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Jericko Malaya Prof Gamboa Prcis # 8 Marketer Acculturation: The Changer and the Changed

With globalization the main trend in doing business, acculturation cant be overlooked. Acculturation is a process of adopting believes and behavior of one culture group by another cultural group. It can be happened towards both the direction, like minority group adopting habits and language patterns of the dominant group, and can be other way- that is, the dominant group also adopt patterns typical of the minority group. In the marketing point of view, acculturation is the key point in expanding to different countries. Even large companies can fail when expanding if they dont consider the culture of the target market. Take for example Ebays adventure to China. In 2004, eBay had just entered China and was planning to dominate the China market. Alibaba was a local Chinese company that helped small- and medium-sized enterprises conducting business online. Most people in the West had barely heard about it. First, eBay failed to recognize that the Chinese market and the business environment are very different from that of the West. EBay sent a German manager to lead the China operation and brought in a chief technology officer from the United States. Neither one spoke Chinese or understood the local market. It was eBays biggest mistake. Second, because the top management team didnt understand the local market, they spent a lot of money doing the wrong things, such as advertising on the Internet in a country where small businesses didnt use the Internet. The fact that eBay had a strong brand in the United States didnt mean it would be a strong brand in China. Third, rather than adapt products and services to local customers, eBay stuck to its global platform, which again did not fit local customers tastes and preferences. Here in the Philippines, acculturation is working in a different way. As history will tell us, Philippines are colonized by different countries. From the Chinese, Spaniards, Japanese and Americans, we acquire different cultures from them. We are a melting pot of cultures that is why it is very easy for Americans, Japanese and Chinese to sell their products to us. It is also the reason why we readily accept cultures from different countries. First came the telenovelas from Mexico, who could forget Marimar? Then the boys from Korea, the koreanovelas spearheaded by boys over flowers. With our culture of readily accepting foreign cultures, marketers know that we are a very big market for anything foreign. We have the mentality that anything foreign is better. We will pay more for imported goods even if our products have more quality. This culture will not help our country grow, but at least it will attract foreign investors because there is demand for foreign goods. Being a marketer the toughest job is to understand the consumer behavior, and satisfying the needs and demand of a particular group or each and every individual by providing the product according to their need. Consumer behavior is the study of the process involved when individuals or group select, purchase, use, or dispose of products, services, ideas, or experiences to satisfy needs and desires (Solomon-2002). In today's competitive world understanding the customer is a big challenge for all the companies. And culture has a great impact on consumer behavior. Possibly culture is the most important and deciding factor whether to make a particular product for a particular cultural group of customers or not. It is very essential to understand the local culture of a particular location, city or country. The more acculturated a minority group has been, more similarity will be found in their purchasing decisions, lifestyle choice, and response to marketing stimuli with the general market consumer. For a marketers understanding the behavioral patterns of a highly acculturated group or individual customer is much easier than that of the low acculturation.