The debate between culture and strategy is revolving around the business community for last several years. A large number of businesses concentrate their marketing efforts on one of several segments of a culture as a core strategy. While a larger business concern might have the adequate financial strength to engage several cultural groups independently with separate campaigns, but small businesses usually must focus their marketing more narrowly. For both situations, understanding the cultural behaviors and attitudes of potential clients helps businesses market their products and services in relevant and effective ways. Businesses do not exist in a vacuum, rather business is now a part of the society or the community and business must be aware of changes in the cultures and societies in which it does business. As society and culture change, businesses must adapt to stay ahead of their competitors and stay relevant in the minds of their consumers. Developing your understanding, tolerance and acceptance of cultural differences is crucial if your international marketing objectives are to be accomplished.
By definition international business covers all transactions undertaken between enterprises from two or more countries. In order to finalize a transaction companies have to form international operational structures distinct from those applied in their domestic market. Besides knowledge of international strategies managers need to comprehend the interdependence between the strategies and their financial results. Without proper understanding of the cultural biography marketing and promotion of product in that cultural region may turn out as a nightmare. Where the conceptual difference does lies in case of strategy for academicians and professionals? For being effective a strategy must be adaptable with the norms and values of the particular market.
It is generally assumed that people are not born with a culture, but are born into a society in which they develop certain cultural traits and beliefs. Culture has an impact on people right from when they are born all the way into adulthood, which gives it a highly persuasive quality. In many countries, cultural traits will prevent a person from doing something that is common in another culture or encourage behaviour that is uncommon elsewhere. Differences between an international and domestic business concern commercial practice, the scope of managerial decisions, disparities in legal systems, as well as restraints put in place by governments, limitations connected with different currencies, not to mention cultural differences. Different business cultures in different countries lead to distinct commercial practices. Therefore, executives operating internationally encounter difficulties that people managing enterprises on a local scale do not have to face. Cultural differences are of fundamental importance for running an international business.
Globalization and business activity of large companies all over the world increasingly links various nations and cultures; however, on the other hand, it reveals profound differences between people and nationalities on the level of communities, individuals and organizations. Discussing cultural diversity and coexistence of different cultures in international business environment requires defining and comprehending the concept of culture itself, as well as classifying cultures according to specific features, useful for business environment. It is important that international marketers pay particularly close attention to the persuasive nature of culture. There are a number of key cultural elements that international marketers need to take into consideration when designing products, developing promotions and implementing distribution systems in foreign markets. These elements include values, beliefs, thought processes, symbols, traditions, religion and language.
- It won’t be rational to assume that people will disregard their culture just because a product you have introduced will make their life easier. Many aspects of culture have survived thousands of years and are likely to continue so long as they are being taught to children from a young age.
- Many countries are reluctant to let go of their culture and actively try to preserve it against foreign influence.
- Language is a particularly important factor to consider when developing international marketing campaigns. It might not seem like a problem at first; all you need is a good interpreter. The best way to deal with language issues is to deal with people who grew up in your target market.
- Religion, tradition and local customs are also important considerations. You need to make yourself aware of the local culture to ensure that you don’t accidentally or carelessly offend people.
These factor need to be consider in designing strategy of an international business concern. Cultural and social factors are of great importance in international business. A variety of cultures coexist in the global market and many of them might be entirely new and strange to us. Every company planning to enter a specific market ought to become acquainted with the culture of the country where they are going to operate, otherwise the probability of blundering increases. Considering cultural differences in business and adapting to partner’s actions are some of the sources of success in confrontation with foreign business people. Nevertheless, the choice of behaviour cannot be inapplicable to the company’s action strategy.