Running Into China

This is a guest post from Patrick, a creative marketer who we met through the Masters in Marketing Program at CU Denver. As a case study for International Marketing, he explored issues around exporting American Running Culture to China. We asked him to tell our readers about his take on translating consumption behaviors across macrosegments.

How do you market cultural change? In short, you don’t. If you have a product or service that requires a shift in behavior, such as introducing American style running events to China, adaptation is the only applicable tool. The days of Western cultural hegemony are waning, and to transform a localized product from the West into a global product is likely to be met with a societal backlash. The only hope in such an endeavor is to deconstruct the product or service so as to fit the consumer’s underlying problem. Positioning cultural change as a product or a service can be acrimonious to some but it’s a necessary evil if the problem that’s being marketed too isn’t yet a perpetual need for the target market in question.

Once a marketer gets this far in the process the difficulty level exponentially rises as they begin to realize that they aren’t stepping into a vacuum but a foreign market that functions in ways that are unfathomable to adherents of Adam Smith. Global Marketing is a misnomer that makes the process seem fluidly manageable. Instead Global Marketing is a melting pot where the ingredients tend to spontaneously congeal long before marketing tools can diffuse the underlying solution.

By Patrick Lagodny


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