Global Internet Marketing Presence: Business to Customer and Healthcare Industry

Global Internet Marketing Presence: Business to Customer and Healthcare Industry

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0957-9.ch007

Abstract

Identifying relevant audience attributes that lead to informed business decisions is critical. This chapter provides a review of two industries (global snacks and healthcare). Best practices are provided for leaders within these industries as they seek ways to make informed global business decisions. It is suggested that leaders take heed to the various strategies listed in this report while paying close attention to acquisition reports and marketing research. These tools will likely provide them with a clearer audience analysis.
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Introduction

As marketers working in the international field, our best intentions are often hindered due to the lack of research, flawed marketing decisions and ethnocentrism. Clearly, such measures can be avoided by studying Geert Hoefstede’s Cultural Dimensions and including his system in our daily line of work. If only PepsiCo had incorporated such tried and true measures before their introduction of the popular Pepsi beverage to the residents of Taiwan, the company would not be associated with poor cross cultural awareness. Employees at PepsiCo had no idea that their introduction of Pepsi to residents of Taiwan using the slogan “Come Alive with Pepsi” would be translated to “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead.” Vernacular and translation are core concepts that must be taken into consideration when seeking to infuse the international market with new products. In this section you will:

  • 1.

    Learn the fundamentals of Geert Hoefstede’s Cultural Dimensions

  • 2.

    Learn the importance of successful cross cultural communication

Pepsi’s faux pas is not a stand-alone incident. A Boolean search on google.com results in 1,690,000 similar events and the list keeps growing. How can marketers, not yet associated with such international marketing mix ups avoid being a member of the list? Geert Hoefstede, a highly acclaimed researcher in the areas of organizational culture, cultural economics and management introduced the cultural dimensions theory to prove that cultural groups influence the behaviors of a society.

Hoefstede’s theory is widely used in cross-cultural psychology a field often studied by marketers to better understanding the buyer behaviors of customers. Geert Hoefstede’s original model was developed as a result of a survey given to IBM employees in the early 1960s. The goal of the research was to determine how workplace values are highly influenced by culture. His theory is known as one of the first quantitative measures used to explain the differences between cultures and one of the largest. Between 1967 and 1973 his researched studies took place in 70 countries (http://www.clearlycultural.com/geert-hofstede-cultural-dimensions/), a website that sheds light on the importance of cultural communications, provides readers with a link to various countries and an analysis of how each is defined according to Hoefstede’s research findings. Geert Hoefstede’s research findings define countries according to the Power Distance Index. As a result, the following roles are clearly defined according to country.

  • Individualism vs. Collectivism

  • Masculinity vs. Femininity

  • Uncertainty Avoidance Index

Individualism suggests that a country consists of members who look after themselves and their own family. Collective societies consist of members committed to groups. Key messages developed for such societies would clearly be strategically developed according to such cultural norms.

Masculinity vs. Femininity defines the difference in roles among men and women. In societies dominated by one gender over the other, marketing managers would have to take such norms into consideration when making marketing decisions as the external environment would greatly impact key decisions. Market segmentation and positioning are highly important in such situations.

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