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CHANGING WORLD MARKETS
- As companies try to grow and introduce their products in other countries, they need to see the important differences among international markets. It is becoming more and more important for companies to create products and advertising strategies that fit different cultures.
- Consider TV advertising in the United States, for example. When someone in the U.S. watches a movie on TV, he or she might be waiting for “the good guy” to get “the bad guy,” but then suddenly a TV commercial interrupts the action. There is a break for three—sometimes as much as ten—minutes. Eventually the commercials end, and the movie continues. However, a few minutes later—just when “the good guy” is in serious trouble—the movie is interrupted again by another set of TV commercials. People in the U.S. are used to this, and they might think that it is the same all over the world. In fact, it is not. In places like France and Spain, a viewer can watch at least a half hour of a program before a commercial interruption .
- The situation in China is a completely different story. For many years, all commercial advertising was illegal in China. Government advertising was everywhere, but business advertising was nonexistent. Then Sony came along and changed things. Sony and other Japanese companies were the first businesses to start advertising in China. They also led the way for other companies to enter the country.
- Companies wishing to enter international markets can learn something from the Chinese market. In China, it is important for a company not to go in overnight and start advertising right away because this can lead to serious mistakes. Advertisers must take their time and plan their campaigns carefully. For example, because there are millions of people in China who don’t know what a “Big Mac” is, a company would not want to rush over there and try to sell Big Macs to the Chinese. Instead, a company must plan ahead five or ten years. It pays to be patient in China.
- If a company is interested in introducing a product in Russia, it should carefully think about its product and whether or not there is really a market for it. Fast food, for example, was a very strange idea in Russia. In Russian restaurants, a customer usually sits down and the waiter brings the soup, salad, meat, and potatoes—one thing at a time. Traditionally, Russians think people should take their time and enjoy their food.
- The case of pizza in Russia is an interesting example of introducing a product in an international market. Before the restaurant called “Pizzeria” opened there, the company first had to convince Russian people to try its product. To do this, they explained that pizza was similar to Russian The Russians liked it, but the restaurant was not so popular with foreign visitors because the pizza did not always have enough tomato sauce and cheese. Another problem was that if customers wanted to take the pizza home with them, the chef would not allow it. He did not want it to get cold.
- World markets are changing every day, and new ones are opening up all the time. Companies and advertisers have to look at the big picture before they start planning a marketing campaign. They need to consider: Will people buy the product? Will they understand the marketing plan? Companies should remember that for years in China and Russia, people had a hard time buying things. The best advertisement of all was a long line in front of a store. That is how people knew which store was the place to go. So, businesses that want to expand into international markets must think about how things are changing if they expect to be successful.
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