Ethnic Marketing for Turks in Germany - Influences on the attitude towards Ethnic Marketing

Master's Thesis, 2006

143 Pages, Grade: 1,0


Table of Content


Table of Content

List of Figures

1 Introduction

2 Turkish Immigrants in Germany
2.1 Turkish Immigration to Germany: a Brief Introduction
2.2 Characteristics of the Turks in Germany
2.2.1 Demographic Aspects of the Turkish Population in Germany
2.2.2 Duration of Stay
2.2.3 Connection to Home Country and Intention to Remigrate
2.2.4 Economical Situation
2.2.5 Use of Media - Turkish and / or German?
2.2.6 Language Ability of the Turkish Immigrants - Turkish is Special

3 Ethnic Marketing - Not very Popular in Germany

4 Acculturation and Ethnic Identity
4.1 Acculturation
4.2 Ethnic Identity

5 Methodology
5.1 Questionnaire Design
5.2 Data Collection

6 The Analysis of Results
6.1 Evaluation of Acculturation Levels and Consequentially the Different Attitudes towards Ethnic Marketing
6.2 Ethnic Identity and the Judgement of Ethnic Marketing
6.3 Ethnic Identity and Its Relation to Acculturation

7 Conclusion


Four Levels of Acculturation (Nwankwo and Lindridge, 1998)

Questionnaire (German / Turkish)

Translation of the questionnaire’s questions

Analysis of the survey

List of Figures

Figure 1 Main Arguments for Ethnic Marketing for Turks in Germany

Figure 2 Assimilationist Model of Ethnic Minority Acculturation (Banks, 1996)

Figure 3 Acculturation and Assimilation are Continual (Korzenny, 1998)

Figure 4 The 7 Dimensions of Acculturation (Gordon, 1964)

Figure 5 Two Models of Acculturation (Keefe and Padilla, 1987)

Figure 6 Overall Classification of Both Generation’s into Acculturation Levels

Figure 7 First Generation / Acculturation Levels

Figure 8 The Attitude of the First Generation towards Ethnic Marketing / Classified to Acculturation Levels

Figure 9 Second Generation / Acculturation Levels

Figure 10 Second Generation / Acculturation Levels and Attitude towards Ethnic Marketing

Figure 11 Overview of the Felt Ethnic Identity of the Respondents of Both Generations

Figure 12 Level of Ethnic Identity and the Different Perceptions of Ethnic Marketing

Figure 13 Ethnic Identity among the Different Acculturation Levels


This master dissertation analyses the Turkish population in Germany and its attitude towards ethnic marketing. The Turkish population in Germany has special characteristics which are different from the mainstream German society as e.g. their language, culture and religion.

However, the Turkish population in Germany cannot be characterised as one group. Different generations within this group show different characteristics and habits and therefore need to be evaluated solely. Consequently, it is important to know which generation of the Turks a company wants to appeal to with an ethnic marketing campaign and whether it is reasonable to do so.

As ethnic marketing is the ideal way to appeal to those people of an ethnic minority who are connected to their culture, language and ethnic identity, the first generation Turks were analysed as being the most ideal target group among the Turks in Germany.

The primary research showed that ethnic marketing is seen as rather positive by the first and second generation. Nonetheless, a closer analysis indicates that because of the different classifications of both generations into acculturation levels, where the second generation shows a higher affinity to acculturation, the first generation has a quite more positive view of ethnic marketing.

A further research emphasises the differences among the Turkish society with the analysis of the ethnic identity of the Turkish population in Germany and the different attitudes towards ethnic marketing, which arise due to differing strengths of ethnic identity. This analysis indicated that the Turks in Germany can be classified as having mostly a strong ethnic identity. Moreover, the correlation between the strength of ethnic identity and the attitude towards ethnic marketing can be stated as being positive. This emphasises the fact that those people who feel more connected to their ethnic identity have a much more positive view about ethnic marketing.

However, a correlation between the ethnic identity and the acculturation progress is not evident as a strong ethnic identity is viable among all acculturation levels. This phenomenon indicates that regardless the development of the acculturation process it can be stated that the Turks in Germany are a group which has a strong connection to its ethnic identity.

