Mar­keting pro­fessor exam­ines cross-​​national com­mu­ni­ca­tion messages

Com­mu­ni­cating to con­sumers what’s new about tooth­paste is a repeat task mar­keters of the pop­ular product must con­stantly think about. Mar­kets in devel­oped and devel­oping coun­tries present varying chal­lenges but a North­eastern Uni­ver­sity researcher and his team found that there are star­tling com­mon­al­i­ties as well. Mar­keting pro­fessor Samuel Rabino and his co-​​authors looked at Aus­tralia, Mexico, and the Philip­pines and dis­cussed their find­ings in a new study, titled Cre­ating “New News” Cross-​​Nationally in a Crowded Cat­e­gory: The Case of Toothpaste.

The paper presents approaches to iden­ti­fying effec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion mes­sages for con­sumers in the sat­u­rated cat­e­gory of tooth­paste in these three coun­tries,” said Rabino, Ph.D., Pro­fessor of Mar­keting at Northeastern’s Col­lege of Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion and lead author of the study. “We’ve looked at both the dif­fer­ences and the sim­i­lar­i­ties per­ti­nent to con­sumer pref­er­ences and those of the makers and our find­ings sup­port exciting oppor­tu­ni­ties for rev­o­lu­tion­al­izing new product devel­op­ment worldwide.”

The tooth­paste man­u­fac­turers exam­ined in the study faced sev­eral chal­lenges, including how to iden­tify break­through “news” for prod­ucts in the tooth­paste cat­e­gory in both devel­oping and devel­oped coun­tries. A second issue dis­cussed by the authors was whether the tra­di­tional seg­men­ta­tion strategy based upon forms, fla­vors and ingre­di­ents could be aug­mented by mind-​​set seg­men­ta­tion, the over­ar­ching seg­ments that share common responses.

Co-​​authored by researchers Gillie Gabay, Howard Moskowitz and Kimmy Li, the analysis of results by country sug­gest that country-​​to-​​country dif­fer­ences cannot easily be over­come. On a prac­tical basis, it may be nec­es­sary to change the rules by looking for dif­ferent ways to find win­ning ele­ments that work in the three countries.

Included amongst the ways to find sim­ilar ele­ments is to look for com­mon­al­i­ties among con­sumers, inde­pen­dent of country. By seg­menting indi­vid­uals world-​​wide and inde­pen­dent of country, it is pos­sible to dis­cover homo­ge­neous groups of con­sumers, defined in terms of pref­er­ences or propen­sity to buy, that reside in three dif­ferent coun­tries. With the homo­geneity comes the pos­si­bility of devel­oping a single product con­cept for tooth­paste that applies across all three country mar­kets, com­mu­ni­cating the same selling points.

Because the mind-​​set is homo­ge­neous, a single product con­cept can be more tar­geted, and can thus be trans­ported world­wide,” added Rabino.

For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact Samantha Fodrowski at 617–373-5427 or s.​fodrowski@​neu.​edu.

About North­eastern Uni­ver­sity Col­lege of Busi­ness Administration

North­eastern Uni­ver­sity Col­lege of Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion, estab­lished in 1922, pro­vides its stu­dents – under­grad­uate, grad­uate and exec­u­tive – with the edu­ca­tion, tools, and expe­ri­ence nec­es­sary to launch and accel­erate suc­cessful busi­ness careers. The Col­lege credits its suc­cess to expert fac­ulty, close part­ner­ships with industry, and its emphasis on rig­orous aca­d­e­mics com­bined with expe­ri­en­tial learning.

The Col­lege is highly ranked by sev­eral pres­ti­gious pub­li­ca­tions. Busi­ness­Week ranks the Col­lege 34th in its “Best Under­grad­uate B-​​schools” and #1 in intern­ships. The College’s Bach­elor of Sci­ence in Inter­na­tional Busi­ness pro­gram is ranked #16 by U.S. News & World Report. The under­grad­uate pro­gram is also dis­tin­guished by Princeton Review and Entre­pre­neur mag­a­zine as one of the U.S. top 25 entre­pre­neur­ship pro­grams. Finan­cial Times ranks the College’s Exec­u­tive MBA pro­gram in the U.S. top 50. For more infor­ma­tion about North­eastern University’s Col­lege of Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion, visit www​.cba​.neu​.edu.

About North­eastern

Founded in 1898, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity is a pri­vate research uni­ver­sity located in the heart of Boston. North­eastern is a leader in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research, urban engage­ment, and the inte­gra­tion of class­room learning with real-​​world expe­ri­ence. The university’s dis­tinc­tive coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion pro­gram, where stu­dents alter­nate semes­ters of full-​​time study with semes­ters of paid work in fields rel­e­vant to their pro­fes­sional inter­ests and major, is one of the largest and most inno­v­a­tive in the world. The Uni­ver­sity offers a com­pre­hen­sive range of under­grad­uate and grad­uate pro­grams leading to degrees through the doc­torate in six under­grad­uate col­leges, eight grad­uate schools, and two part-​​time divi­sions. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit www​.north​eastern​.edu