In a study published in Mass Communication and Society, Assistant Professor Cong Li explored the cultural components of customized marketing in this digital age. He found that “favorable customization effects may be contingent upon cultural meaning activation” (p. 60). Cultural priming has a moderating effect on tailoring and targeting messages, according to his experiment.
Two existing customization approaches (tailoring and targeting) were tested with 102 participants in an experiment. It was found that when participants were primed with individualistic meanings, they tended to generate a more favorable attitude toward tailored messages than targeted messages. In contrast, when participants were primed with collectivist meanings, they formed a more favorable attitude toward targeted messages than tailored ones. Based on the study findings, the conceptualization of customization needs to incorporate the cultural factor.