Culture can be defined as a way that an individual behaves in the society he belongs to. It includes the kinds of lifestyles, his daily practices, the law that governs him and civic morals. Some elements of culture include languages, nationality, education, occupation, ethic & racial groups, religion, family, sex, community class and company culture.
To enter a market, a marketer must first identify the market demographics, market needs, market trends, and current and potential market growth. Understanding cultural differences is important to achieve success in any market, let alone on the world business stage. While there are national and local cultures to consider, remember to address political and business cultures, when developing marketing strategies.
Some cultures grimace at the use of terms, symbols or even colours, repugnant in their life experiences. Different colours appeal more in certain countries, particularly in religious societies, than in others. For example, red is very much a colour of luck to the Chinese, but a warning sign to many other nationalities. In China, gold is almost always a sign of prosperity and success. The issue of colour selection in marketing applies not only to print and media ads, but also to web sites.
Gender is a factor when considering your target market in any country, but in some societies it is more relevant than in others. If you are selling medical supplies in the Russian Republic today you should be aware the vast majority of Russian doctors are women. However in countries like the U.S., Australia and the U.K. men make up the majority of doctors.
Gender esteem also has significant implications in countries like Japan, Austria and in Arab countries where males often command ultimate decision authority over females. In contrast, in Sweden the female population has a much greater say in purchasing decisions.
With careful research of cultural differences you can craft the right words to maximize your message impact in the international market. Marketing to the global community calls for no more thought than marketing anywhere really, you simply have to put yourself in your buyer’s shoes.
It will always be hard to determine whether a merger or takeover has failed because the cultures simply did not fit. But success is more likely to elude those who do not really believe in the cultures they are trying to create. You have to create an environment where people feel comfortable in expressing themselves in a different way.