This paper reports the results of case studies of Scottish food and drink exporters which sought to explore the use of customer language in marketing and exporting products to France. The findings provide evidence for three levels of language orientation, illustrating differing attitudes to the impact of customer language use, despite consensus that such is good practice and “courteous” in responding to customers. Given the diverse import community, language is more influential in certain contexts and at certain points in the marketing process. Changes in the exporter/importer dynamic may indicate greater need for customer language skills amongst exporters, but this was regarded with mixed feelings by the case study companies. Trends such as the increased demand for product information and the growing reliance on electronic communication had an impact on language of communication, in particular with the shift to processed products. A number of paradigms of Internet usage are identified, with the more proactive companies employing a multi‐level, multilingual approach.
Marcella, R. and Davies, S. (2004), "The use of customer language in international marketing communication in the Scottish food and drink industry", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 38 No. 11/12, pp. 1382-1395. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090560410560155
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