Overall, ethnic marketing is a good tool to appeal to the Turkish ethnic minority; however, a well thought-through plan regarding the choice of the desired target group (generation) is essential as differences in the attitude are evident.

1 Introduction

In the last years ethnic marketing in Germany is getting more and more popular. The success of appealing to ethnic minorities in the US and UK is now starting to get recognised by German companies. However, a lot of companies still hesitate to make an investment into an ethnic marketing campaign. German companies mostly do not see the Turkish population in Germany as a customer group who can have an immense impact on the companies’ success. This is mostly due to the lack of accurate data and prejudices against the Turkish population. However, an ethnic marketing campaign is also not easy to pursue as a simple translation of German campaigns is not enough. The differences in culture, language and habits compared to the mainstream German population make the Turkish consumer in Germany difficult to appeal to and therefore need to be considered.

There is more to say about the Turkish immigrants, other than that they immigrated to Germany about 45 years ago. During their time in Germany they developed their own way of living as a foreign community. However the characteristics of the Turkish population in Germany are changing from one generation to another due to different reason, such as acculturation and assimilation, which will be outlined in this master dissertation.

The number of Turkish and Turkish originated people in Germany is about 2.6 million and they have a total spending power of about €16 billion (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002), which is enormous for a so called ‘minority population’.

Furthermore, it is not just about appealing to the whole Turkish minority, as differences in generations also occur. A company, therefore, also needs to know which generation(s) of the Turkish population it wants to target at and what the specialities of the different generations within the Turkish population in Germany are.

This empirically-based master dissertation will look at ethnic marketing to Turkish people in Germany in different ways. The Turkish immigration history will be discussed shortly to give a basic overview about the special situation of the Turkish immigrants. In addition, the special characteristics of the Turkish population in Germany will be evaluated, which will be useful to understand the Turkish population as a target group. This knowledge will be useful to understand the issues raised in the course of this master dissertation such as changes of characteristics among generations through acculturation and the importance of ethnic identity in regards of this. Related to this, are the acculturation models which are very important to understand the change of characteristics in the different generations. Moreover, ethnic identity plays an important role in the Turkish population in Germany and is of major importance for the later primary research.

The topic ‘Ethnic Marketing’ itself will be looked at closer in chapter 3 to point out how important ethnic marketing can be in Germany and why it has not been seen as a ‘normal’ marketing strategy in Germany, compared to the US and the UK.

This dissertation aims at three objectives which identify different issues concerning ethnic marketing and the social situation of the Turkish population.

The three objectives are the following:

1. To identify special characteristics of the Turkish immigrants in Germany which should be taken into account by companies which plan to pursue ethnic marketing (Literature-based)
2. To identify what the consumers ’ (Turkish population in Germany) perception of ethnic marketing in Germany is
3. To identify if ethnic marketing in Germany is perceived differently by different generations because of changes through acculturation
4. To identify if the strength of ethnic identity correlates with the judgement of ethnic marketing

2 Turkish Immigrants in Germany

The analysis of Turkish based consumers in Germany cannot be limited to the analysis of characteristics of the ‘Turkish marketing’ or ‘Turkish consumer’. There are more indicators than just their origin country to be special as a target group for marketers. The analysis of an ethnic minority as a marketing target group also needs to include the group’s life circumstances. Furthermore, the immigration history needs to be considered briefly to be able to draw a complete picture of the Turkish community in Germany and its idiosyncrasy (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002).

2.1 Turkish Immigration to Germany: a Brief Introduction

The immigration of Turkish citizens to Germany as employees started in 1961 with the commencement of the new Turkish constitution. In its article 18, the constitution allowed the Turkish citizens to leave the country officially for the first time (Sen and Goldberg, 1994). The combination of this article and the ‘contract for recruitment’ (‘Anwerbervertrag’) between Germany and Turkey made it possible that Turkish ‘guest- workers’ immigrated to Germany. For this reason the German Federal Employment Office had special offices set up where immigrants were matched to the job offers available (Sen and Goldberg, 1994).

