Marketing is an art which evolved through the years; it went through five distinct phases of evolution since the beginning of time: the simple trade era, the production era, the sales era, the marketing department era, and the marketing company era. The culture element and adaptation of marketing as a science was crafted to each and every culture creating (as any other art would be) different types of schools of thoughts congruent with the elements of communication the people of that culture would like to be reached with – depending on the people’s views about a brand, a product, and a company.
Products don’t only differ from one country to the other, but also the ways brands communicate with the customers also differ depending on the previously discussed cultural elements. If you watch an ad of a brand being promoted in the USA for example, it will be totally different than if it is promoted in India or Latin countries. McDonald’s is famous for its diversity in terms of promoting its products in the different countries it operates in.
But, what and how these schools of thoughts were created and based on which cultural elements? We must go back further to the language “English” which is predominately the most used in the world – capitalizing on the language, the American school of thought in marketing was able to be the leading in the world. There are other great marketing schools of thoughts, but as English provides an accessible way of communication it made it possible for customers to be familiar with brands being communicated in English.
After the use of language, there is the culture element. Geert Hofstede who is a Dutch social psychologist, former IBM employee, and Professor Emeritus of Organizational Anthropology and International Management – was famous for his cultural dimensions theory, which are the five dimensions are of; Power Distance, Individualism, Uncertainty avoidance, Masculinity, and Long Term Orientation. These elements categorized countries based on low power distance vs. high power distance, the levels of individualism vs. collectivism, uncertainty avoidance vs. comfort towards the unknown, masculinity vs. femininity, and long vs. short term orientation.
Let’s take for example, the idea of the “American Dream” which people argue that it diminished since the rise of other countries in the world with their own ambitions and their own desires for success. The American Dream is a cultural marketing though that deeply concentrates on individualism, success, and power which can be summed up in the adage of “Die rich or Die trying”. This dream was embedded in the way the American school of thought markets it owns products, depending on elements such as – individualistic desires and ambitions and the desire for power and success.
Countries did change based on these cultural elements; the marketing school of thought doesn’t have to be originating from an American brand or product – but the promotion of these concepts follows with the promotion of the American Dream and the American Marketing school of thought – which is predominately successful and acceptable worldwide.
Marketing is more than just advertising or the promotion of products, it go above and beyond to the promotion of a culture and/or its concepts where the American school of thought was and till now very successful in catering to the international audience. All as previously described connected with English being the prime used language and the elements of culture.
This might change however, if claims of the rise of other cultures (Chinese) with the spread of their businesses can change to the use of Mandarin and allow a chance for Eastern cultures’ marketing school of thought to dominate the markets.
Where to find Dr. Islam Gouda,