cultural environment. Good marketing improves the sale of business and also make goodwill. In order to make efficient marketing the organization must know all about the culture of the country or more specifically the culture of that area where you are starting business. Marketing means different ways to attain more customers so if they have good knowledge of values, norms, living style, of that area then it is easy to introduce and promote your product. Culture plays a vital role in design of marketing strategies. Culture is the most effective strategy for any company because with help of culture company made those things which are acceptable or like by the people of those country are this is their religious factor like if any company made jainamaz for Muslim countries it is acceptable and Sale more than from no Muslim country, so we can say that culture is the strategy of marketing. Because according to cultures history the surviving of living of people at any atmosphere is their culture. Cultures explores the theoretical and practical implications of thinking local but acting global. The cultural differences affects international marketing including consumer behavior, market research, product and price policies, channel decisions and marketing communications.

Culture is a problematic issue for many marketers since it is inherently nebulous and often difficult to understand. One may violate the cultural norms of another country without being informed of this, and people from different cultures may feel uncomfortable in each other's presence without knowing exactly why (for example, two speakers may unconsciously continue to attempt to adjust to reach an incompatible preferred interpersonal distance).

For example, within the Muslim tradition, the dog is considered a “dirty animal, so portraying it as “man's best friend in an advertisement is counter-productive. Packaging, seen as a reflection of the quality of the “real product, is considerably more important in Asia than in the U.S., where there is a tendency to focus on the contents which “really count.” Many cultures observe significantly greater levels of formality than that typical in the U.S., and Japanese negotiator tend to observe long silent pauses as a speaker's point is considered.

In japans culture there is a CEO office is between all the offices and small but in US culture CEO office big and are in side.

Now I would like to raise few points so that it will be explained more easily

1 Consumer Behaviour

* The psychology of how consumers think, feel, reason, and select between different alternatives (e.g., brands, products);

* The psychology of how the consumer is influenced by his or her environment (e.g., culture, family, signs, media);

* The behavior of consumers while shopping or making other marketing decisions;

* Limitations in consumer knowledge or information processing abilities influence decisions and marketing outcome;

* How consumer motivation and decision strategies differ between products that differ in their level of importance or interest that they entail for the consumer; and

* How marketers can adapt and improve their marketing campaigns and marketing strategies to more effectively reach the consumer.

2 Marketing Activities Affected By Culture

Product Offering

Personal Sale

Marketing Research

Sales Promotion


Pricing Method


3 Social and cultural factors

Social and cultural factors influence all aspects of consumer and buyer behavior. The difference between these factors in different parts of the world can be a central consideration in developing and implementing international marketing strategies. Social and cultural forces are often linked together whilst meaningful distinctions between social and cultural factors can be made in many ways by the way the two interact and the distinction between the various factors is not clear cut. Differences in languages can alter the intended meaning of a promotional campaign and differences in the way a culture organizes itself socially may affect the way a product is positioned in the market and the benefits a consumer may seek from that product.
A sewing machine in one culture may be seen as a useful hobby but in another culture a sewing machine may be necessary to the survival of a family.
Kotler (2003 included such things as reference groups, family roles and status within social factors. Whilst this is a useful distinction from the broader forces of culture, social class and social factors are clearly influenced by cultural factors.

For Example

If a family which is an important medium of transmitting cultural values. Children learn about their society and culture through many means but the family influence is strong particularly
during the early years of a child's life. Furthermore the way in which family life is arranged varies considerably from one culture to another. In some cultures the family is a large extended group encompassing several generations and including aunts and uncles whilst in other cultures the family is limited more precisely to the immediate family of procreation and even then the unit might not be permanent the father and mother of the children might not remain together for the entirety of the child rearing process.


The firms indicated that cultural various exerted varied influence on marketing strategies used by the multinational firms, which called for the use of specific strategies for particular situations and influences.

The firms also indicated that marketing strategies were adopted to purposely overcome competition for more market shares and improved sales, and to stand the test of the ever-changing trends as it affected demand and supply. Some of the strategies included the use of quality products, frequent advertisement in local media, ideal pricing structure, reward sales promotion and new product innovations. Finally, all firms had adopted some useful remedies to overcome cultural influences affecting their operations. These include: product adaptation, promotional adaptation and new product innovation with the above in use.

