If there’s one thing we experience every day, it’s some kind of marketing tactic — and often, without even totally noticing it.
Our TikTok FYP will, along with videos the algorithm has identified we’d enjoy, be sprinkled with ads that don’t even look like ads, selling something incredibly relevant to our age, lifestyle, and gender.
Instagram does the same thing, mixing in the odd ad every now and then for us to come across as we scroll, using viral songs/sounds and upbeat, familiar faces to sell whatever newest product they’re pushing.
We always want something new, and these companies know that. We’ll buy a new face wash if we saw a pretty girl using it in a GRWM-esque advertisement, check out a hair removal product if we’re presented with a “real” person recommending it in a vlog-style video, go to that job-search website if we’re told that site is committed to helping women break the glass ceiling.
Interestingly, though, the marketing tactics just described wouldn’t necessarily work everywhere, in every culture. It turns out that cultures are separated by more than just language, food, geography, or even their idea of the “perfect” marriage — they’re also separated by marketing tactics.
So how do marketing tactics vary across the world?
In the United States
Americans tend to value authenticity, independence, validation, affordability, and individuality when being marketed to. We desire to feel seen and understood by companies, hence the rise of ads that look like vlogs shot on an iPhone that make us think, “That’s what I look like when I do my makeup!”
Along with that, 72% of Americans want to know that brands reflect their values and support what they feel is a good cause. With the growing political divide in American culture, many brands today will draw consumers in by claiming to be on their “side,” encouraging consumers to live authentically and according to their values and beliefs — so now will you buy our product?
And while 71% of Millennials will pay more if they’re told some of the proceeds will go to charity, there are few words Americans love more than the word “free” — free samples, free carry-on bags, free trials.
In the Philippines
Filipinos tend to value family, faith, respect, and love, so companies will capitalize on these when marketing in the Philippines. Because it’s common for Filipino households to consist of multiple generations living under one roof, making for greater expenses, it’s important to Filipino consumers that they’re getting the best deal — so Filipinos are big fans of freebies in order to ease the financial burden.
They’re also more prone to stay loyal to brands than most other cultures, with 80% of Filipinos being more willing to buy a new product from a familiar brand than taking a chance on a new, unknown brand, pointing to a desire for stability.
Joy and optimism are important in Filipino culture, so the most effective advertisements in the Philippines often showcase togetherness, happiness, families, and love in order to drive consumers to buy their product.
The French tend to value unity, artistry, sophistication, beauty, openness, and equality when it comes to product consumption, so companies will focus heavily on these things when attracting French consumers. While it’s a bit of a misconception that the French will only buy luxury, they certainly expect whatever they buy to be of high quality.
Another thing about the French? They love being French; 73% of consumers will pay more for local, ‘Made in France’ products, which are meant to create more jobs in France, support the local economy, and ensure excellent quality control.
The Japanese tend to value honor, reputation, efficiency, safety, quality, attention to detail, and innovation in the products they buy — with such a high emphasis on the quality of a product, it comes as no surprise that luxury brands like Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo earn a quarter of their global revenue in the Japanese market, and Louis Vuitton earns half of its global revenue there.
Japanese consumers are also highly loyal to brands that have proved themselves to be of high quality, making them far more selective than Americans when buying a product from an unfamiliar source. Establishing a long-term relationship between a company and its consumers is key in successfully marketing to Japanese people, especially because trust in organizations isn’t a given in Japan.
The vast differences in each culture never cease to surprise. While marketing tactics are alive and well in every culture, it’s what each culture values most that influences how products are marketed to the public.
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