International marketing strategies


Cultur major part of external forces which impacton the customers adoption and buying decision. Some times culture represent influences on that are imposed customer by other forces like individuals.Culture is the man made values within the geograohical boundaries it include knowledge, rituals, traditions, belief, art, morals, custom etc.

In other words the culture is the learned ways in which a society understands, decides, and communicates. The behaviour accepted by the memberesof the organiztation is becoming important with the company's internationalization.When in mutinational companies diverse workforce is been hired from different culturess the layers of cultures helps a common freamework to understand the various individuals behaviour and their decision making process how to do business.

The behaviour of buyers and sellers is influenced by the cultural aspects of different levels. Each of the different levels influences the individuals's probable behaviour.The different level looked at a form of nest prospective

Following are the levels

National Culture

Business industry culture

Company cutlure

Individual Behaviour

Seven Hollenson, Global Marketing 4th edition

Following the course work we will look upon all above cultural aspects how they are affecting our policies while we go for international marketes.

Part (A) Why are cultural factors considered by many writers on international marketing.

As we discussed above that the culture is man maid values within the geographical boundaries of a country.So it differ from country to country. Even most countries have sub-culture as well. So it is very important to study about the culture before entry in theor market.Culture has many important features like:

1- Culture is comprehensive. This means that all parts must fit together in some logical fashion. For example, bowing and a strong desire to avoid the loss of face are unified in their manifestation of the importance of respect.

2- Culture is learned rather than being something we are born with. We will consider the mechanics of learning later in the course.

3- Culture is manifested within geographical boundaries of acceptable behavior.E.g in USA one cannot show up to class naked, but wearing anything from a suit and tie to shorts and a T-shirt would usually be acceptable. Failure to behave within the prescribed norms may lead to sanctions, ranging from being hauled off by the police for indecent exposure to being laughed at by others for wearing a suit at the beach.

4- Conscious awareness of cultural standards is limited. A USA spy was intercepted by the Germans during World War II simply because of the way he held his knife and fork while eating.

5- Cultures fall somewhere on a continuum between static and dynamic depending on how quickly they accept change. For example, USA culture has changed a great deal since the 1950s, while the culture of Saudi Arabia has changed much less.

Dealing with culture. Culture is a complex issue for many marketers because it is inherent and 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.

Warning about stereotyping. When someone Is going to study any culture they must keep in mind the fact of sterotyping in which some one consider the whole group as having a same values after observing the one. This can mislead one to undrstand the culture.

Cultural lessons. We considered several cultural lessons in class; the important thing here is the big picture. For example, in a muslim culture the dog has been considered as dirty animal so ti is totally unacceptable to showing the dog as men's friend in the advertisements. Packaging of products is also considered a sign of high quality product in ASIA then in the US.

Hofstede's Dimensions. Gert Hofstede, a german researcher, had interviwed many IBM executives in different countries and discover that the cultural variation is cluster around four key factors. He conducted this research between 1967-1973, 116000 questioinnaires were used in 72 countries and in 20 languges

* Individualism vs. collectivism: Some culture focus on individualism the extent do people believe in individual responsibility and reward rather than having these measures aimed at the larger group? Japan actually comes in the middle of this factor while indonesia and w. africa comes towrds the collectvaism. And if we talk about the US, britain, and holland they comes towrds the individualism.

* Power distance: what is the differnece between the people accordint to their designations. The pwer distance is more in Asia, Arab countries etc but its very modest in America and north europe.

* Masculinity vs. femininity involves. In asia the musculine values are considered to be more impotant in high level positions or projects while femininity values are considered to be harmonise and environment friendly. Japan focus on more musculine values while netherland is low tand America stands in middle.

* Uncertainty avoidance How much country people are avoid uncertanity of situations either they prefer structured, clear or ambiguous one. The japan is more high in this regard The countries having low uncertainity avoidence seems to be most tolerant of risk. Few countries are very low in any absolute sense, but relatively speaking, Britain and Hong Kong are lower, and the U.S. is in the lower range of the distribution.

Hofstede's original work address this, a fifth dimension of long term vs. short term in America managers look for quick results and do not bother but in japan the managers think in long term they condier the viability then profitability.

Hofsted 1983

Low-context Culture

This culture rely on spoken and the wriiten language (get everythink written down in the contract) so this thing involves low degree of complexity in communication.

High-context culture

This culture uses more elements sorrunding the message. The culture sorrounded where the message has lot to say.This type of culture involves high degree of complexity in communication

Edward T Hall (1960a)

Language issues. Language is an important element of culture. It should be realized that regional differences may be subtle. For example, one word may mean one thing in one Latin American country, but something off-color in another. It should also be kept in mind that much information is carried in non-verbal communication. In some cultures, we nod to signify “yes” and shake our heads to signify “no;” in other cultures, the practice is reversed. Within the context of language.

International marketing requires that companies should deal with the cultural differences of their clients/customers. Three main approaches offer ways to deal with international marketing effectively.

