The Janus Face of International Marketing – Part 2

Distorting aspirations. As economic growth in emerging markets allows millions of people to enter the middle class, it brings great new opportunities for them to improve the quality of their lives. It also exposes them to the challenge of rising aspirations with limited income. New international consumers must learn how to manage their aspirations as they experience emotional marketing appeals for products and services that might not be considered practical or “good for them.”

In a chapter titled “Ethical Lapses of Marketers” in Jagdish Sheth and Rajendra Sisodia’s book, Does Marketing Need Reform? (M.E. Sharpe, 2006), good friend Philip Kotler posed two dimensions of “the marketing dilemma” for all marketing: (1) What if the customer wants something that is not good for him or her? (2) What if the product or service, while good for the customer, is not good for society or other groups? How consumers, marketers and societies manage that dilemma in international markets will need to be resolved on a country-by-country basis.

Coping with culture. All too often, cultures are insufficiently studied or wrongly interpreted. It might seem that responsiveness to cultural differences should be second nature to marketers and therefore virtually reflexive. However, cultural differences continue to challenge marketers and can negatively affect the marketplace. Many times, disregarding local idiosyncrasies is like the introduction of a destructive virus on a culture. For example, bringing snakes to Guam almost exterminated all birds there. Or, when selling construction wood to Japan, the importer of the boards needs to consider both the typical Japanese “tsubo” size, as well as the Japanese tendency to build smaller rooms. Not doing so supports the success of competitors and leaves Japanese purchasers dissatisfied.

 Though there is frequent talk about how we understand each other so much better than in the past, the reality looks different.  The actual overlap between societies is typically very miniscule. There may be a number of Chinese industry leaders who have been to the United States and have developed a clear understanding of America and Americans, but they represent a very small fraction of the Chinese populace. The average Chinese person may knowledgably understand as much about Columbus, Ohio, as the average Buckeye State resident knows about Tianjin. The consequence of that limitation is a danger of misunderstandings and susceptibility to hostility.

13 thoughts on “The Janus Face of International Marketing – Part 2

  1. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your weblog. You have some really great posts and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an e-mail if interested. Kudos!

  2. I’m not sure where you’re getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for excellent information I was looking for this information for my mission.

  3. I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming also. In fact your creative writing skills has encouraged me to get my own site now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a good example of it.

  4. This Snippet is variable and changes but now search key words cpcc exam answer – Lucille, Do you think it is a great idea to sell Mathematics books in college or location timne answering
    quuestions obtained to questions aand answers to
    interviews you end up being willing to include an educatyion support system in your hme
    cdl handbook The Tales From the Crypt comic books and
    Shows are designed in this style questions and answers to interviews

Leave a Reply