Cross-Cultural Marketing: Theory, Practice and Relevance

Cross-Cultural Marketing: Theory, Practice and Relevance

Cross-Cultural Marketing: Theory, Practice and Relevance

Cross-Cultural Marketing: Theory, Practice and Relevance


Cross-cultural marketing is an important element of the contemporary business environment. Many conventional accounts of the topic have conflated cross-cultural and cross-national marketing, but in this groundbreaking, new book, Burton argues that these generalizations have little meaning given the extent of multi-culturalism in many societies.

Given the importance of new emerging markets in the Far East, Middle East, Asia and Latin America, this book raises important questions about the applicability of existing marketing theory and practice, which was originally developed using the model of Western society. An extensive range of cross-cultural marketing issues is addressed, including:

  • Cross-cultural consumer behaviour
  • Cross-cultural management practice
  • Promotional strategies
  • Product development
  • Distribution
  • Marketing research methods

Cross-cultural Marketing offers a new, more complex and sophisticated approach to the important challenges for existing marketing theory and practice and their continued relevance for stakeholders. As such, it is an invaluable text for students of international and cross-cultural marketing, as well as for practitioners who wish to assess new developments in the field.


The focus of this chapter is to explore some of the ways that culture can be analysed within a cross-cultural marketing context. The first task is to define what culture means taking into account historical patterns of thought and the contribution of different countries in arriving at the definitions that we use today. A second theme of this chapter is to explore the notion of national culture. Using the nation as a geographical unit of analysis and equating it with a distinctive culture is widely practised in marketing. Indeed within marketing cross-cultural and cross-national are often used interchangeably in books and research papers. The idea of a national culture is a concept that is of quite recent origin and some would argue is not sophisticated enough to deal with an increasingly culturally complex world. A third theme of this chapter is to assess what has become known as the globalization of culture. The globalization of culture was an idea that gained considerable currency in the 1980s, and refers to the way that global communications networks have resulted in a homogenized world of standardized products, advertising messages, and retail formats. The widespread use of the Internet is exacerbating these tendencies resulting in the globalization culture that supersedes local cultural differences. The fourth theme of the chapter is to consider what has become known as the glocalization of culture. This approach emerged largely as a critique of the globalization thesis which is arguably something of a blunt instrument. Supporters of glocalization maintain that it is still important to engage with differentiated local markets within the context of a globalizing world.

The fifth theme of this chapter is to recognize a trend around the world for countries to become more multicultural in their composition. In some respects the techniques used within the context of international marketing need to be used at home. Equating cross-cultural with cross-national marketing is missing the point, and in so doing is simplifying highly complex ethnoscapes comprising layers of cultural complexity. As ethnicity has become an important aspect of culture within different countries, the task of marketers has been to develop strategies that tap into this market. A sixth theme of this chapter is to engage with the issue of cosmopolitanism. The concept of cosmopolitanism was traditionally associated with welltravelled individuals from advanced nations that revelled in learning about other cultures. However, cosmopolitan consumer culture is also evident in definitions of culture. The final section explores the concept of whiteness and culture.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.