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When engaged in international marketing, it is critical that you pay attention to local customs and culture if you want to successfully expand your business. When in another country, many businesspeople find they have much more success luring prospects when they respect and adhere to the cultural customs of the international company with which they conduct business. International marketing is as much about respecting culture as it is about expanding your business in the international markets.
Making Cultural Accommodations
Cultural misunderstandings often result in frustration and the loss of business. International marketing aims to help people communicate clearly and be mindful of their business partner’s cultural ideals, because they often impact how one business partner or client engages when conducting business and why they hold the beliefs they do.
For example, one business partner may find it acceptable when making purchases to pay the highest price possible because they are raised in an environment that teaches that you get what you pay for. The other business client may have been raised in a culture that teaches to pay the cheapest price for the best quality product. When it comes to doing business, the two may be at the opposite ends of the spectrum.
If these cultural differences are not known at the time of negotiations, this could lead to conflict or other problems. International marketing shows business people how important it is to research another client’s cultural customs before engaging in business so these types of conflicts or potential sore spots can be eradicated or minimized.
Because it is impossible to learn everything about another culture before doing business, many companies find it sensible to hire a local business representative, one that can help a company in the native country. This person can escort visiting business professionals and apprise them of any cultural considerations specific to various events or meetings. This person can also act as a business liaison. This practice is common in international marketing and benefits all parties involved.
Local representatives may be permanent employees that work for the company abroad. If this is the case, a manager or hiring representative will have to fly to the host country to hire this individual. It is best that this person lives in the host country rather than that of the home company to ensure he or she is up-to-date in cultural practices.