As the business world is becoming globalized, the global economy is slowing being developed by the marketing and sales strategies that globalized businesses are creating to deal with the impacts of cultural diversity. Cultural differences are those that are the main factors that are influencing creativity and innovation of global businesses today. At the global level, in order to win a foreign market, the knowledge of the culture there and remaining sensitive to the cultural differences it has are the core requirements of sustaining and succeeding in the market. One of the creative and innovative efforts multinational firms are now employing is to customize products that match the cultural expectations of the locals in their host countries. Failure to do this, the multinational firms are at risk of finding competitors that are fast enough to produce a product that is similar to theirs but is made different to suit the local’s needs. The Coca-Cola Company faced this experience in Iran and it chose to improve its strategy by customizing their drinks in Russia, which is called the “Russian Coca-Cola” that is made from the black bread. The current developments therefore, indicate that there is no product that can be referred to as a global product since it has to be customized to meet the different cultural needs. In this regard, vehicles such as Nissans and Renaults are being manufactured according to the Japanese and Chinese cultures (UNESCO, 2009). Despite the move by globalization to eliminate local cultures by people embracing the dominant cultures, countries have resisted the change and the local cultures have become powerful in that they have to be respected and recognized for globalization to succeed. In this regard, the outcome of globalization has led to the production of consumers that are culturally different. In that, culture is one that influences people’s thinking and behavioral processes. In this regard, people’s needs and wants across the globe differ at some degree from one country to another according to their attitudes, expressions, and motivations. Today, the globalized world has changed to one that demands global firms to be more flexible, responsive, and ensure local/cultural sensitivity. Thus, apart from product customization, multinational firms are also conscious about how they advertize their products to different countries as advertizing is affected by local laws that are influenced by the local culture (Yalcin & Cimendag, 2012). The article by Vince (2017) uses Toyota as a case study to show how multicultural marketing can help a company meet the new demands of globalization of acting local when growing globally. In the article, Vince (2017) informs how Toyota managed to get it right with the Afropunk culture by aiming to produce cars that match with the culture’s style and tastes. The article is found at the Ashford University Library. Vince Bond Jr. seems to be a senior reporter for Automotive News.
An Introduction to the field of Multicultural Marketing as a Global Marketing and Sales Strategy
Multicultural marketing is defined as that business practice of having diverse forms of marketing for each culture. Walker (2017) constructs that organizations connect with their customers through their culture because culture is one, which determines people’s wants and needs. In this regard, marketing for the products or services needs to be culturally done and this is in terms of employing the appropriate descriptors and explanations that fit in with the targeted culture. According to Palacios (2011), multicultural marketing should have been there in the historic times but due to weak infrastructures, the needs and wants of minority groups were left out and businesses concentrated on satisfying those of the majority groups. The modern world has made tremendous developments that multicultural marketing can be comfortably practiced and businesses now can tap the market of the minority cultures. Hence, multicultural marketing is said to be focused more on these cultures like the Hispanics and this is claimed to be evidenced by the rapid growth of the sales made over the past decade in these cultures, which is at a higher rate than those made in the majority cultures.
What are said to have attracted the new trend of the multicultural marketing practice in the United States for example, are- the minority cultures represent the largest percentage of the country’s population. The media also has found interests in these cultures and therefore, business leaders are using the media to connect with the consumers there. The minority cultures have also improved their attitudes and are more open making it easier to understand their wants and needs (Palacios, 2011).
Marketing-Schools.org (2012) develops this discussion further by constructing that because most countries are becoming culturally diverse, the market has changed from the way the majority cultures represented the needs and wants of the minority ones. Apart from cultural diversity, the changes in population growth between the two different groups have made the generalization marketing approach become irrelevant and ineffective. Thus, organizations are needed to have a well thought out marketing plan to attract more sales. Multicultural marketing takes into consideration the different expectations, values, interaction practices, and experiences of each culture including those of the subcultures. In this regard, marketing and advertising are those business practices that must be flexible enough to provide alternative means of connecting to customers based on their cultures. Companies that have succeeded in their multicultural marketing are- McDonald’s, Target, Saturn, AT&T, Proctor and Gamble, and others. So far, multicultural marketing has been successful in the following cultures-African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, as well as the LGBT group. Among these groups, the African-American community is articulated to have been the first one to be identified to require a different way of connecting with the consumers unlike the Asian-Americans who were easy to reach to using the general marketing approach. That is explained to be so because, the Asian-Americans are known to almost share the same culture with the whites. Multicultural marketing among the Hispanics needs to be subdivided further because of the existence of an older generation that only speaks Spanish and does not respond the same to advertisements with their children who are learned and already bilingual.
