At the turn of the third millennium, it becomes increasingly obvious that society is developing along the path of expanding the interconnection and interdependence between different countries and their cultures. This process covers various spheres of public life in all countries of the world. Today, it is impossible to find cultures that would not be affected by both other cultures and the wider social environment that exists in the individual regions and the world as a whole. Therefore, it is of great importance to explore similarities and differences between different cultures, thus achieving effective collaboration. The companies have to get acquainted with the specifics of business organizations in the target country. The reliable information about the new market and the greatest possible consistency in the actions of various divisions of the company are critical for effective performance on a global scale.
The concept of international marketing refers to the activity and processes of communication and exchange of values that is beneficial for both sides. At this point, there are plenty of factors that impact the course of international marketing. For example, political, economic, social, legal, technological, etc. environments may be either strong or weak factors, affecting the indicators of international marketing. It should also be noted that the mentioned aspects are to be considered comprehensively while assessing and developing activities and tactics on how to interact with one or the other company. In particular, nowadays environment is complicated by the Arab Spring, globalization processes. the refugee crisis in Europe, and a range of other issues. In this connection, it becomes evident that the role taken by international marketing cannot be overestimated.
The key research problem regarding international marketing is that there is a need to cooperate with the other culture. The research question that can be posed in this case is how to lead this interaction and achieve the best outcomes possible, thus meeting the expectations of both partners. Among the barriers to intercultural communication, one may note languages, non-verbal communication, and business communication. For example, the same gestures may be understood differently by the representatives of different cultures. The traditional American “OK” means “I will kill you” in Tunisia. Thus, the misunderstanding occurred on the basis of this gesture may be rather difficult to address once it occurs.
However, not only gestures but also artifacts and values characterize every culture, defining its vision and common goals. Among the artifacts, one may note dressing peculiarities or food – these points are tangible elements of cultures. Speaking more precisely, beliefs, norms, time orientation, etc. refer to intangible aspects and are more complicated and important in international marketing (Herbig, 2014). In this connection, the problem to be addressed concerns the increase of awareness of the cultural aspects and also respect for the target company’s or country’s culture.
High-quality international marketing identifies the success of the organization on the global market. According to Hofstede, there are certain cultural dimensions that classify the cultures of the world according to the following criteria: Power Distance Index (PDI), Power Distance Index (PDI), Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI), Masculinity vs. Feminity (MAS), and so on (Rothlauf, 2014). For example, individualism in the East is often seen as a threat to society. As a result, Japan is represented by a nation, in which the personality is not an independent unit, but a function of the group and the corporate identity. The awareness of the key cultural differences between partners as well as causes and factors of their behavior softens the cultural shock, prevents conflicts, and promotes the success of business communications in a multicultural environment. The strategies and methods selected to apply in a multicultural environment should take into account the specific values, attitudes, and norms of behavior of the target audience.
In terms of intercultural marketing, it is necessary to consider the cultural influence on the perception that refers to what others think about a certain culture. For example, Spaniards are usually extraverts and prefer face-to-face communication while the Chinese tend to communicate indirectly, giving sweet smiles. These peculiarities are caused by the way the representatives of the mentioned cultures think. In particular, being involved in the individualist culture, Spaniards are open to dialogue and value personal relationships more than business contacts. On the contrary, Chinese exist in the family-oriented or collectivist background, according to which a person is perceived as a part of the group and reject may embarrass. The important business meeting should be planned and negotiated in advance.
Another important aspect of international marketing is its role in management that used to develop the concept of internationalization of the company, which is the basis for managing this process. The core principle of international marketing should consist of a conscious and purposeful combination of management tools, aiming at the accomplishment of the goals in the global market. Also, the consideration of the cultural motivations of the other company may serve as a rather beneficial option to address the problems of international marketing.
Herbig, P. A. (2014). Handbook of cross-cultural marketing. New York, NY: Routledge.
Rothlauf, J. (2014). A global view on intercultural management: Challenges in a globalized world. Boston, MA: De Gruyter.