Research Paper: Global Consumer Buying Behavior

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Global Consumer Buying Behavior Research

When consumer behavior is analyzed in the context of global markets, much greater complexity, constraints from a cultural, legal and political standpoint, and uncertainty over marketing strategies is present. No longer can the assumptions inherent in regional or national market be applied to a given international market. This would be, according to the vast differences found in cultures by Dr. Geert Hofstede and his Model of Cultural Dimensions, an ethnocentric assumption (Belal, Shirahada, Kosaka, 2013). The intent of this paper is to analyze four specific studies of consumer behavior, evaluating their study methodologies, data collection instruments, organizational and individual demographics of study participants, and assessing their findings as well. Limitations of each study are also provided as well.

Assessment of the article

Market Strategies, Analysis, Competitive Intelligence and Challenges in entering the Chinese Market

In the peer-reviewed article Market Strategies, Analysis, Competitive Intelligence and Challenges in entering the Chinese Market (Torres, 2011) the author's premise is that the confusing and often chaotic heterogeneity of the Chinese market requires marketers to create highly specific marketing and selling strategies. The specificity of these strategies needs to take into account unique regional differences, while also anticipating political and social norms and values that vary significantly across each region of China (Torres, 2011). The author discusses how guanxi, a Chinese term for trust created in long-standing relationships, is critical in any marketing and selling activity. Dr. Torres has successfully used a literature review-based methodology to aggregate insights and intelligence across a wide spectrum of sources, further underscoring the fundamental tenants and concepts of the Hofstede Model of Cultural Dimensions, a highly effective framework for understanding differences across cultures (Marieke, Hofstede, 2010). As this is an aggregation-based study the research instrument are academic databases.

In terms of organizational and individual demographics, the study shows significant diversity across the many empirical research projects completed with regard to international marketing throughout China (Torres, 2011). There is a wide spectrum of Fortune 500 to small and medium businesses profiles throughout the many studies mentioned, and the specific focus on new business ventures aligns with the findings of small business growth varying significantly cross Chinese regions (Torres, 2011).

The study's findings support the hypothesis that underscore much of Dr. Geert Hofstede's work as well, namely that regional and even local variations have a significant impact on the perception of five dominant dimensions of cultural congruency (Marieke, Hofstede, 2010). The study also conclusively shows how critical relationships and trust are at the local level when building a new marketing and selling strategy in China. One of its innate strengths is its ability to also show how the differences in political viewpoints and perspectives is also changing drastically across each region of China, and how this accelerating of democracy and capitalism is making the performance of marketing strategies all the more challenging (Torres, 2011). Where the study loses credibility however is how it defines the overall market composition of the Chinese market. It fails to provide a sufficient frame of reference that includes the Porter value chain for example, which is integral to any industry's definition and forward progress. / it also fails to define the methodologies and taxonomies of how best to manage the turbulence being created due to shifts in economic, political and social forces including the rise of the empowered consumer in China. That dynamic alone will eventually reorder their political system, which is a thought that must keep Communist Party leaders continually concerned about the future of their country.

Assessment of Value Co-Creation with Customers through Recursive Approach based on Japanese Omotenashi Service

In the peer-reviewed article Value Co-Creation with Customers through Recursive Approach based on Japanese Omotenashi Service (Belal, Shirahada, Kosaka, 2013) the researchers contend that the continual aligning of product or service specifications to the needs of customers forms the foundation of customer co-creation as a viable and profitable strategy over the long-term (Belal, Shirahada, Kosaka, 2013).

The researchers have used a case-based approach as their methodology, incorporating the results achieved by Toyota and Samsung Electronics. This methodology is effective due to the wide variety and depth of research on the Omotenashi process throughout Japanese manufacturing and service academic literature (Belal, Shirahada, Kosaka, 2013). As such, it is highly quantitative in nature, showing the progression of the Omotenashi methodology over time. The data collection instrument is secondary research completed using academic databases and the taxonomy reflects the hierarchy of electronics corporations throughout Japan. The organizational demographics also reflect the highly distributed nature of these companies, showing the multidivisional aspects of Samsung and Toyota and their global operations very effectively.

