21st century is a globalized century. People can travel to the other side of the planet in one day to meet or to accomplish their assignment and come back home next day. This is just epitome of the globalization today. Thousands of companies are doing business internationally. Culture is playing a more important role than ever.
Different country has different culture. Even in the same country, the culture is also differed by different ethnicity. Because of the cultural difference, it affects the market demand. The managerial behavior is also driven by his or her cultural knowledge. It also can be placed as one hidden entry barrier when one foreign company enters into a new country.
So what is the definition of culture? Briefly, culture is reflected perceptions, social interactions and business interactions. Some countries have multiple cultures, such as India and China; some countries have monoculture, such as UK, France.
In order to do business successfully, the managers of the companies have to learn adapting the local culture. For example, McDonald’s cannot sell beef burger to India, since the Indian religion. If McDonald’s did not do the culture research before entering India market, this huge mistake would absolutely block McDonald’s India marketing strategy. That is the reason we say that the more global, the more local.
We also say quality is the key to success, but culture awareness is as important as product quality. KFC has the best sale of chicken breast in America, but Chinese more like legs and wings. So sometimes, culture awareness is the key in global marketing. The aim of the business is the same anywhere, but the way to do it varies across culture. In order to achieve the same business aim, the managers have to learn the culture first. How customers behave? How to manage local people, suppliers and subordinates? In this process, acceptance is more importance.
In order to establish the global firms, the manager has to understand buyer’s position, the people who influencing the buying decision, the role of supplier’s products in buyer’s business success. In order to sell you products, you have to adopt buyer’s view point, grow the relationship with buyers. This relationship is hard to make for outside companies. Buyers prefer buying locally.
So before enter into a foreign market, you have to learn and analyze the local culture. What you can do? What you cannot do? How to identify trustworthy local agent or middlemen? What is your strength and weakness as perceived by local culture? All these questions should be answered before you take actions.