Cross-Cultural Buyer Behavior: Volume 18


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(16 chapters)
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This special volume of Advances in International Marketing is focused on cross-cultural buyer behavior. Specifically, it explores topics that include the impact of new technology on consumer behavior in a global context; the role emotion plays in reactions to advertising and subsequent buyer behavior; and a timely public policy issue: how prescription drug advertising influences consumer behavior in the countries where it is legal. Moreover, new perspectives of culture's impact on buyer behavior are offered. We are delighted to feature the latest research findings and insights on this topic contributed by authoritative colleagues from around the world. It is guest edited by Professors Charles R. Taylor, Villanova University and Doo-Hee Lee of Korea University Business School.

The theme of this issue of Advances in International Marketing is cross-cultural buyer behavior. In developing the call for papers for this issue, we intentionally defined buyer behavior in a broad sense in order to allow for papers on innovative and cutting edge issues in buyer behavior to be included. Additionally, we made a special point of publicizing the call in various parts of the world in order to ensure multiple perspectives.

The impact of DTC advertising of prescription drugs on consumers has been the subject of considerable debate worldwide. Proponents of DTC advertising argue that it allows patients to make more informed decisions, helps address under-treatment of some medical conditions, and improves the economic value of health care, among other benefits. In contrast, critics of DTC advertising contend that it leads to consumers paying higher prices, patients potentially being misled about risks and benefits of drugs, and patients pressuring doctors to prescribe drugs. The authors examine this debate in the context of two leading theories on the effects of advertising – the Advertising=Information and Advertising=Market power schools of thought and review empirical studies that have examined the impacts of DTC advertising on consumers. It is found that the research evidence generally favors the Advertising=Information school, which is supportive of the idea that DTC helps patients become more informed and communicate more effectively with their doctors.

The purpose of this investigation is to add to the body of knowledge regarding consumer skepticism toward advertising in general, and toward pharmaceutical advertising in particular. The study was conducted in the U.S. and in Germany. Skepticism toward advertising for both prescription and non-prescription pharmaceuticals was analyzed. Additional variables explored include: health consciousness, product involvement with pharmaceuticals, satisfaction with information in pharmaceutical advertising, and the importance of pharmaceutical advertising as a source of information. Furthermore, differences in the cultural value of uncertainty avoidance between U.S. and German consumers were examined and related to skepticism toward pharmaceutical advertising. Three hundred and forty-one Americans and 447 Germans were surveyed. A significant finding of this research revealed that skepticism toward pharmaceutical advertising is lower than skepticism toward advertising in general. Results also indicated that consumers showed no difference in their level of skepticism toward advertising for prescription versus non-prescription drugs. This is a particularly relevant finding as it relates directly to the ongoing discussion in Europe regarding whether or not to lift the ban on advertising for prescription drugs. Skepticism toward pharmaceutical advertising was found to be significantly negatively related to involvement with pharmaceuticals, to satisfaction with the informational content of the advertisements, to satisfaction with the comprehensibility of the advertisements, and to the importance placed on advertising as a source of health information. Regarding cultural differences, U.S. consumers appear to be less skeptical toward advertising in general, and toward advertising for prescription and non-prescription drugs in particular, than German consumers. This may be due to the lower degree of uncertainty avoidance in the U.S. Differences between the two countries related to the additional variables examined in the study are addressed as well. Implications for consumer protection policies are discussed, and recommendations for advertisers of pharmaceutical products are provided. The authors provide a cultural explanation for differences in the degree of skepticism between U.S. and German audiences.

The purpose of this research is to study the moderating role of the personality trait Discomfort With Ambiguity (DWA) on the processing of mixed emotions in advertising. Two experiments were conducted. In the first experiment, the emotions between the medium context and the embedded advertisement were mixed. In the second experiment, the emotions in an advertisement were mixed by manipulating emotions in the text and picture. Results indicate that DWA, being a proxy for how well people are able to deal with mixed emotions, has a moderating effect on advertising processing. Individuals having a high DWA appear to respond less positively to mixed emotions.

Recent neurological research has pointed to the importance of fundamental emotional processes for most kinds of human behaviour. Measures of emotional response tendencies towards brands seem to reveal intangible aspects of brand equity, particularly in a marketing context. In this paper a procedure for estimating such emotional brand equity is presented and findings from two successive studies of more than 100 brands are reported. It demonstrates how changes that occur between two years are explainable in terms of factors identifiable in the markets, and that the measures otherwise are stable over time. Also, it is shown that the measurement procedure is extremely robust.