The study results show just how difficult it is to accomplish Omotenashi in Japanese manufacturing cultures that are designed to be highly efficient at creating and supporting standardized products. The ability of Toyota to create a more customer-centric hybrid car is shown in the analysis, and the methodology of Omotenashi where personas are first used as the foundation of development (Belal, Shirahada, Kosaka, 2013). The researchers have also successfully shown how change management initiatives and programs are essential for the growth of any manufacturing business, and can serve as the foundation for making entire series of processes more customer-centric. The key message of the Omotenashi methodology is the need for continually evolving customer listening systems and seeing how they can be used as a constraint engine to better understand customer needs. The limitations of this study include the lack of empirical data and findings, there is also no financial data on how the Omotenashi contributes to cost reduction due to lean manufacturing efficiencies, a point the authors bring up yet don't deliver metrics on (Belal, Shirahada, Kosaka, 2013). There is also a lack of longitudinal data in the study to show the long-term effects of this strategy on global market profitability and growth.

Assessment of Advertising Dislikeability in Asia

In the peer-reviewed article Assessment of Advertising Dislikeability in Asia (Fam, Waller, Ernest Cyril, He, 2013) the authors have devised a well defined and executed methodology to determine which factors most lead to dissatisfaction and dislikeability with advertising. The methodology reaches across Hong Kong, Shanghai, Jakarta, Bangkok and Mumbai and is skewed towards young urban professionals with high disposable incomes who can afford the time to watch television and have the purchasing power to act on the commercials shown (Fam, Waller, Ernest Cyril, He, 2013).

The study's methodology is based on a stratified random sample where every third respondent is chosen from a universe of respondents equally distributed throughout the five Asian cities,. The criterion for inclusion in the universe of respondents across all five cities was defined as the age band of 25 to 34 years of age, in a mid- to high-end socioeconomic class and being a frequent TV viewer. The respondents had to also watch a minimum of five hours of television of week at a minimum. Social and political viewpoints were not included, however the majority of these respondents are from cities that have progressive attitudes about politics, region and government (Fam, Waller, Ernest Cyril, He, 2013). The research instrument used was a telephone questionnaire, which was administered through the college the researchers are employed by. Sample size and statistical validation of representativeness of each city was also defined through an iterative random sampling procedure to ensure orthogonally of the data sets across the sample (Fam, Waller, Ernest Cyril, He, 2013).

The demographics of the study are shown in Figure 1 below. The split between genders is nearly equal along with a consistency of age brackets as well. There is however significant differences in martial status and careers, as Figure 1 illustrates.

Figure 1:

Demographics from the study Assessment of Advertising Dislikeability in Asia

The findings indicate that across all five cities and metro centers, a common set of seven attributes of advertising are the most offensive to the respondent base. These includes the attributes of lack of style, meaninglessness, lack of character definition and development, exaggeration, irresponsive content, violent and hard-sell content (Fam, Waller, Ernest Cyril, He, 2013). What drives respondents (and customers) away from these advertisements is their lack of clarity and cultural alignment to specific preferences and perceptions. The study successfully shows that the Hofstede Model of Cultural Dimensions can be applied well to respondents' survey populations to explain cultural dimensions

(Marieke, Hofstede, 2010). The shortcomings of the study include the lack of psychographic analysis and insight that could have been achieved with this methodology. There could also have been as more effective use of multidimensional scaling and overall development of factor analysis to show segmentation of each area of dissatisfaction as well. The depth of insight these additional areas could have delivered is very significant and should have been done.

Assessment of Internet Marketing to 50+ Generations in the UK and France

In the peer-reviewed study Internet Marketing to 50+ Generations in the UK and France (Gloria, Wulf, Mullen, 2013) the authors have completed an aggregation of relevant research in the areas of senior… [END OF PREVIEW]

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