More and more brands are expanding into international markets, as these represent lucrative opportunities for the growth and expansion of your customer base.
However, cultural differences in consumer behaviour can make it challenging and, if got wrong, create a lasting and powerful negative impact.
In contrast, when a brand understands the culture surrounding its target audience, the results can be remarkable!
One way that you can navigate the cultural differences between international markets is using Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory.
This theory describes how different countries score for the following six dimensions:
- Power distance: The extent to which there are unequal distributions of power within a country, and the extent to which these power inequalities are accepted by everyone.
- Individualism: The extent to which members of society are independent or interdependent on one another.
- Masculinity: What motivates people; wanting to be the best (masculine) or liking what you do (feminine).
- Uncertainty avoidance: The extent to which people feel comfortable or uncomfortable with uncertain situations.
- Long-term orientation: Whether people are more focused on the short-term or long-term future.
- Indulgence: The extent to which people feel free or restrained with regards to indulging themselves.
Each of these dimensions is like a spectrum, and every country sits somewhere on these spectrums.
Depending on where a country sits, you may need to adjust your marketing strategy or messaging accordingly.
For example, let’s look at how the first dimension of power distance affects content marketing strategy.
In high power distance cultures (e.g. Russia, China), business decisions tend to be made by just a few high-ranking people at the top of the organisation.
In contrast, in low power distance cultures (e.g. Denmark, Israel), business decisions tend to be made collaboratively, with multiple perspectives being taking into account, including junior staff if relevant.
You can see how this would impact the personas you need to create content for, as part of your content marketing efforts.
In high power distance cultures, you would only need to create content targeting personas in senior management – whereas in low power distance cultures, you would need to create a broader range of content targeting more personas at different levels of seniority.
Now imagine that you did not know this, and used the wrong strategy when targeting a market. The results would be disappointing, which would be a great shame!
If you want to learn more about how to navigate cultural differences between international markets, we will be holding a free webinar on this topic on 3 September 2020 at 4pm BST (11am EST).
In this webinar, you will learn:
- an overview of the key cultural dimensions that impact online behaviour
- the relevance of culture in international digital marketing campaigns
- an in-depth look into key global markets and their unique cultural differences
- how to translate the findings into a successful global digital marketing strategy
To register for this free webinar, click here.
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