Globalizing Consumers’ Attitudes Toward Marketing: An Exploratory Study in a Multicultural Marketplace: An Abstract
The majority of literature on cross-cultural consumer research has often implied culturally homogeneous national markets and has focused on comparisons across national borders (Nakata, 2009). While these studies have supported marketers when the goal is to adapt strategies accommodating of the characteristics of specific markets, they are often lacking when it comes to providing insights into consumer behavior in multicultural marketplaces (Tung, 2008). These multicultural marketplaces are becoming more similar with one another across national boundaries and less similar with the more homogeneous parts of the countries in which they are located (e.g., New York, London, Shanghai, Montreal, and Dubai). In many of these marketplaces, locals, expatriates, immigrants, and tourists come together to work, play, and certainly consume.
In acclimating to their “globalizing lives,” consumers in multicultural marketplaces interact with various aspects of the marketing process (Grunhagen & Dant, 2011). Marketing plays a central role in the creation, learning, and sharing of “global” consumer habits. As the world continues to be more commercially integrated, investigating consumers’ attitudes toward a key advocate for global consumer habits (i.e., marketing) is a precondition to truly understanding the growth (or demise) of the global consumer culture (GCC), a culture growing in importance and relevance to marketers and businesses. This study represents an early attempt to understand the impact of the GCC on attitudes toward marketing in the multicultural city of Dubai.
Methodology and Results The authors developed a questionnaire based on the original Cleveland and LaRouche (2007) seven-construct acculturation toward the global consumer culture scale (57 items) and the Gaski and Etzel (1986) four-construct sentiment toward marketing scale (20 items). A mall-intercept survey was conducted at one of Dubai’s busiest malls over two periods. A total of 497 responses were obtained. Relationships were assessed via multiple regression analysis and SEM based on single-item aggregations of scales.
Preliminary analyses and findings based on data gathered during the first collection period (165 usable responses) suggest that as consumers acculturate more into the global consumer culture, their perceptions of the marketing function vary significantly. However, there are significant variations depending on the particular marketing mix component and dimension of AGCC. For example, results indicate more positive attitudes toward product and less positive attitudes based on prices. Only one AGCC construct (English) was found to have an insignificant influence on STM. The other six constructs had varying degrees of association with four constructs illustrating an inverse relationship with STM.