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Wednesday July 30th 2014

Basic Outline for Cross Cultural Online Marketing

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Cross cultural researchers have studied different behavioral values in different cultures. Geert Hofstede researched this a few decades ago and came out with a basic outline for people interested in multicultural marketing.

And these different behavioral values are outlined extensively in the book The Culturally Customized Web Site, which discusses cross cultural online marketing.

What Are The Different Cultural Behaviors You Can Market To?

Basically, The Culturally Customized Web Site outlines that different cultures have different ways of behaving along 5 different scales.

High Individualism versus High Collectivism Behavior
High versus Low Uncertainty Avoidance Behavior
High versus Low Power Distance Behavior
High Masculinity versus High Femininity Behavior
High versus Low Context Behavior

These different behavior scales can be used by international internet marketers. Marketing aimed towards these particular behavioral needs gives internet marketers tools to play with. Marketing can be tweaked for one culture to get better responses from different countries and cultures.

This is especially helpful, if you are marketing to another country at the opposite end of one or more of these scales to your country. Simply imagine the change between a High Individualism culture and High Collectivism culture.

How Cross Cultural Study Can Help You?

Studying these 5 different behavioral values in your different cultural markets can give you valuable international marketing insights and can be useful in identifying:

The best overall communication strategy to invest in.
How best to stimulate market feedback.
How best to create loyalty.
The most appropriate social media to use in each country.
The best way to build your authority status in a country.
The sales argument most likely to work.
The types of guarantees you need to highlight.

The Culturally Customized Web Site is careful to mention that you need to emphasize the key elements that speak more to the culture you are targeting. But this does not mean you should leave out the other elements that pull more weight in other cultures.

Internet marketing has no set rules. It is all about testing your particular market. It should not be surprising that international internet marketing is the same.

Which Cross Cultural Marketing Is Essential To Be Done In Your Target Country?

Good cross cultural online marketing must also take into account two other things:

Cultural Perception of environment, language and color
Cultural Symbolism with regards to country specific symbols, icons and color

This is something you cannot use internet marketing tactics to help you test.
The differences in cultural perception and cultural symbolism requires specific a cultural background. It is best to give this task to a professional currently living in your target country.

If you do not have the means to do this, pay particular attention to your international market feedback. Get on the phone and ask people in your target country what they think about your website.

Cultural Behavioral Research Helps Online Marketing

The research done in cultural behavioral values has helped traditional international marketing. Internet marketers can also use this research to help develop their international markets.

Easy testing and tracking gives internet marketing more scope to refine different cultural approaches and improve international results.

Are you committed to speeding up your international sales cycles?

Learn how to combine cross-cultural marketing tools and international sales strategies for faster sales.

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Cindy King
Cross-Cultural Marketer & International Sales Specialist


Over 25 years field experience in aligning cultural offers for international sales.


International content strategy

Custom publishing in English to build international markets B2B international lead generation


40km south of Paris, France – GMT+1

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