Retail Marketing Is All About Cultural Differences and Communication In the 21 century, the process of globalization is getting faster. More and more people tend to be involved in the world community. People should be able to understand people will not have too much difficulties to communicate with each other in a very same cultural background. Using the same communicate skills to communicate a person with a very different cultural background might lead that person into some serious troubles. Knowing the communication differences between eastern and western cultures is the most effective way to achieve retail business success.
In retail business society, it is all about psychology. People have to make assumptions to decide what is the next step of retail marketing strategy according to audiences’ behaviors or feedbacks. This is a very common way in business society to make decisions for retail company’s next move. This might works in most western countries, but it may not works in some eastern countries due to cultural differences. “Among these cross-cultural studies, China not surprisingly has received considerable attention, as it is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
Since the 1978 economic reform, which led to the transition from the centrally planned economy to the market-oriented economy, China has taken many steps to attract foreign investments” (Li, 2011). According to Li’s information, China has involved in a huge part of world business market. People may start to learn how to communicate with Chinese people in order to earn profit for the company. China has very traditional cultural background. Due to the effects by traditional cultural background, Chinese are hospitable people cherishing friendship and yearning for cooperation.
When Chinese people communicate in Chinese society, they basically talk everything to each other. For instance, talking about their age, job, income, relationship status, and children are very common in a Chinese conversation. These things are very natural for Chinese people to talk with someone they trust. In this case, these are sensitive topics to talk in most western countries. Due to western cultural background, western culture is more like to protect their personal privacy. Personal privacy of course involved age, job, income, relationship status, children and political ideas.
People cannot directly ask someone these personal information in western countries. Most western people do not like someone else to interact their personal life. Besides personal information, Chinese people normally will ask someone how much they spend on a particular thing. In Chinese culture, the price of one thing is only relates to this one thing. Most western people will think directly ask the price on something they own maybe is trying to know their income status. Income status is belong to personal information, it does not belong to something people should ask to a western person.
These examples are representing the psychologically differences between eastern and western cultures. Eastern and western people have very different way to communicate. In this case, western people are more likely to directly talk about some specific things. Eastern people are more like to talk about other things relate to this specific thing and then talk this specific thing. “In international business, it is important to be sensitive to a variety of different cultural backgrounds and to understand how to adapt the behavior when dealing with provider’s from other cultures. ndividuals often do not realize that they communicate differently, have different understanding of the same subject, or hold differing beliefs about appropriate and inappropriate behavior, until they actually experience the impact of those differences to the final result” (Kvedaraviciene, 2010). According to Kvedaraviciene, people have to understand the importance of cultural background differences in order to communicate better. The eastern culture sometimes is hard to understand. In some eastern cultures, word with other words.
It means, when someone in eastern culture talks about this thing it might mean something else. During a conversation, body language and facial expression are very important information. These information might mean something other than what it means itself. This is totally different in western culture. When a western person wants something from other people, they will ask them directly in a simple way to get this thing. There is something in common between eastern and western cultures. No matter easterners or westerners, they like give friends some friendly advices to show love to their friends.
There are some differences when someone gives friendly advices to eastern and western friends. When someone gives advices to eastern friends, try to use the word “should”, “shouldn’t”, “do” and “don’t”. Easterners will be happy about it because friends directly give them some advices. There are no too much word restriction for a friendly advice to a easterner. When someone gives some friendly advice to a westerner, they should try to avoid the word “should” and “shouldn’t”. For instance, “today is cold. If I was you, I will wear a sweater”. This is a perfect way to give friendly advice to a westerner.
In general, people should notice what speaking tone they should use to eastern and western people. Otherwise, there are might be some misunderstanding happen for just an friendly advice. The eastern and western people have some personality differences. Western people are like to fight for their own. Especially when western people achieve some honors, they will not cover any of their emotional feeling at all. This is opposite to eastern culture. Most eastern people have unassertive personality, they consider unassertive personality is kind of cultural beauty.
In the internationalized society, communicate across the world will be future tendency. People will communicate other people with different cultural background. In a actual and effective communicate process, people have to make their mind clear. It means in a business conversation with other companies, speak has to be short, precise and persuasive to audiences. No matter what a great idea it is, if it does not communicate to other people in a proper way. This great idea does not worth anything. It is also important to choose what way to communicate, paper or interview.
According to the information they have known, people have to find a best way to communicate with each other. Increased globalization has meant that not only countries and companies but also individual business professionals now need to collaborate and compete internationally (Friedman, 2006). During business collaboration, there might be some misunderstanding happen to each other. To solve the misunderstanding and come to an agreement are relate to business profit. In this circumstance, each other has to be clear each one’s obligation, rights and responsibility to make a effective communication to solve the problems.
Avoiding business misunderstanding due to different cultural background is very important in business society. It directly affect decision-making for a international company. Differences between communication in Business-to-business (B2B) markets and communication with consumers have to reflect the specifics of decision making process. On consumer markets, communication relates not only to pre-buying and buying behavior, but mostly to general individual motivation for buying a product or a service (Fill, 1995).
While the individual customers making their buying decision individually or within the influences of close social groups, the buying process on B2B markets results the most from problems of organizations, for nonperson use, rather on the individual feeling of insufficiency or dissatisfaction which is typical for business-to-customer markets. Also organizational buying decisions are done by a group of professionals on a more rational base, therefore the buying process of organizations is supposed to be more sophisticated.
Moreover, members of a decision making unit (DMU) usually participate in purchase in the view of order frequency, its financial dimension, the complexity of buying decision and have different roles in the complex decision process with various level of responsibility. also the structure and quantity of member in the DMU differ in individual enterprises according to the type and purchase complexity and according to the size of the enterprise itself (Chlebisova, 2011).
According to Eva, the goal of marketing communication in business-to-business is to use the mixture of personal and impersonal communication tools aimed at an organization purchase unit. Effective communication is a necessary step for a trail company to continuously develop, and it also important for manager to manage at work. The development for a retail company is highly related to initiative of employees. To motivate employees’ initiative is depend on manager and communication, so high effective management is strongly related with effective communication.
After knowing the different communicate skills between eastern and western cultures. People should fully aware some restrictive words in two cultures. Communication is an art, and it is the mixture of science and sociology; communication is also a effective tool to manage business in modern society. High communicate skills can help people to achieve huge success in business. Otherwise, there are too many restrictions at work or society. Improving communicate skill has became the symbol of 21 century society.
Chlebisova, Eva. (2011). Economics & Management; 2011, Vol. 16, p1231-1237.
Fill, C. (1995). Marketing Communications: Frameworks, theories and applications. London, Great Britain: prentice Hall.
Friedman, T. L. (2006). The world is flat. New York, NY: Basic Books.
Li, Sherry F. (2011). Journal of Education for Business; Jan/Feb2011, vol.86 Issue 1, p10-16.
Kvedaraviciene, Goda. (2010). Engineering Economic; 2010, vol. 21 Issue2, p187-196.