Solutions

Questioning the Definition of Culture

Culture is a concept that is borrowed and adapted to quite a few fields. Organizational culture, company culture, urban culture, underground culture, and so on… Defining these particular concepts may be viewed as the simple phase of dealing with the phenomena since the main task is approved to be developing strategies. However, defining and tracking the origins of the concepts and especially the components of the concepts is crucial for sustainable strategies.

Therefore, the concept of culture should be defined in the first place. For sure this very first task is not for a textual achievement. It is for establishing the base for strategies. Concerning the institutional form, culture is defined as

the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization. [1]

In consideration of this definition, we may tend to assume that they are, however organizations are not super-organic structures. They are not independent of the individual members of them. What is said to be shared is (if so) shared by actual people. These actual people may have particular attitudes, values, goals, and practices. They may be docile as well as challenging. Besides, these actual people may be temporary cultivators for the organizations. That is why a top-down model should be at stake.

The other implication of the definition is the disposition to believe that culture is monolithic and fixed. Is it? In a changing world, surrounded by a challenging and manipulating environment, with circulating actual individual members, can it be? Culture is due to change and adapt. However, adaptation should not be a temporary strategy, it should be a feature of the structure. Ultimately, the organizations should listen to their people to understand and establish a grounded but adaptive culture.

[1] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/culture

Problems

Information impacts on Cultural Change

It is clear that every culture evolve over time. As Yuval Noah Harari defines culture as a “network of artificial instincts”, alike biological instincts, members of culture contribute to the constitutional structure of its context and reshape it into an evaluation form. However, this change is relatively slow as the context gets larger, or takes into account of much larger numbers of members in fact. The culture is not static, but changing like an biological organism with its own pace regarding its members use and participation of its dynamism.

Since the growing capacities of communication and transfer of information throughout the world and increase in its speed, cultures are also being affected. As Prof. Theodore Levitt has put it; “consumers in different countries increasingly seek variety and that the same new segments are likely to show up in multiple national markets”, consumers are forming new groups in affection with diverse cultural components. Cultural anthropologist George P. Murdock identified these people as “cultural universals,” where the components they may gather around varies from education to ethics, taboos to language, marriage and religious rituals, residence rules, status differentiation, and even trade. Each culture embraces internal contradictions and how its members live with them. For this perspective Harari argues that history is moving toward more unified and complex cultures.

In our information-rich world today, the rapid interactivity between members of any culture and their positioning against or advocating of any brand or product is also gaining more speed. This is another important change in consumers’ life and their behavior in making more “acceptable” decisions since they all belong to many sub-cultures of their own regardless from the geographical culture they are born. Now that we have more tools to get this understanding as we are able to observe much of the world due to information technology.

Solutions

What is culture, anyway?

When we borrow and adapt concepts from (other) disciplines, we usually lose track of the origins of them. We may contribute to defining and redefining these concepts regarding our domain. Then all of a sudden we may find ourselves in the middle of a chaotic mass of uses, definitions, and explanations. Let’s assume we succeeded to delimit the definition. Still, adapting and redefining concepts will surely have consequences on our decisions and strategies that follow.

In fact, the origins and the evolution of ideas surrounding the concepts may provide us a significant insight. In a changing world, we do not expect concepts to be monolithic and fixed. Still, even the concepts that are the subjects of ongoing controversies within the fields may shed some light on our understanding. If we trace the phases they have passed, we will surely be donated by the methods suggested to deal with them.

Besides we live in a world of interdisciplinary studies. Boundaries are blurred both within academia and between academia and business world. Technology and technology driven human interactions compell us to bring together scientific approaches and business requirements surrounding the concepts. Enough of vague talk. What Puhu wants to deal with is the concept and the notion of culture.

Problems

Cultural Contexts and Technology

It is not the only way to understand human behavior to given communication and human interactivity with products and services. Our progressive thought about more humanization of technology for the good of people and also effecting on the data with people oriented concerns rooted from cultural and social dimensions. Thus, will redefine a market where classical recommendation engines with more artificially evolved machine intelligence into cultural and social evolution in its way of thinking. Also, any predefined segmentation models or approaches will be combined with more detailed cultural aspects of people in order to get better responses from this communication. Briefly, these differentiation points will bring new opportunities and also redefine the market that is already in growth stage. Puhu can enable the semantic component in this solvent.

Problems

Human side of technology is needed more

It is not only the exponentially increasing amount of data that is needed to understand the human behavior and preparation of intimate responses back as marketing communication but also the design of messages based on relevant cultural background, complex attitude sets of targeted audience and more appropriate technology to reach them are needed. This can be more complete with the non-technical side of the story rooted in both social sciences and information technology.

To make this work, our approach is taking the challenge of developing new analysis models for the marketing message delivery under various cultural constraints as an addition to big data analytics, adding on top of it. Using stochastic methods or implementation of AI techniques will only help if the cultural context is properly drawn. But, for a more effective result this context shall be studied with the glasses of social scientists, which in most cases do not receive required attention in the design.

Technology plays an important role in changing life of consumers with an unexpected speed of innovative developments for the last several decades. Most of them were disruptive and shaped not only behavior of consumers but also empowered them for searching for better products and services. These changes took place in media, communication, information management of socialization and collaboration. The digitization revolution is a continuum until when people and machines will embrace a common ground while improving life of consumer. Today, new marketing tools are developing on the basis of integrated machine learning, such as analysis of customer conciseness, prediction of behavior and perceptive marketing, which will be used extensively through digital platforms, new media, social web and in everyday devices for targeted marketing.

Engagement with customer for facilitation of innovation by developing collaborative knowledge about products and services gains importance. This is also a significant marketing competence of successful companies which can be characterized as innovation oriented organization. Machine learning methods such as classification, regression, clustering, and cross-validation are powerful tools which are used with big data mining for large databases and give researchers opportunities to gain new insights into consumer behavior. There are many practitioners in this domain both from the academia, the business world, and increasing number of initiatives and many research companies trying to solve more problems, which are becoming epidemic, in giving meaning to all forms of unstructured data flooding from e-commerce pipelines, social media, mobile applications, gamification platforms and overloaded content generation.

This huge volume of data, new generations of customers and their evolved capabilities, competition aware firms and service based focus in business are expanding the canvas for the future. Management, marketing and technology are in intersection and merging with more advancements coming from all axes to reach customer, to act with partners, to stand tall in the market, to manage resources more effectively.

But, the human side of the story is still up there to be understood better and more “humanistic”, don’t you think?