There is a simple reason why Turkish employees were called ‘guest-workers’. The majority of the Turkish immigrants planned to remigrate after a few years of saving as much money and acquiring as many skills as possible. The money was intended to be used for a new start in Turkey with an own business (Polat, 1998). The rotation principle was favoured by the German government as according to the ‘contract for recruitment’ the stay in Germany was limited to a maximum period of two years.

Consequently, only limited work and residence permits were given out (Seibel-Erdt and Söhret, 1999).

However, the planned remigration of the Turkish employees had negative side effects. Most of the employees came alone to Germany as it was ‘only’ a temporary work place. They lived in overfilled guest worker halls without their families and without their familiar environment. The limited period of planed residence in Germany also led to the fact that the Turkish employees did not have any social contact to the German population other than for work purposes (Pagenstecher, 1996). Moreover, the Turkish immigrants were not interested in learning the German language as their main goal was to save as much money as possible and eventually return to Turkey. This is one of the reasons why some immigrants of the first generation still suffer from difficulties in speaking the German language (compare chapter 2.2.5 / 2.3.1) (Greve and Cinar, 1998; Sen, 2002b).

The ‘contract for recruitment’ stated that Turkish employees would have to leave Germany after two years in order to be ‘replaced’ by new immigrants. Displeasure arose on the side of the employers, as they had to replace immigrants which they trained and which they saw as reliable employees after a two years work relationship. The process of training the immigrants and integrating them into the work processes was also cost- intensive and demanded a high amount of effort by the employers (Seibel-Erdt and Sohret, 1999; Pagenstecher, 1996). The German government recognized this problem and, therefore, annulled the rotation arrangement in 1964. Hence, employers were able to keep Turkish immigrants for more than two years if they were satisfied with their work (Seibel-Erdt and Sohret, 1999).

In the following years the Turkish community in Germany was rising. In 1973 the number of Turkish citizens living in Germany reached its first peak at 919 500 people. Since then, the Turkish population is the largest foreign community in Germany (larger than the Italian, Greek, Spanish or Portuguese). The oil crisis in 1973 and the recession of the world economy were reasons why the boom of immigration came to an end. Because of these problems, the German government issued a ‘guest worker recruitment stop’ for all foreigners who did not come from a member country of the European Community (EC), to reach a long term decrease of guest workers in Germany (Sen and Goldberg, 1994; Sen. 2002a).

Consequently, those Turkish guest workers who were already working in Germany recognised that it would not be possible for them to come back to Germany for work reasons when they leave Germany. Hence, in the following one to two years after the stop of recruitment a major part of the Turkish immigrants prepared themselves to stay in Germany as the economical situation in Turkey was not promising. This was followed by the wish of the mostly male Turkish population to bring their wives and children to Germany which was made possible by the German government by passing a law for family reunion in 1974 (Polat, 1998, Sen, 2002a).

In 1980, Germany was suffering even more under the economic recession and rising unemployment. Although the economic situation was not satisfactory, the German Federal Statistical Office counted 212 000 new Turkish immigrants, most of them due to family reunions (Sen, 2002a).

Therefore, the German government tried to counteract this development and with help of financial incentives encouraged the Turkish population to remigrate to Turkey.

Hence, the guest workers could leave Germany with a financial aid of up to DM10,500 plus DM1,500 for each child until 1984. The condition was bind to sign a legally binding paper which stated that they will never be allowed to live in Germany again (Sen and Goldberg, 1994).

This programme was not seen as a big opportunity for the Turkish immigrants, as unemployment was awaiting them in Turkey. According to Seibel-Erdt and Söhret (1999) an official number of 186 000 Turkish immigrants remigrated to Turkey due to this programme.

The whole development of the immigration to Germany and the decision to stay there for a long term period changed the whole character of the Turkish migration. People, who were called ‘guest workers’ first, whose intention it was to work a couple of years in Germany and then return to their home country, now turned out to be immigrants with more aims than just working and saving money (Uzun, 1993). Due to settling down as a foreign community, new problems arouse for the former Turkish guest workers. Sen and Goldberg (1994) and Atabay (1998) describe the situation as being a totally new and unexpected phenomenon. The integration of the Turkish community turned out to be a problem as nobody did preparations in e.g. schools or local offices.

