Marketing is an important function of any Home Based Business. Depending on what niche your business is in, and whether or not you are undertaking online or offline marketing, it is of the utmost importance to consider the culture of the market and country you are targeting. What works in one country may be found to be irrelevant or offensive in another. How you talk to Entrepreneurs in different cultures can make or break your business.
Marketing across cultures or international marketing refers to promoting your products in different countries. It is the marketing of your product marketed by different companies overseas or in different countries across the globe. There are key factors that involve representing your product in a separate or a unique environment that is completely dissimilar to your society or culture. Cultural difference has a huge impact on the marketing strategy as each nation or culture is almost poles apart from each other.
The key factors are: identification, targeting the society, entry mode selections, marketing mix and strategic decisions to compete in internationals boundaries. The topics that need to be covered before the product is even launched are: economic and political legal environment, social-cultural environment, a complete marketing research of the region, so as to know what works here and what doesn’t. International segmentation and position also have to be considered so as to decide which segment or part of the society would be interested in the product, age groups, professional groups etc. International product strategy, explains how to strategize the product keeping diverse cultures in mind so as to know how to advertise it.
Pricing strategy also has to be kept in mind as there is a huge monetary difference between currencies worldwide. What can be priced in dollars cannot be bought in rupees easily. Distribution strategies, the geological situation of the country also has to be kept in mind. Communications strategy is highly essential i.e. to be able to communicate overseas and to convey the message to the consumer in a way that can be understandable. Language barriers are difficult issues that need to be resolved. And last but not the least, the future of marketing in that region for that specific product. To be able to analyze how far and how successful the product can be in that particular region.
After the decision to invest has been made, the mode of business has to be decided. It can be divided into exporting, joint ventures or direct investment. Exporting is where you send the product to a different region but manufacture it in your own. Direct Investment includes dividing the major issues of business, like, manufacturing the products yourself and assembling them in another nation. Joint ventures would be a combined effort between two or more companies internationally.
The problems faced are the most difficult to solve because what a buyer would buy a product for in USA, a buyer in Singapore for example would not buy the same product for the same reasons. Therefore the cultural difference is a very vast and complicated issue.
To solve the basic problems in marketing across cultures, a new paradigm has been defined. The first one is to recognize. This means that even if we know there is a cultural difference it doesn’t mean that we can recognize it. The first step therefore is to recognize that there is a vast difference and we have to accept it.
The second step is to respect. This means that there is no right or wrong. Where you come from and where you are, are two different entities and they have to be respected. So to be able to respect a nation and its laws and rules is very important. The last one is reconcile. This means that there will always be a difference in opinion between the buyer and the seller and the marketer must be able to resolve or reconcile it every time.