Marketing can be defined as a discipline that involves researching and developing a product and then facilitating the sales and distribution of said product to the general public. Marketing has been around for a long time, and has been constantly evolving to meet the needs and purchasing behaviors of consumers. Marketing today is very different from what it used to be a few decades ago, mainly due to a rapidly changing world economy and the development of fast and virtually free knowledge distribution and exchange. Marketing faces many new challenges in the 21st century but none for important than the surge of globalization and information technology, both which impact current businesses more than any other factors. These 2 challenges can make or break a business and it requires the implementation of brand new strategies to cope with the rapidly evolving global market we have today.
Globalization, as Wikipedia defines it, is a complex series of economic, social technological, cultural and political changes seen as increasing interdependence, integration and interaction between people and companies in disparate locations. With the onset of technological advancements within the past decade, globalization has never been faster. Airplanes and jets shrink geological distances whilst the surge of the internet, telephone and satellite television shrinks cultural distances. The flow of information and improvement of logistic has thus allowed companies to expand their market worldwide in a very small amount of time. It is very evident today that the impact of globalization, regardless of size, is visible in our everyday life. For example, the coffee we purchase on our way to work is a hybrid product. The coffee beans were probably cultivated in Latin America, the Espresso machine made in Europe., while paper cup the coffee was served in produced locally. Globalization has infused a certain amount of complexity in current market enviroments, with foreign companies forging partnerships with other local companies in an effort to conquer the local market. Globalization has brought irrelevancy to current traditional businesses' borders and boundaries, with larger and better funded corporations infiltrating foreign marketplaces with hope of expanding their market coverage greatly. An issue that has to be dealt with is cross-cultural marketing.
Globalization being an inevitable process in the 21st century, brings along with it cross culturalization. Because globalization makes marketing a now world-wide discipline, it also means that differences between ethnicities and culture become all the more obvious. Companies face a daunting task of melding its traditional marketing practices into a marketing mix that conforms to its customers value base within the cultural system. On an anthropological level, market behavior is generally bound to its cultural system. Consumer purchasing behavior and business practices are performed to a large extent according to their cultural environment. Therefore in order to break through and cater to the customers preference and purchasing behavior, a thorough understanding of the locales cultural system of the target market is needed. This doesn't mean that identifying cultural differences alone will be sufficient to ensure selling success. It just means that marketers will have to identify cultural similarities as well, and successfully manipulate these differences and similarities into a breakthrough selling point.
Unfortunately cross-cultural marketing isn't that simple. In many locales of the world, such as Australia and the United States of America, multiculturism is a part of everyday life. For example, in the USA alone, lies a multicultural population of roughly 100 million, with a combined buying power of African-American, Hispanic, and Asian markets that amount up to USD 1.3 trillion. Businesses' have to figure out how to idenfity the cultural similarities...
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