Q # 2 Experience must count in every field of life. Marketing needs a lot of experience because its very difficult to convince anyone and make customers. As we explained above that culture affects a lot in marketing like this there are also other factors which affects marketing. Experienced person can make good decisions at the right time and improve the ways to sell the products. There are different types of market and the marketers have to know about the market. Experienced person can easily focus its customers and can satisfy them whereas inexperienced marketers cannot take the right step on the right time. Culture varies place to place, like the culture of Europe is different from the culture of asia this is the prominent difference but if we talk about those areas where culture don't have many difference but still there will be some aspects which make slight difference in culture of the area. Culture differs due to people, their living style, their taste their requirements. Now the experienced marketers can know the slight difference in the culture but inexperienced marketers cannot know and the flop in this illusion because of similarity in the culture. Forexample if the organization is going to introduce the product in Islamabad they do their best to sell the product and they got success but when they move to Lahore although there is not much difference in the culture of Islamabad and Lahore but there must be slight difference which the inexperienced marketers cannot judge this similarity of illusion. Most of the time there is no difference in the aspect of culture but inexperienced marketers face difficulties in knowing about the different aspects of culture.

The evolving world of international business is witnessing the emergence of additional players, including firms from the former Eastern block. These firms are playing a game of catch-up as they attempt to learn the intricacies of doing business in today's global economy. The speed at which this process is occurring varies across nations. Firms in Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary, for example, are rapidly acquiring the skills necessary to compete on the world stage. These firms have adopted both general approaches to marketing as well as targeted actions, which have been influenced by the local environment. This article will discuss the possibility of standardizing marketing programs and the factors influencing the process of cost lessening, as they apply to the case of Slovenian firms.


The literature in this area broadly examines the numerous variables that affect standardization. Both internal and external components impinge upon the decision to standardize the marketing program of product, price, distribution and promotion (Kreutzer, 1988). The magnitude of differences in local physical, economic, social, political and cultural environments, are being invalidated by the globalization of markets. As a result, there may be no differences between domestic and international marketing (Perry, 1990). However, a standardized marketing cannot be set once and for all. Matching firms' resources with environmental requirements, anticipating changes in consumers' needs, and forecasting competitors' behavior (Easton, 1988; Kogut, 1988) are critical business activities for developing effective standardized export marketing initiatives (Akhter and Laczniak, 1989).

The challenges facing MNEs in emerging market

According to Ghauri and Holstius, a company is entering international markets there are dissimilarities in the economic, political, legal and cultural environments that pose incentives for, as well as obstacles to,successful expansion. These differences are especially large in transition economies. This section will focus on the some major challenges that facing by multinational companies in emerging market.

Political and economic environment

The stability of political and economic environment is the key elements to influence the investors'decisions. At the recent decade, the political situation in emerging markets has favoured foreign investment. Mexico's open door policy of the early 1990s attracted significant inflows of foreign investment. However, in several transition economies, an ongoing problem faced by entrants into emerging market is their political and economic unpredictable. In China, as an example, has been in the process of developing a ‘socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics '. The government maintain control and monopoly over the major sectors including railways, post and telecommunications and allowing private in manufacturing and service sector. In practice, this means that the current constitution (of a one party dictatorship and mainly state ownership) and the legal regime (with its lack of transparency) will resist political reform even though economic reform has deepened since 1992. (Roger strange, Hui Tan) These disaccord of political and economic reform have been created many uncertainty for foreign investment, such as changeable economic policy, market protection as a method of local government to support the development of local economies and the most important is the role of inter document playing in economic governance. The unpredictability of the political and unstable economic climate for foreign investors in emerging market poses a significant challenge.

Legal and institution issue

The legal and institutional environment reflects the overall attitude of a host country towards foreign investment. For a long time the legal and institutional environment are poorly developed in emerging market. In particular, in term of competition policy, regulatory policy, corporate taxation, and definition and enforcement of property rights.( Klaus E. Meyer, Saul Estrin) Moreover, even where the necessary law are in place, their implementation and enforcement is weak due to unqualified accountants, bureaucrats and lawyers. The legal framework is often subject to frequent changes, which creates considerable uncertainty for businesses.

The unease about the ”race to the bottom” is of concern in certain industries, such as textiles, footwear and assembly of electronics. Spar and Yoffie (1999:565) argue that necessary conditions for a race to the bottom are first mobility of firms and goods across borders, i.e. free trade, and, second, that ”regulation and factor costs are heterogeneous -and the heterogeneity leaves gaps that can be turned into the firm's competitive advantage”. Moreover lowering of standards is facilitated by

• Homogeneity of products (or components at certain stages of the value chain), such that price is a key competitive parameter.

• Regulatory differentials are important for the cost structure of the industry, such as labor law for textiles and footwear.