“Trading up” is the phenomenon that describes consumers’ willingness to pay premiums on goods that are emotionally meaningful to them. The meaning of a good is reliant on an individual's consumption values. The purpose of this study was to examine the phenomenon of trading up among Korean university students. A total of 223 usable surveys were analyzed. Fifty-one product categories were reported for trading up, and divided into four classifications: clothes, fashion accessories, small electronics, and other appliances. These four classifications were significantly associated with brand types, retailing formats, and information sources. Finally, respondents were classified into three groups according to consumption values and each group exhibited different relationships with the marketing mix variables.

This paper is a focused examination of the parallel collectivistic and individualistic tendencies of South Korean consumers. The “We-Me” concept argues that the two seemingly countervailing tendencies can actually co-exist. The paper discusses the phenomenon, its underlying causes, and the strategic implications of how to market to such consumers.

This study compares the informativeness and the appeals used in magazine advertising in China with those used in France and in the United States. It provides international marketers with a snapshot of current magazine advertising tactics and provides scholars with an assessment of how consistently expectations based on seminal cross-cultural research predict the informativeness and the appeals used in magazine advertising in each country. Surprisingly, the expectations based on the literature were most often inconsistent with the observations. These findings should serve as a reminder to international marketing scholars that the seminal cross-cultural works, as useful as they are in providing cultural insights, were never intended to apply equally to all subgroups (e.g., the Little Emperors) within a culture.

The importance of customer satisfaction as a critical success factor has been recognized by practitioners and academics for several years now. Although customer satisfaction plays an important role in industrial markets due to their special characteristics, most researchers focus on consumer goods or services, leaving industrial goods fairly uncovered. In order to give manufacturers of industrial goods well-founded recommendations on how to reach a high level of satisfaction, the main drivers of customer satisfaction have to be revealed. The identification of these drivers is the primary goal of this study. Taking into account that there has been a change of paradigms in scale development we created a state-of-the-art questionnaire consisting of 15 constructs to be measured with 52 items, which was administered to respondents in 12 countries worldwide. The drivers’ analysis using Partial-Least-Squares (PLS) reveals a lot of penalty-services, whereas only the quality of machines and the quality of quotations offer a significant chance on increasing customer satisfaction, therefore disagreeing with previous results.

Very low click-through rates (CTR) raise serious questions about the effectiveness of banner advertisements. However, we believe that the effect of a banner ad is not limited by clicks. Banner ad information itself can be processed by the audience.

We propose that the exposure effect of a banner ad exists even when the banner is not clicked. The results of our experiments strongly support this effect. Analyses also revealed that a non-clicked banner ad can create as strong of an exposure effect as clicked banner ads. Also, audiences that are able to recall the existence of the banner ad on a web page develop stronger implicit memory than those who cannot. Researchers are invited to re-test these interesting findings in various cultures with differing levels of Internet penetration and experience.

With the growth of the internet, more attention is being paid to new uses of the internet. This study examines loyalty to ‘virtual communities’ that internet users participate in. A research model is developed to describe the relationship between website evaluation factors and virtual community loyalty. Results are consistent with the predictions of the model.

The global mobile game industry expects spectacular growth in the coming years. Ubiquitous entertainment has been drawing much attention from the “global youth” segment, which seeks innovative, efficient, and enjoyable pastimes. However, little is known about the adoption behavior of mobile games across cultures. This study aims to fill this gap by examining the factors influencing mobile game adoption in the U.S.A., Japan, Spain, and the Czech Republic. The technology acceptance model has been extended by incorporating two variables: inherent novelty seeking and social norms. Our research model received strong support from the American and Japanese samples. However, only modest support was found for the Czech sample. In closing, after recognizing important limitations, we discuss the managerial and theoretical implications.

This study develops a typology of web site structure and then makes a cross-national comparison between Korea and Australia. Using a content analysis method, the study classifies 383 corporate web sites based on the typology. The study identifies two general types of web site structure: the hypermedia type and static image type and uses cluster analysis and discriminant analysis to verify the results. The study then tests predictions as to which type of web site will be more prominent in Australia versus Korea based on cultural factors. Results show that Korean firms employ the hypermedia type more frequently, whereas Australian companies are more prone to use the static image type. Cultural factors and industry-based factors are used to explain the results.

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Advances in International Marketing
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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