International Marketing
14th Edition
P h i l i p R. C a t e o r a
M a r y C. G i l l y
John L. Graham
Cultural Dynamics in
Assessing
Global Markets
Chapter 4
McGraw-Hill/Irwin
International Marketing 14/e
Copyright © 2009 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Should You Learn?
• The importance of culture to an international
marketer
• The origins and elements of culture
• The impact of cultural borrowing
• The strategy of planned change and its
consequences
4-2
Global Perspective Equities and eBay –
Culture Gets in the Way
• Culture deals with a group’s design for living
• The successful marketer clearly must be a
student of culture
• Markets are the result of the three-way
interaction of a marketer’s
– Economic conditions
– Efforts
– All other elements of culture
• The use of something new is the beginning of
cultural change
– The marketer becomes a change agent
4-3
Culture’s Pervasive Impact
• Culture affects every part of our lives, every day,
from birth to death, and everything in between
– Japan – the year of the Fire Horse
• As countries move from agricultural to industrial to
services economies’ birthrates decline
• Consequences of consumption
– Tobacco
• Culture not only affects consumption, it also affects
production
– Stomach cancer in Japan
4-4
Birthrates (per 1000 women)
Exhibit 4.1
4-5
Patterns of Consumption
(annual per capita)
Exhibit 4.2
4-6
Consequences of Consumption
Exhibit 4.3
4-7
Human Universals – Myth of Diversity
• Use metaphors
• Have a system of status
and roles
• Consider aspects of sexuality
private
• Express emotions with face
• Are ethnocentric
• Reciprocate
• Create art
• Use mood altering drugs
• Conceive of success and
failure
• Overestimate objectivity of
thought
• Create groups antagonistic to
outsiders
• Fear of snakes
• Imitate outside influences
• Resist outside influences
• Recognize economic
obligations in exchanges of
goods and services
• Trade and transport of goods
4-8
Definitions and Origins of Culture
• Traditional definition of culture
– Culture is the sum of the values, rituals, symbols, beliefs, and
thought processes that are learned, shared by a group of people,
and transmitted from generation to generation
• Humans make adaptations to changing
environments through innovation
• Individuals learn culture from social institutions
– Socialization (growing up)
– Acculturation (adjusting to a new culture)
– Application (decisions about consumption and production)
4-9
Origins, Elements,
and Consequences of Culture
Exhibit 4.4
4-10
Geography
• Exercises a profound control
– Includes climate, topography, flora, fauna, and microbiology
– Influenced history, technology, economics, social institutions and
way of thinking
• The ideas of Jared Diamond and Philip Parker
– Jared Diamond
►
Historically innovations spread faster east to west than north to south
– Philip Parker
►
►
►
Reports strong correlations between latitude (climate) and per capita GDP
Empirical data supports climate’s apparent influence on workers’ wages
Explain social phenomena using principles of physiology
4-11
We All Love Flowers – Why?
• Geography
• History
• Technology and economics
• Social institutions
• Cultural values
• Aesthetics as symbols
4-12
History, the Political Economy,
and Technology
• History
– Impact of specific events can be seen reflected in technology, social
institutions, cultural values, and even consumer behavior
►
Tobacco was the original source of the Virginia colony’s economic survival in the 1600s
• Political Economy
– Three approaches to governance competed for world dominance
►
►
►
Fascism
Communism
Democracy/free enterprise
• Technology
– Jet aircraft, air conditioning, televisions, computers, Internet, etc.