• MNEs would not incur major transaction costs or sunk costs when relocating a production plant, i.e. location is not sticky.

Such a race to the bottom would not necessarily be in the business interest.

Infrastructure issue

Generally speaking, most emerging markets lag behind the advanced nation in terms of communication, distribution, and management perceptions. Any one of those factors may threaten the success of international firms. Respecting the communication, in many transition economies are not well functioning as they are in the western part of the world. As one British businessman who had personally been successful in doing business in China commented, ‘You can hardly find any yellow pages in China.' The personal contact seems as an effective strategy in Chinese market. As Guo and Akroyd argue that the Chinese communication system is technically oriented rather than commercially oriented. In addition, As far as the distribution sector concerned, it is practically poor, even non-existent in smaller town and countryside. Foreign firms have to set up their own distribution system, supply centres and warehouse. This might force the companies to settle in large cities. For this reason, the market for many western goods is also much closer to saturation there than in the countryside, or in the smaller towns. Furthermore, numbers of infrastructural barriers are also identified including: the difficulties of sourcing raw materials, lack of personnel training, as well as problems with the operation and maintenance of transferred technology. In short the poorly developed infrastructure will enlarge investor's transaction cost.

Moreover, institutions moderate many of the afore discussed relationships between

foreign and local firms, for instance:

• Labor market institutions moderate the mobility of people between local and FDI firms, and thus the diffusion of knowledge, but also local firms' loss of employees to foreign competitors. Labor laws and their enforcement regulate minimum wages and working conditions.

• Capital market institutions moderate the ease of local sourcing of capital, but also the possible crowding out of local investment.

• Environmental regulation and enforcement influence the potential negative effects on the local environment.

• Competition and industry regulation influence foreign investors ability to extract monopoly rents or otherwise benefit from market power.

• Education systems enhance the availability of skilled labor and the absorptive capacity.

• Special economic zones may attract more FDI, but at the same time limit the

Social issue

The wide gap between rich and poor in emerging markets is a principal cause of social tension. Other social issues include ethnic tensions, such as those that have exploded disastrously in Central Europe. Also in accordance with Helms, in former socialist countries, the socialist legacy is other obstacles leading to the foreign invest flow in. As he argued that owning to the state controlled industries in the past, the alcoholism and absenteeism has been high, which have affected the work habits of today. Further he claimed that handling workers with this attitude can be very difficult.


All in all, it is widely believed that Foreign Direct Investment made a major contribution to the economic development of emerging markets. Meanwhile; emerging markets play a vital role in the global strategies of many multinational enterprises (MNEs), notably those with ambitious growth targets. However, due to the political and economic uncertain, poorly developed the legal and institution framework and the lack of market information and communication system and so on. Such factors posed significant challenges and threaten for investors in accessing the emerging market. Therefore, in order to reduce the risk and transaction cost, the several entering model have been provided. Each model has their own characteristics, choosing the proper one can certainly eliminate the risks and reduce the transaction cost. Of these, joint venture is preferred entry model despite the apparent disadvantages of shared control JV offers the opportunity to establish a business operation in a foreign country when establishment of a Greenfield site is not feasible or too expensive. (Buckley and Casson 1976, 1998, Hennart 1988, 2001). Moreover it provides the foreign company with a local partner, which helps the investors easily access to local market. That especially benefit for pioneering without much local knowledge. However, by sharing control with local partner can lead to coordination conflicts, especially if their objectives are not compatible or cultural barriers inhibit communication. A Greenfield site gives the opportunity to create an entirely new operation but it is most risky entry model since the regulatory framework in transition countries is complex. An acquisition facilitates quick entry and immediate access to local resources. Acquisitions internalize certain markets, and bring together complementary resources, but these resources need to be integrated effectively (e.g. Haspeslagh and Jemison 1991). It is suitable entry strategy if acquired companies function in a westernized manner, and have local knowledge and contacts. A Brownfield, as a hybrid mode of entry, can substitute for either acquisition or Greenfield if they are not feasible or too costly. (Klaus Meyer, 2003) Brownfield projects can utilize more sources of resources enabling projects that neither the foreign investor nor the local firm could implement themselves. Through the Brownfield foreign investors can overcome obstacles arising from the limited availability of certain assets or from high transaction costs in specific markets by considering a wider choice of potential target firms. However, Brownfield typically incur high integration costs because the investor engages in deep restructuring and in major resource transfer.


Bradley F, (1995), International Marketing Strategy. 2nd Edition. Hertfordshire: Prentice Hall

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