Three Main Approaches to Dealing with Cross-Cultural Factors in International Marketing:

1. Hofstede's Dimensions. Geert Hofstede,

2. Edward T. Hall's High vs. low context cultures

3. Ethnocentrism and the self-reference criterion. Ethnocentrism is the tendency to view one's culture to be superior to others. The important thing here is to consider how these biases may impede in dealing with members of other cultures.

Journal of Marketing Research, forthcoming

Dec 23, 2008


According to the international market researchers, writters a marketer should have to identify the cultural factors of influence from the cultural environment on the firm's business and have to analysed those factors. An international marketer is to be able to take decisions about how to react to the result of the analysis.The cross-cultural issues will provide more challenges and opportunities to the marketers in the 21st Century although they might not be totally new in the marketing area. There are many unsolved problems or issues that need to be solved and discussed by the scholars and marketing professionals in theories and in practice. In the theoretic area these themes and issues need to be probed: 1) culture impacts on marketing (international versus domestic); 2) cross-cultural dimensions of marketing research; 3) cross-cultural aspects of marketing mix (products, price, promotion, and distribution; 4) cross-cultural marketing education and professional training; 5) cross-cultural practice in electronic marketing.


The inexperience marketer needs to have awareness of the cross cultural aspects in the global environment. These cross cultural differences matters a lot for example non verbal communication, language, values, norms if the marketer does not consider these difference it can lead the business to the failure.


McDonald has different product line in different countries for example if they are operating in Muslim countries they offer Halal food and they are prohibited to sell pork in those countries. Like wise their burger size is different in different European countries.Any drinks launched in Muslim country with alcoholic ingredients will be allowed as consumption of alcohol is not allowed in their religion. So if a company goes to a Muslim country with such product will face a failure.


An American firm was dealing with Japanese firm. They offered a price after detail presentation to Japanese and after that American thought they should revise their price package as there was silence from the Japanese. American offered Japanese another lower price but still there was silence so Americans offered another price and told the Japanese that this is the lowest price as they could do. After a long silence the Japanese accepted the offer and later told them the first price offered by American was an acceptable but due to their customs they didn't replied promptly as they keep silence before accepting the proposal. Then American realised they lost a lot of margin because they assumed that Japanese response will be as quick as Americans.


A drinks company introduced two litre drink bottles in Spain but did not done very well as they were expecting and after a local market research they found that only few Spaniards have the fridges with the large doors which can accommodate the large size bottles.


A marketer should understand which part of the world they are going to enter and what market promotions are acceptable in that society for example when Pepsi advertise in Taiwan they used the jingle in their advertisement campaign “Come alive with Pepsi” before using this jingle they did not analyse that translation of these jingle in Chinese as “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead”

Racial difference

This refers to different physical needs of humans in different part of the world according to their race. For example hair and cosmetic needs of Africans are entirely different from Americans.

Climate difference

The needs of cloths are different in different part of the world like in Canada universities advice their students on the websites of university that students should do their winter cloth shopping in Canada as the cloths might not be warm enough bought in their countries of students as in Canada some area's temperature falls down as low as -50 Celsius

Economic difference

The marketer should observe the economic growth and development of the particular country where they are going to operate as in some countries things will be considered luxuries while the same product will be necessity in other.

There are certain indicators which tell us the economic progress of particular market.

The level of income and purchasing power of local people.

The conditions of infrastructure in the country.

Religious differences

Religion plays a vital role in the consumptions of different foods and drinks in some countries. For example in Muslim countries consumption of alcoholic products or use of meet which is not Halal is totally unacceptable. So before targeting any country marketer has to study about the religious issues like in Hindu's consumption of beef is not allowed.

Historical differences

Historical difference help explain facts such as the playing cricket in England as opposed to game of boules in France. These differences have slowly evolved over time but have a profound effect on consumer behaviour .For example drinking scotch whisky in considered prestigious and trendy in Italy but old fashion and almost boring In Scotland.

Language differences.

Language should be valued while international marketing. The use off appropriate words jingles. Because in above discussion we have discussed an example of Pepsi campaign in Taiwan was ignored because of the wording of their jingles.

Constraint on global communication strategies.

A marketer should understand the importance of right communication channel and practices while working globally. He has to face several constraints in this regard. Some of them are as follows:

Language barrier

The advertisement of certain product should be translated and conveyed not just into the basic language (English, Japanese, Chinese) but also into the specific version spoken in the region (Brazilian Portuguese)

Cultural barriers

Cultural differences are also need to be considered before making any add. For example in some countries an add maybe successful but same in the other country will not be acceptable according to their perception like advertising in European countries using female models with bold dresses is very successful but if the same add In Arab countries will not be acceptable.


For international marketing strategies its very inportant to study the culture across the boundaries where we are going to launch our products and services.It is important to read the mind of local nationals their acceptence level so that we make our policies to attract them without hurting their values and they feel no hesitation while adopting us. E.g using of bold female models in marketing compaign is not acceptable in muslim countries because females are not allowed to take part for these kind of events.

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