– None more important than the birth control pill
4-13
Social Institutions
• Family
• Religion
• School
• The media
• Government
• Corporations
4-14
Social Institutions
• Family
– Nepotism
– Role of extended family
– Favoritism of boys in some cultures
• Religion
– First institution infants are exposed to outside the home
– Impact of values systems
– Misunderstanding of beliefs
• School
– Affects all aspects of the culture, from economic development to
consumer behavior
– No country has been successful economically with less than 50%
literacy
4-15
Social Institutions
• The media
– Media time has replaced family time
►
►
TV
Internet
• Government
– Influences the thinking and behaviors of adult citizens
►
►
Propaganda
Passage, promulgation, promotion, and enforce of laws
• Corporations
– Most innovations are introduced to societies by companies
– Spread through media
– Change agents
4-16
Elements of Culture
• Cultural values
–
–
–
–
Individualism/Collectivism Index
Power Distance Index
Uncertainty Avoidance Index
Cultural Values and Consumer Behavior
4-17
Hofstede’s Indexes
Language, and Linguistic Distance
Exhibit 4.5
4-18
Elements of Culture
• Rituals
– Marriage
– Funerals
• Symbols
– Language
►
Linguistic distance
– Aesthetics as symbols
►
Insensitivity to aesthetic values can offend, create a negative impression, and, in general, render
marketing efforts ineffective or even damaging
• Beliefs
– To make light of superstitions in other cultures can be an expensive
mistake
• Thought processes
– Difference in perception
►
Focus vs. big-picture
4-19
Metaphorical Journeys
through 23 Nations
Exhibit 4.6
4-20
Cultural Knowledge
• Factual knowledge
– Has meaning as a straightforward fact about a culture
– Assumes additional significance when interpreted within the
context of the culture
►
Needs to be learned
• Interpretive knowledge
– Requires a degree of insight that may best be described as a
feeling
►
►
►
Most dependent of past experience for interpretation
Most frequently prone to misinterpretation
Requires consultation and cooperation with bilingual natives with marketing
backgrounds
4-21
Cultural Sensitivity and Tolerance
• Being attuned to the nuances of culture so that a
new culture can be viewed objectively, evaluated
and appreciated
– Cultures are not right or wrong, better or worse, they are simply
different
– The more exotic the situation, the more sensitive, tolerant, and
flexible one needs to be
4-22
Cultural Change
• Dynamic in nature – it is a living process
• Paradoxical because culture is conservative and
resists change
– Changes caused by war or natural disasters
– Society seeking ways to solve problems created by changes in
environment
– Culture is the means used in adjusting to the environmental and
historical components of human existence
4-23
Cultural Borrowing
• Effort to learn from others’ cultural ways in the
quest for better solutions to a society’s particular
problems
– Imitating diversity of other makes cultures unique
– Contact can make cultures grow closer or further apart
• Habits, foods, and customs are adapted to fit
each society’s needs
4-24
Similarities – An Illusion
• A common language does not guarantee a
similar interpretation of word or phrases
– May cause lack of understanding because of apparent and
assumed similarities
• Just because something sells in one country
doesn’t mean it will sell in another
– Cultural differences among member of European Union a
product of centuries of history
4-25
Resistance to Change
• Gradual cultural growth does not occur without
some resistance
– New methods, ideas, and products are held to be suspect before
they are accepted, if ever
• Resistance to genetically modified (GM) foods
– Resisted by Europeans
– Consumed by Asians
– Not even labeled in U.S. until 2000
4-26
Planned and Unplanned
Cultural Change
• Determine which cultural factors conflict with an
innovation
• Change those factors from obstacles to acceptance into
stimulants for change
• Marketers have two options when introducing and
innovation to a culture
– They can wait
– They can cause change
• Cultural congruence
– Marketing products similar to ones already on the market in a
manner as congruent as possible with existing cultural norms
4-27
Consequences of Innovation
• May inadvertently bring about change that affects very
fabric of a social system
• Consequences of diffusion of an innovation
– May be functional or dysfunctional
►
Depending on whether the effects on the social system are desirable or undesirable
• Introduction of a processed feeding formula into the diet
of babies in underdeveloped countries ended up being
dysfunctional
4-28
Summary
• A complete and thorough appreciation of the
origins and elements of culture may well be the
single most important gain to a foreign marketer
in the preparation of marketing plans and
strategies
• Marketers can control the product offered to a
market – its promotion, price, and eventual
distribution methods – but they have only limited
control over the cultural environment within
which these plans must be implemented
4-29
Summary
• When a company is operating internationally
each new environment that is influenced by
elements unfamiliar and sometimes
unrecognizable to the marketer complicates the
task
• Special effort and study are needed to absorb
enough understanding of the foreign culture to
cope with the uncontrollable features
4-30
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