The Turkish immigrants settled down in medium to large cities in order to have space for their above-average sized families, compared to German families. The biggest Turkish community lives in Berlin (180 000), which is the biggest Turkish city out of Turkey, followed by Cologne (90 000), Hamburg (80 000), Duisburg (60 000) and Munich (50 000) (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002).

In the 1980s the number of Turkish citizens in Germany was stagnating at a number of 1.5 million (Sen and Goldberg, 1994). In the following years the number rose to about 2 million people due to a high birth rate. The Federal Statistical Office (2006) counted 1,764,041 Turkish citizens in Germany for the end of 2005, more than 1/3 of them born in Germany. Additionally, there are about 720,000 Turkish originated (either born in Turkey or in Germany with a Turkish passport) people with German passport (Federal Statistical Office, 2005). The number of Turkish people, therefore, rounds up to about 2.6 million in Germany. It is the largest foreign population in Germany, which shows the importance of this population to Germany in various respects (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002).

2.2 Characteristics of the Turks in Germany

In regards of ethnic marketing it is important to understand the Turkish customer and to know which characteristics are special for the Turkish population in Germany. The following chapters will give an overview of the situation of the Turks in Germany and also outline what makes them important as a target group. Their life style and life attitude will be looked at to understand why they need to be targeted differently by companies (Bentz, 2006; Pilz, 2003).

Moreover, different generations in the Turkish community have different characteristics, which need to be taken into account when appealing to this ethnic minority through ethnic marketing. Therefore, the following chapters will point out the most important characteristic differences among the generations in the Turkish community. Each generation is special for itself and needs to be evaluated solely to analyse if and how ethnic marketing should be pursued (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002).

It was decided to concentrate on the first and the second generation only, as the third generation is not in the age where an analysis is reasonable.

2.2.1 Demographic Aspects of the Turkish Population in Germany

The age structure of the Turkish population in Germany is totally different from that of the German population. A quarter of the mainstream German population is older than 60 years, as compared to only 5% of the Turkish population. About 50% of both populations are between 30 and 60 years old. The important point is, however, that 45% of the Turkish population is younger than 30 (The proportion of the first generation Turks in Germany is about ¼). This is different when looking at the mainstream German population, as it has a proportion of about 25% under 30 (Aygün, 2005; Weiß and Trebbe, 2001). Kraus Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks (2002) state that over 50% of the Turkish population in Germany are between 15 and 55 years old and are, therefore, the most interesting target group e.g. for TV advertisement.

According to Weiß and Trebbe (2001), 330,000 Turkish people hold the German citizenship in 1998. Adding the 390,000 Turkish people who were nationalised in the period of 1999 - 2005 (Federal Statistical Office, 2005), the number of 720,000 can be accepted. Looking at these figures and the data provided by the Centre for Turkey Studies (2005), the Turkish population in Germany comprises about 2.6 million people, who represent about 3 % of the whole German population.

2.2.2 Duration of Stay

The first generation Turks came to Germany in the 1960s. They were either guest workers or their wives who followed them to Germany. Their intention was to stay in Germany for a few years and then return to Turkey with the saved money. The second generation Turks came to Germany as children during a family reunion or they were born in Germany. They attended German schools and some continued their education at universities (Heckmann, 1992; Reif, 2006).

Therefore, Turkish people have already been living in Germany for about 45 years (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002). About 60% live in Germany for more than 10 years (Commissary for Foreign Affairs; 2002). According to the newest analysis of the Federal Statistical Office (2006), the average duration of stay for the Turkish citizens is 19.9 years, which shows that the short term life planning from the first generation immigrants changed to a long term planning with a future in Germany.

The group of Turks with a German passport has a slightly longer duration of stay period (24.5 years) than the Turkish citizens. This is also due to the nationalisation law which demanded a minimum stay of at least 15 years until 1999 and a period of 8 years since 2000 (Sauer, 2003). It should be noted that the longer the duration of stay, the bigger is the wish for a nationalisation, except from the former guest workers, who have lived in Germany the longest, but are mostly not interested in a nationalisation (Sauer, 2003; Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002).

