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International Marketing

15th edition

Philip R. Cateora, Mary C. Gilly, and John L. Graham

McGraw-Hill/Irwin Copyright © 2011 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Chapter Objectives 4

At the end of this topic, students are expected to

understand the following:

• The importance of culture to an international

• Definition and origins of culture
• The elements of culture
• The impact of cultural change and cultural
• Strategies of planned and unplanned change
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Introduction (1 of 2) 4

• Culture is pertinent to the study of international

• Culture is pervasive in all marketing activities –
pricing, promotions, channels of distributions,
product, packaging and styling.
• The priority of needs and wants and the manner
in which they are satisfied are functions of
culture that eventually dictate styles of living.
• Markets constantly change and markets and
market behavior are part of a country’s culture.

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Introduction (2 of 2) 4

• One cannot truly understand how markets

evolve or how they react to a marketer’s effort
without appreciating that markets are a result of
• In fact, markets are a result of the three-way
interaction of a marketer’s efforts, economic
conditions, and all other elements of the culture.
• Marketers are constantly adjusting their efforts
to cultural demands of the market, but they are
also acting as “agents of change” whenever the
product or idea being marketed is innovative.
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Definitions and 4
Origins of Culture
• Traditional definition of culture
– Culture is the sum of the values, rituals, symbols,
beliefs, and thought processes that are learned,
shared by a group of people, and transmitted
from generation to generation.
• Individuals learn culture in three ways
– Socialization (growing up)
– Acculturation (adjusting to a new culture)
– Application (decisions about consumption and

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Geography 4

• Exercises a profound control

– Includes climate, topography, flora, fauna, and
– Influenced history, technology, economics, social
institutions and way of thinking

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History 4

• History - Impact of specific events can be seen

reflected in technology, social institutions, cultural
values, and even consumer behavior

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Political Economy and 4
• Political Economy - Three approaches to governance
competed for world dominance
– Fascism
– Communism
– Democracy/free enterprise
• Technology
– Jet aircraft, air conditioning, televisions, computers,
Internet, etc.
– None more important than the birth control pill
– Although America has the best healthcare technology,
people in many countries have greater longevity;
lifestyle choices are important
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Social Institutions (1 of 4) 4

• Family
• Religion
• School
• The media
• Government
• Corporations

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Social Institutions (2 of 4) 4

• Family
– Nepotism
– Role of extended family
– Favoritism of boys in some cultures
– Gender equality is changing
• Religion - Major Religions
– First institution infants are exposed to outside the
– Impact of values systems
– Misunderstanding of beliefs
– An American women jailed in Saudi Arabia for sitting
with man at Starbucks
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Major Religions 4

• Christianity – 2 Billion followers

• Islam – 1.2 Billion followers
• Hinduism – 860 Million followers
• Buddhism – 360 Million followers
• Confucianism – 150 Million followers

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Social Institutions (3 of 4) 4

• School – the most important social institution

– Direct link between a nation’s literacy rate and its
economic development
– Difficult to communicate with a market when a
company must depend on symbols and pictures
• The media – it has replaced family time
• TV and the Internet
• American educational system produces a lower
percentage of college graduates than 12 other
countries including Russia, Japan, and France

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Social Institutions (4 of 4) 4

• Government - influences the thinking and

behaviors of adult citizens
– Propaganda through media
– Passage, promulgation, promotion, and
enforcement of laws
• Corporations - most innovations are introduced
to societies by companies
– Spread through media
– Change agents

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Elements of Culture (1 of 4) 4

• Values
• Rituals
• Symbols
• Beliefs
• Thought processes

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Elements of Culture (2 of 4) 4

• Cultural values – Geert Hofstede

– Individualism/Collectivism Index
• Reflects the preference of behavior that promotes
one’s self interest
– Power Distance Index
• Measures the tolerance of social inequality
– Uncertainty Avoidance Index
• Measures the tolerance of uncertainty and
– Cultural Values and Consumer Behavior

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Elements of Culture (3 of 4) 4

• Rituals – patterns of behavior and interaction that are

learned and repeated
– Marriages , funerals, baptisms, graduations
• Symbols
– Language
• Linguistic distance – relationship between
language and international marketing
– Aesthetics as symbols
• Insensitivity to aesthetic values can offend, create a
negative impression, and, in general, render
marketing efforts ineffective or even damaging
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Language 4

• According to
– A total of 7,413 known living languages exist
in the world
– 311 being spoken in the U.S.; 297 in Mexico,
13 in Finland, and 241 in China
– EU has 20 official languages
– India alone has 452 known languages!

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Elements of Culture (4 of 4) 4

• Beliefs
– Superstitions play a large role in a society’s belief
system and therefore, to make light of superstitions in
other cultures can be an expensive mistake
– The number 13 in the western hemisphere is
considered unlucky, where as the number 8 in China
connotes “prosperity”
– The practice of “Feng Shui”
• Thought processes
– Difference in perception between the East and the
• Focus vs. big-picture
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Cultural Sensitivity 4
and Tolerance
• It is imperative that the marketer be attuned to
the nuances of culture so that a new culture can
be viewed objectively, evaluated and appreciated
– Cultures are not right or wrong, better or worse,
they are simply different
– The more exotic the situation, the more sensitive,
tolerant, and flexible one needs to be
– There must be an appreciation of how cultures
change and accept or reject new ideas

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Cultural Change 4

• Dynamic in nature – it is a living process

• Paradoxical because culture is conservative and
resists change
– Changes caused by war or natural disasters
– Society seeking ways to solve problems created by
changes in environment
– Culture is the means used in adjusting to the
environmental and historical components of
human existence

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Cultural Borrowing 4

• A responsible effort to learn from others’ cultural

ways in the quest for better solutions to a
society’s particular problems
– Imitating diversities of other cultures make
cultures unique
– Contact can make cultures grow closer or further
• Habits, foods, and customs are adapted to fit
each society’s needs
• The marketer must eventually gain cultural
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Similarities – An Illusion 4

• A common language does not guarantee a

similar interpretation of word or phrases
– Difference between British and American English
– http://www.woodlands-
• Just because something sells in one country
doesn’t mean it will sell in another
– Cultural differences among member of
European Union a product of centuries of
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Resistance to Change 4

• Gradual cultural growth does not occur without

some resistance
– New methods, ideas, and products are held to be
suspect before they are accepted
• Resistance to change varies between cultures
• The most important factor in determining how
much of an innovation will be accepted is the
degree of interest in the particular subject, as
well as how drastically the new will change the

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Planned and Unplanned 4

Cultural Change
• Determine which cultural factors conflict with an
• Change those factors from obstacles to acceptance into
stimulants for change
• Marketers have two options when introducing and
innovation to a culture
– They can wait (unplanned change)
– They can cause change (planned change)
• Cultural congruence
– Marketing products similar to ones already on the market
in a manner as congruent as possible with existing cultural

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