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Identify and compare the Cross cultural difference affecting marketing strategies of Honda in different regions”.

Identify and compare the Cross cultural difference affecting marketing strategies of Honda in different regions”.
1. Aims/objectives/Research Questions:

Research Aim
The aim of this research is to “Identify and compare the Cross cultural difference affecting marketing strategies of Honda in different regions”.

Research Objectives
The research objectives are following:
1. To identify the performance marketing techniques used by Honda in China, USA and UK.
2. To analyse and compare the cross cultural differences, which can affect on marketing techniques.
3. To investigate effects of globalization on marketing techniques.
Research Questions
This research paper assumes to investigate;
1. What are the cultural and economical differences of UK, USA and China markets and how they affect marketing techniques of multinational companies?
2. What different approaches are used by Honda for promoting its brand in three different regions of the world?

 

Research Design The research design has been formulated according to the research objectives. The research is designed to illustrate the cultural issues which are affecting the marketing strategies of HONDA Motors. Due to the investigative nature of the study, the qualitative data collection method will be used for this research. This will involve the use of qualitative data gathered through primary research such as interviews, documents, and participant observation data, to understand and explain the Honda marketing strategies and techniques.

 

Research Context Marketing is a combination of art and science, managers have to come up with creative and innovative ideas and bundle them with intensive market research to mitigate risk factor that arises due to innovation. World has become a global village that has enabled companies to operate without any limitation of geographical boundaries. Globalization can either be an opportunity or challenge. These factors can only be managed with intense market research and ultimately developing tactical marketing strategy (Gilbert, 2010).
In developed countries, markets are becoming very saturated so it is important for multinationals to tap the markets that have some gaps. Multinational corporations (MNCs) have moved towards emerging economies such as India, Indonesia, Brazil, China, and Mexico, as key locations for future growth (London and Hart, 2004).
Today studying economic and political conditions are not enough to start business internationally, cross cultural issues have got significant importance. To operate successfully in any country it is important to keep their cultural values in mind while developing organizational human resource plan, production or marketing plan. Family structures, educational structures, religious organizations, associations, forms of government, work organizations, law, literature, settlement patterns, and buildings. All of these reflect common beliefs that derive from the common culture (Obonyo, 2007). Keeping under consideration these concepts further research will be conducted.

Methods for Data Collection Primary Research:
The primary research will be carried out through performing a survey of marketing strategies and approaches of Honda motors in three countries. The qualitative method will be used for the survey. The data will be collected through interviews with Honda professional. The interviews are dependent on the availability of marketing managers, it is very difficult to physically go there and interview them so telephonic interviews will be a source.
Sccondary Research:
The secondary research will be desk based research. It will be done through academic journals, textbooks, articles and other online resources. Most of the research will base on secondary data in the form of research articles, annual reports of Honda. Standard marketing techniques adopted but automobile makers will be discussed in comparison with Honda. Marketing approach will also be taped. Secondary research will study the Hofstede’s cultural dimensions of all three countries. It will also examine the role of cultural differences in marketing strategy development as well as issues of cultural fit
Methods for Data Analysis The validity of the data is the most important issue within any research project. Designing of the questionnaire for interviews reflects upon the data validity, if the questions which will be asked did not give an appropriate answer, which satisfied the research needs it will be worthless to ask. The questions will be designed to achieve the legitimacy of data and will be straight forward and relevant to the research objectives.
The interviews will be recorded with approval of interviewee to avoid any misinterpretation of the data in case of interviewees protest the interview notes would be taken. The report of interviews would be sent out to interviewees to read and finalise their views. To avoid the unclear answers the close-ended questions would be used during interviews where appropriate as they provide precise and adequate data. To make sure the questions are clear for readers to understand they will be pre-tested by a group of five people.
Standard marketing techniques adopted but automobile makers will be discussed in comparison with Honda. Marketing approach will also be taped. Secondary research will study the Hofstede’s cultural dimensions of all three countries. It will also examine the role of cultural differences in marketing strategy development as well as issues of cultural fit.
As mentioned above, mostly research will base on secondary data because of geographical distance. But interviews will be taken from the concerned authorities. In this case the interview questionnaire will be adopted so that its validity test like Cronbach Alpha coefficient would not be require to perform again.

3. Brief Literature Review:
Preliminary Literature Review
Definition of Culture
Culture is defined by Hofstede as follows:
“Culture is the collective programming of the mind, which distinguishes the members of one category of people from another” (Hofstede, 2001).
Pearson further explains this when he says that culture consists in those patterns relative to behaviours and the products of human action which may be inherited, that is, passed on from generation to generation independently of the biological genes. It means culture is a collective programme of mind relating to human behaviours, which may be inherited or learned in the early age. Culture cannot be change in any circumstances but it creates a great effect on an individual’s thinking, actions and performance.
Definition of Marketing Strategy
“A marketing strategy is a process that can allow an organization to concentrate its limited resources on the greatest opportunities to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. A marketing strategy should be centred on the key concept that customer satisfaction is the main goal”. Source: www.selfgrowth.com
“A marketing strategy is a process or model to allow a company or organization to focus limited resources on the best opportunities to increase sales and thereby achieve a sustainable competitive advantage”. Source: www.easy-marketing-strategies.com
Cross Cultural Issues
Cross cultural issues are the conflicts arise due to difference in the values, norms and cognition process of the residents of one particular society from those of other. Cross cultural differences are mostly measured by identifying degree of individualism vs. collectivism, cooperation, uncertainty avoidance, conflict resolution, work group characteristics and motivational factors. These all variables differentiate one society from the other (Hofstede, 2001).
Marketing approaches and Strategies
There are different marketing approaches that organizational adopt when they are operating internationally. Three major approaches are consumer oriented approach, competitor oriented approach and trade oriented approach. Under consumer oriented approach two strategies can be adopted; differentiated and undifferentiated marketing. Differentiated marketing focuses on the variances found in the behavior and needs of target market. Undifferentiated marketing focuses more on the common characteristics on the target customers. Second approach deals with the competition, marketers make strategies based on the competition prevailing in the industry. Third approach is focused on intermediaries and distribution channel (Riege and Perry, 1998).

3. Resources you need/Access to primary and secondary data:
• Financial Statements
• Journals Magazines Reviews
• Interviews of key personnel
• Business reports and budgets of the company
• Third party reviews
• Company policies

 

5. Project Schedule
Steps Description Due date
1 Collection of data 10-30 October 2012
2 Interview with key personnel 10-20 October 2012
3 Reliability of data 20 November 2012
4 Analysis of data 20-19 November 2012
5 Linking data with market strategy 25-30 November 2012
6 Market strategy vs market situation 1 – 7 December 2012
7 Literature review 8-15 December 2012
8 Compilation 15-20 December 2012
9 Critical analysis of the whole project 20-27 December 2012
10 completion 28 December 2012
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