This essay will demonstrate why cultural factors are important for international marketer. This essay will also explain why international marketer should have knowledge of different cultures and why this factor has significantly important to make any business strategies. If they have sufficient knowledge of cultures they can make good and acceptable strategies for their business. It is the important to know culture before marketer go across the border.
This world becomes a global village and it creates many opportunities for businessmen to go across the border to expand his/her business. As thought full international marketers who are concerned about culture, cultural diversity and the means of communication of the different countries where they want to initiate their business, they should have knowledge of culture of particular country. The World has some 6000 communities and as many distinct languages. Such difference obviously leads to diversity of vision, values beliefs, practice and expression which all deserve equal respect and dignity. The successful international marketer have to know the values of each different culture and language of that definite country. The international migration rate is growing fast every year and by reason of this easy for the managers to acquire the awareness of the different culture and language.
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As discussed by Greet Hofsted (2003, P-5) "Culture is a mental software" This statement give you an idea about that culture are not inherited but culture always learned. Like computer software a mind is programmed to make decisions in the light of what he felt, heard, learned. A man learned his culture from the social environment. Culture is large and integral part of our everyday lives. It is our beliefs, values, behaviours and material objects that create our way of life. It is the human nature. There are two types of cultures one part is tangible. This includes things like building and art like that. The other part is opposite to it that includes things like religion, philosophy, ideas and beliefs.
The word culture encapsulates spiritual, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group and also lifestyle, ways of living together values of system, tradition and beliefs. " A cultural subgroup differentiated by status, ethnic background, residence, religion or other factors that functionally unify the group and act collectively on each member." (Geert Hofsted 2001)
At the start of this essay one term used "Globalization" that is why it is very important to explain subculture as well. Taking example of England, there are so many people living who have different culture. All together England has one culture but in this culture there are different sub cultures. One geographic boundary does not necessarily mean one culture.
As early as 1950 David Riesman distinguished between a majority, "which passively accepted commercially provided styles and meanings, and a 'subculture' which actively sought a minority style and interpreted it in accordance with subversive values"(Middleton 1990). In other words, subcultures are good of individuals who, through a variety of methods, present themselves in opposition to the mainstream trends of their culture if the subculture is characterized by systematic opposition to the dominant culture. If the subculture is characterised by systematic opposition to the dominant culture, then it may be described as a counterculture.
McDonald's is one of the biggest fast food chains in this world and they are successive because they understand the importance of culture and subculture. That is why they have branches all over the world. McDonald's is very much successful in all cultures because before they launching their branch in new country or new culture they study immense about their culture and when it fails to do this they fail to do business. In all different countries culture is different for example in Europe culture is different and in Asia its totally different.
This example will explain the importance to have knowledge of subcultures and why it is the most important to consider culture factor central core of making policy. In USA vegetarians people protest against McDonald and their point was McDonald frying chips(fries) with other non vegetarian products in same oil. This thing happened in India as well, In India most of people are vegetarian. It is a part of their religion as well. Management team was sensible the study culture more in detail and they formulate new policies how to minimize these problems for example they start using vegetable oil. They make ingredients charts and place it on front so that customer can see details etc.
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The other example is HSBC bank the bank known to be World's local bank. Why they think that because they have very clear strategy about culture. HSBC got branches all over the world and getting great response from all over the world. "We know that employing diverse people makes us more adaptable to new situations. This not simply about gender, ethnicity, disability or age: it is about respecting individuals and treating everyone, customers and colleagues, with dignity" (http://www.ukpersonal.hsbc.co.uk).
Following example will make clear that cultural factor is central core of marketing policy. When HSBC launch their business in Islamic countries like Middle East, Pakistan. They study Islamic terms and how they can attract customers by giving them services according to their religion and culture. Like it mentioned above that this world becomes global village even in London there are so many people living how have different cultures. HSBC made strategies to focus on sub cultures as well. HSBC started Amanah banking that is Islamic banking. HSBC started this just to attract Muslim customers . "At its heart , HSBC Amanah premier offers you a suite of financial products that comply with the highest standards of Shaiah authenticity. Structured under the strict supervision of our world-renowned Shariah scholars, our range of Amanah products cater to all your banking needs". (http://www.hsbcamanah.com/amanah/personal/premier)
At the end it is essential for the international marketers to have vast knowledge of cultures. If they have inadequate information about culture then it is impossible for them to do business in specific country or culture. Managers should have knowledge sufficient knowledge of culture values to avoid any ethical dilemma. Above all mentioned reasons proves it that cultural factor should considered central core of marketing policy.