The internet has definitely made the world a much smaller place and many companies now market on a global scale.

But when it comes to effective regional promotions – whether it is a digital social media campaign or a targeted direct mail initiative – local knowledge is still vitally important.

According to the Manchester Business School, cultural understanding is being lost in the marketing industry – and this could be having a negative impact on businesses’ marketing campaigns.

The university has called for more post-grad marketing courses to take into account cultural understanding.

Speaking to Gulf News, Professor Jikyeong Kang, a lecturer at the Manchester-based institution, said that basic purchasing practices were different amongst ethnic groups and as a result promotional gifts and other marketing material should appeal directly to individuals’ cultural sentiment.

“Even with the same product you have to understand the ideas of the underlying culture,” Professor Kang said.

1 Moussly, Rania. “Understanding of culture crucial for global marketing“. Gulfnews.com, Sunday January 9th 2011.