Cross Cultural Marketing | Objectives | Areas of Research

Cross cultural Marketing - objectives and areas of research

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Objectives of cross cultural marketing

The marketer should determine his international marketing objectives while entering the cross cultural marketing. Various options are available to an international marketer. The firm can act as a domestic exporter, or a foreign importer. It may also solicit another firm to sell abroad. Better opportunities available in the foreign market and the over capacity of the firm operating only in the domestic market motivate the firm to go abroad. The firm will work out the following objectives:

1. To determine how consumers in two or more societies are similar and devise suitable strategy.

2..To formulate marketing strategy if cultural beliefs, values and customs of a specific country are different.

Area of Research for Cross Cultural Analysis

In cross cultural analysis, the firm has to do research in the following areas:

  1. Language;
  2. Differences in market segmentation;
  3. Differences in criteria for evaluating products and services;
  4. Differences in consumption pattern of consumers and perceived benefits of products and services.
  5. Differences in economic and cultural, social condition and family structure.

1. Language Differences

Language is the most important aspect of culture. Understanding a country’s mother tongue will be of immense help to the marketer to know the impact of culture on consumer behavior. The marketer should study the nuances of cultural variances and respond in such a way which a consumer easily understands.

2. Differences in market segmentation opportunities

The company’s product may be superior in terms of quality, cost. service, technology clout and brand equity in the domestic market. But this will benefit the company only when it suitably segments the market with the help of overseas research.

For example, in India, ready made garments are manufactured at lower cost. This gives competitive advantage in the global market. Research is undertaken in foreign market to study the potentiality for exporting ready-made garments from India. Proper market segmentation is essential for developing the products.

3. Differences in the criteria for evaluating products and services

As mentioned earlier, India has tremendous opportunities in the field of textile and ready-made garments. This is due to availability of cheap labor and quality natural fabrics at reduced prices. Consumers are very particular about quality assurance while buying products. So, the exporting company should understand the “Perceived quality” in the consumer market.

Variances do occur in consumer perception. Only research can reveal the differences in criteria for evaluating product and services; This aspect cannot be ignored by the marketer for cross cultural marketing.

4. Differences in consumption pattern and perceived benefits of products and services

Leather and leather products are an important item of export being exported by India. India has a competitive advantage in leather products. The livestock population in India is the largest in the world. So, best quality raw hides and skins are available for manufacturing leather products.

Availability of cheap skilled manpower is an added advantage for leather units operating in the country. South Korea and Taiwan were compelled to go slow on production due to escalating costs in production. So, India has gained a competitive advantage against its competitors in leather products.

Products like footwear, belts, bags and wallets are considered as an inseparable part of everyday life for all of us. So, the demand for leather products is ever increasing all over the world. Global customers have perceived values and added benefits from buying Indian leather products. Marketing research can identify suitable strategies for improving the position in marketing leather products.

5. Differences in the economic and cultural social conditions and family structure

Consumption pattern is not uniform among all countries. Differences occur due to subcultures centered around consumer preferences. Food habits, clothing styles etc., are part of the belief structure and cultural taboos. Professor W.Lloyd Warner of the University of Chicago has divided the United States society into six groups:

  1. Upper class;
  2. Lower upper;
  3. Upper middle;
  4. Lower middle;
  5. Upper lower and
  6. Lower-lower.

1. Upper-Class: Constitutes only a small percentage of population. It consists of prominent families with wealth inherited through two or more generations.

2. Lower-upper: Accounts for only two percent of the population. These families are wealthy. The first generation parents in lower-upper class give prominence to the education of their children.

3. Upper-middle: Includes about ten percent of the population. These families earn income from a variety of sources and consist mainly of professionals like successful business mangers, lawyers, doctors, etc. They have a very strong desire for professional success and recognition in the upper middle class. They give importance to clothing, home decor etc., as signs of social recognition.

4. Lower-middle: About one-third of the families in the society belong to lower level supervisors, non-managerial white collar workers, owners of small business, clerks, etc. They desire respectability, living in respectable neighborhoods, and send their wards to colleges. They avoid lower class living.

5. Upper-lower: The upper-lower class is perhaps the largest one in the society. It constitutes about 40% of the population. The families in the upper-lower class are similar to those of lower middle class. Their main form of income is not salary but wages. This class is popularly known as working class and includes skilled, semi-skilled and manual laborers, construction, workers etc. This class does not spend its income striving for middle class respectability.

6. Lower-lower: About 15% of the population belongs to lower-lower class. The income of the members in the lower-lower class is the lowest. They are often unemployed. Even those who are employed are unskilled and usually uneducated as day laborers. The above social classes have relevance to United States and they are based on occupation, source of income, house type and neighborhood.

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