2.2.3 Connection to Home Country and Intention to Remigrate

Former guest workers and older immigrants have a very close relationship to their home country and evince the wish to remigrate to Turkey more than the average Turkish population in Germany (Sauer, 2003). Sauer (2003) ascribes this behaviour to the thought they had when they immigrated to Germany, i.e. to return to their home country in a couple of years.

The plan to go back to Turkey was postponed over and over again and eventually did not happen in most cases because of financial or organisational problems. Nevertheless, the orientation and the link to the home country always existed (Pagenstecher, 1996). That was one way to cope with loneliness, linguistic and social isolation, xenophobia, discrimination and hard work while living in Germany (Sauer, 2003). Polat (1998) sees the phenomenon of the remigration desire as a kind of insurance for the case that the situation in Germany gets unacceptable. This indicates that the first generation was not planning to integrate into the mainstream society in Germany and, therefore, is much more separatist in outlook and has a greater stake in preserving cultural practices of the country of origin. Furthermore, the discrimination and the rejection from the German population were problems they faced after they decided to stay longer than planned. Therefore, as a backlash, the guest workers always kept their traditional values. In most cases the first generation did not interact with the German population and did not expect a lot from the German population by way of social contacts (Goldberg, 2005; Heitmeyer and Dollase, 1996) The situation of the second generation of Turkish immigrants is different compared to the situation of the first generation (‘guest workers’). For this group the remigration concept has only a psychological function, whereas the first immigration generation sees the remigration as a part of its life plan. Younger Turks, who live between two cultures, have a different view of Turkey as their home country. To them the possibility of remigration is a way not to totally lose the connection to Turkey (Sen and Goldberg, 1994). They are affected by both cultures and find themselves in a dilemma, as they have to follow Turkish and Islamic values, as this is demanded by their parents, but they also wish to integrate into the mainstream German society (Heckmann, 1992). Therefore, they live in their own bicultural world, where they sometimes follow conflicting values and behaviour patterns and where German values and Turkish ideals mix and result in a new attitude to life (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002). Some authors (Firat, 1990; Laijos, 1991; Weber, 1989) see the second generation as being in a psychologically difficult situation. They believe the second generation Turks have a ‘defective self concept’ and ‘unstable identity’ due to living between two cultures. According to Nieke (1991), the second generation has experienced a cultural shock that is linked to the disruption of identity, which is the result of meeting expectations of the family and, counteractively, the influence of the surrounding German society and the German culture. Polat (1998), however, argues that people in general and especially those immigrants from the second generation, who live between two cultures, can cope with those interactions to their personality without suffering a disruption or psychological failure.

Interestingly, about 70% of the immigrants state that they do not plan to remigrate to Turkey (Polat, 1998). Most of those are Turks, who were born in Germany or came to Germany during the family reunion period (Polat, 1998; Beer-Kern, 1994). Also, a lot of the first generation immigrants decided to stay in Germany because of their children and grandchildren living and working there. Nonetheless, the connection to Turkey and the remigration desire rises with increasing age (Sauer, 2003).

More positive views of the second generation Turks came up in recent years, as they strengthened their self-confidence with a better education and good job positions. These are the reasons why some authors see the second generation as ‘social climbers’ (Uzun, 1993; Reif, 2006). Also Sen et al. (2001) see the second generation as having bicultural competences, a high tendency to nationalisation to Germany and a feeling of connection to Germany. Interestingly, these attitudes are viable together with the still existing linkage to home country and family.

The desire to remigrate, however, does not mean that it is eventually done, as with a rising duration of stay most of the Turks have a stronger relationship to Germany. However, Sauer and Goldberg (2001) state that a stronger home country feeling about Germany is not necessarily connected to an emotional disengagement from Turkey, but rather leads to a double identification. The survey by the Germany Youth Institute (Weidacher, 2000) also shows that young Turkish immigrants can have a connection to Turkey or at least to their ethnic group, even though they see Germany as their home country and have no affinity to remigration.

It is common that the first generation immigrants travel back and forth between Turkey and Germany and live in both countries interchangeably. They see Germany as a ‘supplier’ in terms of e.g. income and better health care (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002).

2.2.4 Economical Situation

The economical situation of the Turkish and mainstream German population in Germany is, although not recognized by most companies, very similar. One-third of the Turkish population has a net income of more than €2000 a month (German population: 38%) (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002; Pilz, 2003). However, there are arbitrative distinctions between the Turkish and the German mainstream population concerning economical circumstances.

