Self Reference Criterion - Meaning, Importance & Example

Published in Marketing and Strategy Terms by MBA Skool Team

What is Self Reference Criterion?

Self reference criterion is concept specially in international marketing, where all marketers have some unconscious reference towards own culture, religion and values. Self reference criterion builds up mental constraints and bounds in relation to marketing efforts that will work in the geography and that will be accepted in the culture. This often leads to misplaced marketing as marketers think their vision matches the market and with time every person and the vision possessed by the individual gets outdated. Thus it is important for marketers to have Self reference criterion but not get swayed away with them.

Importance of Self Reference Criterion (SRC)

Self reference criterion acts as a filter for sieving potential marketing ideas regarding communication and new products, especially in international strategy. The time saved because of it is huge. Cost cutting exercises are attributed to SRC. With time people residing at a place develop an understanding about the taboos, values and culture of a place that helps them take vital decisions and decide upon future steps.

When MNCs go from one country to another, they have to adapt their practices and the reason they hire host nationals is to get a feel of the country through the SRCs that they have developed over all these years.

Self Reference Criterion (SRC)

Effect of Self Reference Criterion in International Marketing

Self reference criterion can sometimes have an adverse effect in international markets when compared to businesses done in the home country. Certain steps to avoid adverse impact of self reference criterion are:

1. Understand foreign market in terms of traits, culture, values, beliefs

2. Compare and differentiate with home or local country

3. Separate the parameters as per self reference criterion

4. Solve the problem in the foreign market without impact of self reference criterion

Advantages of Self Reference Criterion (SRC)

Some advantages of self reference criterion are:

1. Gives the marketers an advantage while choosing among new ideas

2. Saves time while decision making

3. Dynamic individuals give a criterion that helps the company do things outside the box

4. Better products in adherence of the local taste

Disadvantages of Self Reference Criterion (SRC)

Certain drawbacks of self reference criterion are:

1. It is very difficult to capture specific niche demands with the help of SRC of a selected few

2. Too much dependence on SRC can lead to missing out on good marketing ideas

3. Niche segments cannot be addressed properly with heavy reliance on SRC

Examples of Self Reference Criterion

When McDonalds launched in India, they have a self reference criterion to other global markets that people eat meat and animal oil. However, half of the population was vegetarian. Hence to adjust to the Indian market, the company not only separated the menu, but also bifurcated the kitchen. Hence self reference criterion had to be changed and the adjustments had to be made as per the foreign country’s demand.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Self Reference Criterion along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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