Impact of Culture on Marketing Strategies

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Culture is the complex phenomenon of learned behavior patterns and perceptions inherited from our forefathers which distinguishes our society from other societies. It determines the attire we wear, the food we eat, the places we live in and many other dimensions of our daily life.

Culture influences are not static and do change over time, so it is the responsibility of marketing manager to check those changes and adapt their marketing policies, given that culture to a great extent determines how, why, when and for whom products and services are purchased. Here is some examples to illustrate how social-culture changes have affected consumer buying behavior. A culture shift from deferred satisfaction to immediate satisfaction has resulted in fewer saving and more spending. Further more the greater awareness about health has created a large market for exercise and fitness products and the shift towards increased leisure time has created opportunities for comfortable products such as frozen foods, fast food, microwave ovens, etc

The impact of culture on consumer buying behavior is perhaps more apparent and thrilling in overseas markets given that culture differences result in different attitudes, customs and perceptions, all of which affect marketing strategy. Marketing strategies that have proved successful in one country often cannot be applied directly in other markets because of culture differences. For example an American manufacturer tried to sell jars of baby food in an African country. The product information was given on the jar label. But most of the potential customers were illiterate. They were unable to read the print on the label.

In conclusion, marketing planning for one country will not be successful in other countries because of culture differences. So the marketers should be aware from all aspects of their culture practices and this can be achieved by treating each country as a separate market.
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