The average Turkish household in Germany consists of 3.8 people, whereas only 2.2 people live in a German household (Ulusoy, 2003, Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir- Brincks, 2002). This is due to the fact that most of the Turkish youths stay at their parents’ houses until they have their own families. The family has a high significance in the Turkish culture and shows a closer coherence. Compared to that, German families are seen as more autonomous and with more distance to each other (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002). Hence, it is not surprising that 30% of the Turkish families consist of five or more people (48% more than four people). Therefore, the ‘several generation family’ is the most common form of cohabitation in Turkish households (Weiß and Trebbe, 2001). Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks (2002) state that the 720,000 Turkish households in Germany have an average net household income of €2,070 per month (€518 per month and person). This adds up to a total income of more than €16 billion for all Turkish families in Germany (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir- Brincks, 2002; Sen, 2002b).

69% of the Turkish population are in the active age group of 15 to 65, which makes them very interesting in terms of consumption (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002). Especially the second generation immigrants show the highest expenditures. The differences in the consumption behaviour can be explained by mentality differences, life stage influences and income variances (Sen and Goldberg, 1999).

The former guest workers have the lowest income compared to the rest of the Turks in Germany. The 30 to 44 years olds with high consumption affection have the highest income but also young families, and are still building up their homes (Ulusoy, 2003). Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks (2002) have an explanation for the relatively high consumption affinity of the second generation Turks. According to a study of the ethnic agency LabOne from Berlin, this behaviour is caused by the spartanic way of living of their parents in the past. It is said that because of their parents these people had to pass on amenities, which were understood as self-evident for their German contemporaries.

More than 50% of the Turks in Germany save a certain amount of their money each month. The saving ratio is about €440 a month per household (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002; Ulusoy, 2003). Ulusoy (2003) presumes that the reason for this could be that the guest workers’ orientation to save money to return to Turkey in their first years of immigration to Germany is still viable and is being passed on to the following generations. The total saving volume amounts to about €3.3 billion (KrausWeysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002).

2.2.5 Use of Media - Turkish and / or German?

The most common media for the Turkish population in Germany is the TV. About 90% of the Turkish families in Germany turn the TV on regularly (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002). They have the choice between the German or Turkish media. The preference for one or the other media is often used to make a judgement about the integration status or the cultural identity of the Turkish population (Weiß and Trebbe, 2001). The Turkish media represents a link to Turkey for the Turkish population as it helps to keep them up-to-date with the news from Turkey (Sen et al., 2001).

Until the mid 1980’s the Turkish immigrants predominantly watched and listened to German TV and radio channels which were especially made for guest workers as no fully Turkish media offerings were available yet (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir- Brincks, 2002).

The media usage behaviour of the Turkish immigrants changed with the introduction of satellite TV and, therefore, with the availability of Turkish channels (about 20 in 2003) (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002; Pilz, 2003). However, the availability and use of Turkish media is not always seen as positive. The one-sided consumption of Turkish media is perceived as a reduction of the intercultural communication between the German and Turkish population. This might lead to a problem in integration of immigrants by way of isolation through the media (Weiß and Trebbe, 2001). The Turkish media for immigrants is also criticised by Güntürk (1999) and Sen et al. (2001) as a limited scope of opinions is presented, and the information is characterised by nationalistic patterns. This is done to manifest religious, national and cultural attitudes, which surely makes the integration into the mainstream German society harder.

A different view is held by Sen at al. (2001) who argue that Turkish media offerings were needed because there were no offerings on the German TV channels, which were targeted at the interests of the Turkish immigrants in their language. The Turkish media offerings helped to keep the connection to their country, culture and, therefore, to consolidate their ethnic identity in a foreign country (Sen at al, 2001).

Nowadays, about 10 Turkish daily newspapers are available in Germany (Kraus Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002). For those immigrants who have a poor command of the German language, the Turkish newspapers and other media are also a way of getting information about happenings in Germany, which might be important for them (Güntürk, 1999). Moreover, this is a way for companies to reach Turkish people with product or service offerings (ethnic marketing) (Hafez, 2002; Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002).

