n South African Journal of Business Management - The role of culture in the determination of a standardized or localized marketing strategy

Volume 39, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2078-5585


Given that culture is an important factor in the international environment, it is a necessity that culture be well understood in order to achieve success in international marketing strategies. Previous research focused more on the broader influence of culture on marketing strategies, with few studies focusing on the way in which culture and marketing affect and are effected by one another, culture's role in the localisation or standardisation of a marketing strategy, as well as which elements of the marketing strategy to standardise versus localise. The sample was drawn from key employees working within reputable multinational organisations in South Africa. No hypotheses were formulated or tested but instead this exploratory study identified areas, which have not been researched in South Africa and eight propositions based on the findings were formulated. The findings indicate that culture plays a very important role in the overall formulation of an international marketing strategy, and it was not conclusive whether such a strategy should be standardised or whether it should be localised. Generally, the responses suggest that a marketer's strategy should suit the local culture in order to reach them and have the desired effect on the target market, and not the other way around because such evolutions could take an extensive amount of time in order to achieve marketing goals.

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