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Self Reference Criterion And Its Importance In Marketing Marketing Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 1789 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Culture is the totality of our life style & personality. At a glance is can be said that, culture is that what we are i.e. our way dressings, specking, eating, thinking, learning, attitude, believes, values, norms etc all included in our culture. International marketing is the marketing activities a company outside their country of origin.

Culture has a great impact on international marketing. A marketer must have to study about the local culture in-depth before offering a product to them. Because of every marketing promotion has done to promote the product i.e. communicating product feature to the customers and influence customers to buy it.

To have an effective communication one must send the message according to the receiver’s culture, customs and learning process. There are some major barriers by which effective communication can be hampered. self reference criterion (SRC) and Ethnocentrism can make the effort worthless.

It is human nature that, everything want to judge according to self learning process and Cultural measurement. But a single thing can have different meaning in different culture. For example showing thumb carries the signal of all right to the western but it carries a serious negative meaning to the Bengali rural people.

For this reason a marketer in international market must have to convert his all thinking into the culture of the local people. Sometime marketer fails to make this conversion successfully as a result they fail to have local people attention and make huge loss.


Ethnocentrism is generally a problem when managers from affluent countries work with managers and markets in less wealthy countries. Both the SRC and ethnocentrism impede the ability to assess a foreign market in its true light.

Ethnocentrism and the SRC can influence an evaluation of the appropriateness of a domestically designed marketing mix for a foreign market. If US marketers are not aware, they might evaluate a marketing mix based on US experiences (i.e. their SRC) without fully appreciating the cultural differences that require adaptation.


Esso, the brand name of a gasoline, was a successful name in the United States and would seem harmless enough for foreign countries; however in Japan the name phonetically means stalled car an undesirable image for gasoline.

For examples In US culture, a person¿½s SRC would not reveal a problem with either Esso , but in international marketing, relying on one¿½s SRC could produce an inadequately adapted marketing program that ends in failure.honetically means stalled car an undesirable image for gasoline.

Why should the international marketer have knowledge of sub cultural groups when attempting to segment markets in a particular country or region. Use examples in your answer.

Ethnocentric Orientation:

1. Characteristic of domestic & international companies

2. Opportunities outside the home market are pursued by

3. Extending various elements of the marketing mix

Polycentric Orientation

1. Characteristic of multinational companies

2. Marketing mix is adapted by autonomous country managers

Regiocentric or Geocentric Orientation:

1. Characteristic of global & transnational companies

2. Marketing opportunities are pursued by both extension &


A cultural subgroup differentiated by status, ethnic background, residence, religion, or other factors that functionally unify the group and act collectively on each member.

Culture is the way that we do things around here.It is widely accepted that you are not born with a culture, and that it is learned. So, culture includes all that we have learned in relation to values and norms, customs and traditions, beliefs and religions, rituals and artefacts.

Therefore international marketing needs to take into account the local culture of the country in which you wish to market.

Culture is what helps us to organize our world and to know how to respond to it. We learn how to relate to other people and how to respond to our environment from our friends and relatives, our teachers and through observation. People who come from different cultures have lived in different parts of the world and have experienced different societies or participated in different institutions (for example, schools or corporations). They are likely to have learned different values, beliefs, behaviors, expectations and norms than you have.


( NOTE: To understand a market for a marketer in a better way I have taken sub cultural data of India and has given the examples related to Indian surveys )

Marketers use cultural segmentation to determine a cultures influence on a society Culture decides what beliefs, values and customs individuals in a society follow Each of these cultural elements influence consumption behaviour Marketers need to be aware of cultural impacts on consumer behaviour. Marketers also segment overall societies into smaller subgroups (subcultures). A subculture consists of people who have the same ethnic origin or customs or behaviours. Sub cultural divisions are based on various socio- cultural and demographic variables such as

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nationality, religion, geographic locality, race, age, and gender Consumer behaviour in the sub-cultural context explores marketing opportunities created by specific sub-groups within society Sub-cultural analysis helps marketing managers to focus on sizable and natural market segments

Marketers need to determine if the beliefs, values and customs shared by members of a specific sub-group make them candidates for special marketing attention Sub-cultures are therefore relevant units of analysis for market research Sub-cultures are dynamic-they are ever-changing E.g. Language sub-cultural groups prefer watching TV channels, reading newspapers and adverts in their own language.

Nationality Sub-cultures

For many people original nationality is an important sub-cultural reference group that guides what they value and what they buy This ancestral pride is manifested in Consumer behaviour terms by their consumption of ethnic foods, travel to the homeland, purchase of ethnic cultural artefacts, art, and music.

Religious Subcultures

India has more than 140 different organized religious sub-cultures Consumer behaviour is directly affected by religion in terms of symbolic and ritualistic products

E.g.: Diwali has become the major gift buying season inIndia. Jains will not eat food having certain ingredients. Islam forbids the consumption of pork and alcohol. Consumer behaviour in these cases are guided by the above religious subculture rules.

Geographic & Regional Subcultures

India is a vast and diverse country, having many languages, cultures, food habits, clothing styles.

People of each geographical region have a sense of regional identification and use this identification to describe others. He is a Southie (from south).It helps in stereotyping. There are regional preferences for certain types and brands of goods. E.g. Coffee. Research shows that metropolitan consumers are more interested in internet based purchases. Marketers therefore feel it is important to take geographical consumption patterns into consideration Before planning marketing and promotional efforts

Racial Sub-Cultures

Differences in lifestyles and consumer spending patterns exist among these groups Aryans are typically high consumption. Flamboyant, experimental consumers Dravidians are majorly conservative, subtle, non-experimental consumers Mongoloids (North Easterners) are extremely fashion conscious, trendy, techno-savvy From a marketing point of view, each race could be viewed as distinct segments depending on their lifestyles and psychographic profiling

Age Subcultures

We appreciate different music, movies, literature, food, clothing than our parents and grandparents

A logical reason to look at different age groups as different market segments Gen Y, Gen X, Middle Aged and Seniors are the 4 major age groups marketers look at.

Gender Sub-cultures

Traditionally society assigns certain individuality to males and females

Males: aggressiveness, competitiveness, providers

Females: gentleness, talkativeness, neatness, and nurturers

Now they are no longer so distinct within every society certain products are either male or female e.g. Cigars, pants, ties-males and colognes, hair dryers, hair sprays females

Internet use: Males seek out investments, free software, discovery; females reference materials, online books, medical information Men are likely to purchase more on the internet than women because of the letters concern with privacy and security .Working Woman especially the married working woman stay at home ¿½moms¿½; plan to work ¿½housewives¿½, just a job working women and career-oriented working women




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