Lack of cross-cultural awareness can be devastating when it comes to marketing internationally, so much so that it may be considered as one of the biggest barriers to implementing successful international marketing strategies. There are a number of elements you must take into consideration should you be looking into launching and marketing a product or service internationally, whether that just be working with global suppliers, or providing a product or service for audiences of varying ethnic and cultural origins.In relation to international marketing, culture is defined as:
“The sum total of learned beliefs, values and customs that serve to direct consumer behaviour in a particular country market.”
When taking into account the varying cultures you may be marketing to, it is important to look into the eight components which form a convenient framework for examining a culture from a marketing perspective:
4. Organisation of society
5. Technology and material culture
6. Law and politics
8. Values and attitudes
By evaluating these eight components, it allows marketers to gain an in-depth understanding of the culture they will be marketing to, meaning any specific product or service can have a marketing strategy tailored towards the needs of any culture. This leads to highlight the importance of thorough and effective research as the initial step of any strategic marketing implementation – lack of knowledge in a foreign market can be a major hurdle, so effective marketing analysis strategy is an essential first step to success.
Like any general marketing strategy, developing effective relationships is crucial, but even more so when marketing internationally. Not only with customers, but also up and down your supply chain; having regular and meaningful conversations builds mutual trust and knowledge, giving your team a competitive advantage.
Consumers across the globe are becoming better informed every day, through faster and more effective communications and education, meaning brands are increasingly expected to ensure ethical behaviour in the interest of the global community. Not only this, but ethical marketers need to be aware of the ever changing societal views of what is deemed as ‘acceptable behaviour’ and evaluate any cultural sensitivity. As an end result, brands should not only be perceived positively globally, but more importantly be positioned clearly to be relevant to buyers from many different cultures and ethnic origins.
*Source: CIM Companion: international marketing strategy