Shared Activity: Influence of Culture on the Buying Process
Times of societal stress demand that marketers comprehend the authentic experience of individuals’ personal worlds, which includes one’s illogical preferences, innocent desires, messy assumptions and untested deductions…. This emotional-cognitive progression is ceaselessly informed by the development of one’s self-identity, which underlies their unconscious purchase calculus. Understanding this process entails a shift in perspective from seeing consumers as data points to valuing consumers as people (Daye, 2010)
In the quote above, Derrick Daye urges marketing professionals to see customers and potential customers as more than sales figures and demographic percentages. Often, individuals’ various viewpoints can be encapsulated into the term ‘culture’. Some view culture through a geographical or ethnic lens; however, individuals may identify themselves with many ‘personal worlds’ or aspects of culture: age group, sexual orientation, gender, hobby or occupation, to name only a few. Within these groups are many subcultures, as well. With so many different possible cultures existing within potential markets, why is it important for organisations to pay such close attention to the influence of culture on customer buying processes and behaviours? You will discuss this as part of your Shared Activity.
Although culture is not restricted to geography and ethnicity, the reality is that, increasingly, many organisations are contemplating international expansion. As our world becomes more technologically advanced, it has also become more global. The ease of consumer purchasing options (e.g. online) as well as burgeoning economic powers (e.g. China, India, Brazil) fuelled by outsourcing production at lower costs have spurred organisations to consider taking their products and services into new territories. For many organisations, such expansion is a matter of survival. An organisation’s decision to go global or stay local must be made strategically, and marketing efforts need to be integrated into that strategic planning.
Two major tenets are interwoven throughout any decision to expand internationally: consumer behaviour and cultural influences. Again, these are not necessarily separate concepts; in fact, it is important to understand how culture influences consumer behaviour. These readings will also be useful in your Shared Activity.
This Shared Activity will allow you to analyse factors influencing consumer behaviours, including the cultural influences behind the buying process.
To prepare for this Shared Activity:
§ Review the unit Readings. Consider the triggers for international expansion posed by Jobber and Ellis-Chadwick (2013) for your Shared Activity. Also review how Court et al. (2009), and Guo (2013) describe reasons behind buyer decision making.
§ Focus on how consumer behaviour influences buying decisions.
§ Imagine that you are planning a week s vacation or holiday. Think of all of the choices you have in planning and what influences your decision making (e.g. culture, social class, reference groups). Do you tend to choose destinations similar to or different from your own culture?
§ Choose a destination in a different country with a culture or cultures different from your own. Review tourism sites from the destination country.
To complete this Shared Activity:
§ Briefly describe the destination you chose. Include the tourism Web site in your post.
§ What triggers do you think influenced this destination to market itself internationally? Is the destination successful in its marketing efforts?
§ Describe your buying process. In this case, buying refers to destination choice, ticket purchase, accommodations and so forth. In your description, include factors that influenced your consumer behaviours.
§ Describe the differences between cultures in your home country and the destination country. Critically discuss the influence that culture has on the buying process. Provide examples from your experiences or reading.
§ Evaluate the destination s marketing strategies to you as someone from a diverse culture. Was the destination successful in its efforts? Why or why not?
§ Respond to your colleagues in your group who chose a different destination by offering an additional insight on what might have influenced their buying process or behaviours.
§ Be sure to include specific examples and support your postings with evidence from the Readings and other current literature from the UoRL Library and other credible sources. Consult the Harvard Referencing Style Guide for proper citation and referencing information.
Participate in this Shared Activity only during the period of this unit, to ensure that you and your colleagues can keep track of one another’s postings and maintain a focused, collaborative discussion. Review the Syllabus and Shared Activity Rubric for information on how your contributions to the Shared Activities will be graded in this module. In each unit, you will receive feedback from your Faculty Member on your participation in the Shared Activities, focusing on your contributions to the learning community. In Unit 6, your Faculty Member will provide final feedback and a final grade on your Shared Activity contribution throughout the module.
To complete your Shared Activity, click on Shared Activities Forum on the Module Menu and select your Group’s Discussion area, then select ‘Unit 2 Shared Activity’ to begin.