The influence of culture on marketing communications between South African and German businesses
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Globalization has brought new challenges for companies operating internationally. Various geographic locations, including numerous cultures, enhance marketing operations for an international company. The marketing communications process is influenced by culture and, therefore, it is important to identify the main national cultural factors and variables which influence this process. This study aimed to investigate the influence of national culture on marketing communications between German and South African businesses. The objectives of this study were to identify the main critical national cultural factors/variables influencing marketing communications between South African and German businesses and to develop a cultural framework to support marketing communications between German and South African firms. In order to accomplish the objectives, the study was undertaken as a quantitative survey combined with qualitative in-depth interviews to provide better understanding of the information obtained from the survey. The quantitative study was conducted from marketing staff selected from a population of 250 companies. Six in-depth interviews discussing the findings and results obtained through the quantitative study completed the qualitative part of the study. Language, value system, religion, level of education, attitude towards time, marketing communication style and marketing messages have been identified as the seven main cultural factors/variables to be critical and which have to be taken into consideration for marketing communications. Two cultural frameworks, one focussing on South Africa, the other one focussing on Germany, have been developed to provide South African and German businesses with the essential information and support if they want to implement a successful marketing communications strategy for either the German or the South African market.