In today’s modern world of business and marketing terms like “Globalization” and “International Marketing” are terms that every marketer, businessman, and entrepreneur should be familiar with. We live in a world that is getting smaller by the day and the business world has gone from a large metropolis to a small town and long gone are the days when a business could be secure in the fact that because they make a specialty item that is from a particular part of the world of that is made for a particular type of consumer that competition is practically nonexistent. Today’s businesses need to be very educated about cross culture marketing, and I am not just talking about big companies, even small mom and pop shops need to be concerned and need to educate themselves on the advantages and the perils of cross culture marketing, yes I said the perils, because where there was once not any competition or very little of it today other sellers can come from anywhere in the world. Many of you who sell items to a specific culture or nationality may think you have nothing to worry about because only companies from “El Salvador” or only companies from “Greece” or from the state of “Maine” manufacture your particular product. False. In this new business world order anything can come from anywhere, and if you think for one minute that your customers will be loyal for cultural reasons tell it to the Chinese who have entered thousands of markets over the past few years. Culture and loyalty may be strong when there is not a lot of competition but when then there is and enticements such as price and other strong factors enter into the equation many customers will jump ship.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, the other side of the cross cultural coin is that you can also expand your horizon and sell in markets that were once geographically prohibitive but now because of things like online marketing, social media, and social networking you are able to compete in markets from all over the world; but to do this you need to be smart, you need to be educated. There is an old saying that “You can buy in any language, but if you want to sell, you better sell in the language of your customer.” Many companies are learning the language of other companies’ customers and have successfully converted them, and culture and loyalty has not been enough to stop this conversion, and by language I don’t necessary mean the speech that comes out of one’s mouth, there is language and then there is language. Don’t be blind to what is going on in your industry; understand not only who the competition is but who the potential completion might be. Don’t get caught by surprise, be prepared. Get educated.