The analysis by Weiß and Trebbe (2001) of the Turkish immigrants’ media usage in relation to integration shows that the German and the Turkish media, respectively, might have a direct connection to the status of integration of the questioned immigrants. Furthermore, the sole use of Turkish media leads to a relatively big psychological distance to the German population. Therefore, Weiß and Trebbe (2001) see the usage of German media as a form of passive social participation and try to design an integration typology for the Turkish immigrants with help of media usage indicators linked to other measures of integration.

Other authors like Hafez (2002) and Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks (2002) do not see a direct connection between the usage of Turkish media and the status of integration. In their opinion, the media usage may not be seen as a main criterion for the status of integration of the Turkish population. Moreover, they do not see a problem in using the mother tongue as an indicator for the degree of integration. They argue that it is totally normal and that there is no proved connection between the use of the mother tongue and integration. Until the 1980s there was no Turkish media network as it is the case nowadays. But the situation during that time was not much different in meanings of the degree of integration. Therefore, Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks (2002) state in their analysis of a study by the Federal Public Relation Office (Hafez, 2002) that the existing values of the social and political integration of the immigrants are resistant to communication. This means that there is no clear relationship between the use of the Turkish and / or German media and the political and social attitudes such as integration. Furthermore, the empirical studies are regarded to be not representative because their appraisals of the usage frequency differ very strongly (Hafez, 2002; Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002). Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks (2002) explain the immense variances in the studies with differences in the way the primary research was accomplished.

Comparing the results of the study by the Federal Public Relations Office (Hafez, 2002) with those of the study by the Centre for Turkey Studies (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002; Weiß and Trebbe, 2001) is not helpful to make a clear statement. The study of the Federal PR Office shows a relatively high share of people (30%) who watch German TV only. Compared to that, the percentage of those people, who use the Turkish media only and, therefore, might have a low integration level is relatively low (17%) according to Weiß and Trebbe (2001). Interestingly, the data from the Centre for Turkey Studies shows an even lower figure of 7% who watch German TV only, but 40% who watch Turkish TV exclusively, which is very high. Furthermore, this study indicates that a majority of 53% watches both, German and Turkish TV.

However, it can be stated that younger immigrants use the German media more often than the older first generation immigrants (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdermir-Brincks, 2002; Sen et al. 2001).

2.2.6 Language Ability of the Turkish Immigrants - Turkish is Special

The ability of the Turkish immigrants to speak the German language is very important in means of being able to communicate with the German population and, therefore, integrate into the mainstream society. Lack of skills in this matter limit the options for social, economical and political participation in the German society (Weidacher, 2000). Moreover, language skills are important in regards of ethnic marketing as the language of marketing campaigns needs to be adapted to the language abilities and preferences of the target group (Cinar, 2002). The study of the Centre for Turkey Studies shows that 60% of the Turkish immigrants have a good command of both languages, 34% speak Turkish better and only 6% think they are better at speaking German (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002).

Looking at the German language ability of the Turkish population, the conditions during the time of immigration have to be taken into consideration. In the early years of the migration the guest workers did not plan to stay in Germany for more than two years and, therefore, were not really interested in learning the German language. Furthermore, the German population and government were not eager to provide an intensive language course (Sen et al., 2001). Even after a longer stay, most of the first generation immigrants were not willing and also not able to learn the German language as most of them came from rural areas in Turkey, where the education level was very low (Sen and Goldberg, 1994). Furthermore, the work of the immigrants did not implicitly demand a good knowledge of the German language as it was usually blue collar work (first generation is moving towards homogeny in language) (Heckmann, 1992). The second generation was expected to speak better German as they were going to be integrated into the German schools and eventually learn German there in the every day school life and also in special German classes for immigrants’ children. The expectations were met as the second generation has a much better knowledge of the German language and even acts as an interpreter for their parents (Esser, 1990). Esser (1990) assumes that particularly the immigration in early years and the long duration of stay at the German schools are the reasons for the better command of the German language.

The study by the Turkish embassy in Berlin about the integration of the Turks in Germany states that 78% of the 19 to 26 year olds evaluate their German language knowledge as being good or very good. However, as mentioned above, the German language knowledge is worse for older Turks in Germany. (Weiß and Trebbe, 2001).

