Chapter 3

Report
Global Marketing
Management
A European Perspective
Social and Cultural
Environments
Warren J. Keegan
Bodo B. Schlegelmilch
Overview
Basic Aspects of Society and Culture
Analytical Approaches to Cultural Factors
Handling Cultural Diversity
Summary
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Global Marketing Management: A European Perspective
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Learning Objectives
Understanding how important cultural and social
differences are in global marketing
Learning fundamental concepts that provide an
understanding of cultural differences
Understanding where potential conflicts may arise in
global business relations
Knowing how cultural differences impact the
marketing of products and services
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Basic Aspects of Society and Culture
Culture as “ways of living”
Conscious and unconscious values, ideas, attitudes, and
symbols that shape human behaviour
Culture is learned, not innate
Culture defines the boundaries between different
groups
All facets of culture are interrelated
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The Search for Cultural Universals
Universal = Mode of behaviour existing in all cultures
Universal aspects = opportunities to standardize some
or all elements of a marketing program
Cultural universals: e.g., athletic sports, body
adornment, religious rituals, music
E.g.: VIVA music channel employs same fundamental
concept in all markets, adapted to local preferences
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The Anthropologist’s Standpoint
Global marketers must understand human experience
from the local point of view and become insiders with
cultural empathy
Global marketers need combination of toughmindedness and generosity
Tough-mindedness: be secure in your own convictions and
traditions
Generosity: Appreciate the integrity and value of other ways
of life
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High- and Low-Context Cultures (1)
Low-context culture:
Messages are explicit
Words carry most of the information in communication
E.g., United States, Switzerland, Germany
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High- and Low-Context Cultures (2)
High-context culture
Less information is contained in the verbal part of the
message
More information resides in the context of communication
(background, associations, basic values of communicators)
E.g., Japan, Saudi Arabia
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Global Marketing Management: A European Perspective
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High- and Low-Context Cultures (3)
Factors
Lawyers
A person’s word
Time
Negotiations
Competitive
Bidding
High-Context
- less important
- his/ her bond
- everything is dealt
with in its own time
- lengthy
- infrequent
Low-Context
- very important
- ‘get it in writing’
- ‘time is money’
- quick
- frequent
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Global Marketing Management: A European Perspective
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Communication and Negotiation
Global marketers face challenges in
Verbal communication
Non-verbal communication
 Knowledge and understanding of cross-cultural differences is
crucial during negotiations
 Lists can function as guidelines, although typologies do not take
particular individuals into account
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Analytical Approaches to Cultural
Factors (1)
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
SELF-ACTUALISATION
ESTEEM
SOCIAL NEEDS
SAFETY NEEDS
PSYCHOLOGICAL NEEDS
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Analytical Approaches to Cultural
Factors (2)
Hofstede’s cultural typology
Cultures of different nations can be compared in terms
of four dimensions
Power distance
Integration into groups
Masculinity
Uncertainty avoidance
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Analytical Approaches to Cultural
Factors (3)
Self-reference criterion (SRC) and perception
Perception of market needs is framed by own cultural
experience
Four-step framework
Define problem in terms of home country norms
Define problem in terms of host country norms
Isolate SRC influence. See how it complicates problem
Redefine problem without SRC influence. Solve for host
country market situation
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Analytical Approaches to Cultural
Factors (4)
Environmental Sensitivity
The extent to which products must be adapted to the
culture-specific needs of different national markets
Environmental sensitive products
Require significant adaptation to the environments of various
global markets (e.g., food)
Environmental insensitive products
Do not require significant adaptation (e.g., integrated
circuits)
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Handling Cultural Diversity (1)
Impact of social and cultural environments on
marketing industrial products
Industrial products might exhibit
Lower levels of environmental sensitivity (e.g., computer
chips)
Higher levels of environmental sensitivity (e.g., government
policies influencing purchasing behaviour of turbine
generators)
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Handling Cultural Diversity (2)
Impact of social and cultural environments on
marketing consumer products
Consumer goods are usually more sensitive to cultural
diversity than industrial goods
Culture is changing so rapidly that innovative
marketing may be able to change established
consumption patterns rooted in cultural differences
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Handling Cultural Diversity (3)
Example: Consumption of Soft Drinks (Y)
Y = f (A, B, C, D, E, F, G)
 A = influences of other beverages’ relative prices, quality, taste
B = advertising expenditure and effectiveness, all beverage
categories
C = availability of products in distribution channel
D = cultural elements, tradition, custom, habit
E = availability of raw materials
F = climatic conditions, temperature, relative humidity
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Handling Cultural Diversity (4)
Culture always has been a major source for
disagreement and misunderstandings
Cross-cultural complications can lead to costly failures
Companies realize the importance of training and
supporting people in cultural awareness
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Summary
 Culture has both a pervasive and changing influence
on each national market environment
 Global marketers must recognize the influence of
culture
 Nations can be classified as high- or low-context
cultures
 Maslow’s hierarchy, Hofstede’s typology, and the
self-reference criterion can provide clues about
cultural differences and similarities
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