The contents of the article by Vince (2017)
Vince (2017) presents an example of global brands that are now venturing in the minority cultures and therefore, are making use of the multicultural marketing to connect with them and understand their needs and wants in the automobile industry. As it is, Toyota seems to have succeeded in connecting with the African-American market by even participating in the Afropunk cultural festival to display its automobile products. Not only has Toyota approached the African-American market but also the Asian-American and Hispanic markets as well. In the African-American market, Toyota products like the Hybrids are not sold in large volumes and the company intends to market the products more by providing more information to the potential consumers and convincing them to buy. To achieve its goals, Toyota is noted to have employed multicultural agencies and developing teams to market the products in the community aggressively. Nonetheless, the company’s marketing efforts over the last few years have not been in vain as records show that there is a growth on the new-car registrations for consumers from Hispanic, African-American, and Asian-American cultures. More so, the sales rate has been three times higher than those of the whites’ consumers have. The multicultural agencies that Toyota is said to work with are noted to help the company in designing its advertisements to fit with the targeted cultures and the communication processes the marketing team employs. Toyota is mentioned to have agencies for each minority culture. The current successes of the company are said to have come from the lessons learned in the past where a wrong advertisement used that had upset the African-American civil rights group.
Review of the ideas and concepts of the article by Vince (2017)
The article has a lot to offer in developing literatures that are discussing about the new trends in global multicultural marketing practices. Vince (2017) gives an example of how global brands have acknowledged the business opportunities presented in minority cultures and how the marketing approach in needs to be specialized to fit in with each culture to succeed. The author has also touched on the important functions of advertisement where it needs to have all the right and accepted messages that can convince the targeted consumers to make purchases. Hence, a wrong use of an advertisement leads to a market rejection. According to Walker (2017), the steps that Toyota is noted to have taken are part of the global implementation process that covers the management and selling parts of the sales process. That is, under management, efforts are- designing, management, and improvement. Under the selling part, there are- needs identification, approaching customers and building relationships with them, marketing the product, handling resistance, using influence to address resistance, understanding techniques used, and maintaining the relationship built.
The inputs that have been used to review the article have created more knowledge about multicultural marketing. That is, in terms of what it is, why it is a necessity today in the global business, and how it is being employed by organizations. From this article review, it is now clear what global marketing strategy is and how it is associated with global implementation where the latter is identifying, approaching, selling, managing resistance, making changes, knowing the tactics, and maintaining the new relationship built.
Marketing-Schools.org (2012). Diversity marketing. Retrieved< org/types-of-marketing/diversity-marketing.html”>http://www.marketing-schools.org/types-of-marketing/diversity-marketing.html>.
Palacios, S. (2011). Multicultural is the wave of the future. Retrieved< http://adage.com/article/the-big-tent/multicultural-marketing-wave-future/229842/>.
UNESCO (2009). UNESCO world report: Investing in cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. Retrieved< http://www.un.org/en/events/culturaldiversityday/pdf/Investing_in_cultural_diversity.pdf>.
Vince, B. (2017). Multicultural marketing helps Toyota make inroads; Focus on product leaves no room for narrow pitch. Automotive News, 92(6807), 0038-0038.
Walker (2017). Doing business internationally 2nd ed.: Global environment: The cultural orientations model. New York: McGraw-Hill Education
Yalcin, E. & Cimendag, I. (2012). Global marketing advertising with cultural differences. Retrieved< https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:533812/FULLTEXT01.pdf>.
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