In a different study it is stated that about 58% of all Turks in Germany can speak both Turkish and Germany to a good to very good standard. About 35% evaluate their German language knowledge as being not so good (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir- Brincks, 2002).

In conclusion it can be said that for the younger age group the German language ability usually is evaluated as better and the Turkish language knowledge as worse. Furthermore, a correlation between the duration of stay in Germany and a better knowledge of the German language is evident. At the same time there is a negative correlation with their Turkish language skills (Sen and Goldberg, 2001).

Weidacher (2000), however, indicates the importance of the Turkish language for immigrant families as he states that 88% of the Turkish youth and young adults in Germany use Turkish when talking to their parents. German for them is the language of the ‘exterior world’, which includes school, work and social contacts with German friends. Also Weiß and Trebbe (2001) see dominance of bilingualism in regards of the communication behaviour of the up to 29 years olds and the 30 to 39 years olds. Therefore, pure Turkish is getting less important for daily use.

A more critical view of the German language ability of younger Turks is expressed by Gogolin and Nauck (2000). They are concerned that a concentration of Turkish communities in one part of the city or a particular region may result in a situation where the automatic learning of the German language in schools, jobs and daily life is not supported anymore. Consequently, the German language ability of the young Turkish population may get worse. Moreover, this can lead to the phenomenon of double semilingualism, where those children of immigrants, who grow up in Germany, do not learn to speak their mother tongue (Turkish) properly. Hence, their overall language learning ability gets weaker, so that they also have problems with learning German as their second language, which might even be more important as they are living in Germany. As a result, not bilingualism but a double semilingualism gets developed, where children speak none of the two languages properly (Laijos, 1991; Gogolin and Nauck, 2000).

In the context of ethnic marketing this topic shows how important language is. It is a central communication device of advertisement and, therefore, needs to be adapted to the language abilities of the target groups (Cinar, 2002).

The Turkish language is totally different in its logic compared to the German language. That is why marketers in Germany fail with those marketing campaigns that are just translated versions of German advertisements. Trust in a company when buying products or services is very important for the Turkish population and should, therefore, be evoked by companies with the use of Turkish language (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002). Also Cinar (2002) advises to use the Turkish language to appeal to the feelings of the Turkish immigrants more effectively.

3 Ethnic Marketing - Not very Popular in Germany

This chapter will describe what ethnic marketing is and what kinds of difficulties occur when pursuing ethnic marketing. Furthermore, it will be pointed out why the Turkish population in Germany is a good target group for companies and why they should be targeted at through ethnic marketing. The aforementioned characteristics will be important to understand how companies should pursue ethnic marketing to appeal to the Turkish community in the right way.

Ethnic marketing is aimed at ethnic minorities in a country, considering national, cultural or religious life patterns or existential orientations (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002; Wilken, 2004). Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks (2002) specialised on writing about ethnic marketing, especially concerned with the Turkish community in Germany, and outlined that it involves analysing, segmenting and satisfying needs of people and groups by following ethnically relevant parameters of a specific ethnic group.

Overall, the literature (Nwankwo and Lindridge, 1998; Bentz, 2006) shows that ethnic marketing is more common in the US than in Europe. The reasons are that the consumption behaviour, the life style and the attitudes of the Turkish population in Germany are mostly unknown to the German population and especially to the German marketers. Therefore, companies hesitate to invest in an ethnic marketing campaign. However, there is data available which shows that the Turkish population is an important consumption-oriented society, this data is not being updated frequently by German companies to underline the importance of this minority group and to recognize how important this minority group can be in matters of profit for their companies (Kraus-Weysser, 2002; Pilz, 2006).

Nonetheless, the interest in ethnic marketing for the Turkish minority has been growing in the recent years, as marketers could not ignore the high proportion of Turkish immigrants anymore, as well as the fact that the majority of them represent the most important target group for consumption (people aged between 14 and 49) (Düttenhofer, et al., 2001). Cinar et al. (2003) state that the high propensity to consume, the good media network in Germany, and the open-mindness of the Turkish immigrants towards advertisements are reasons to pursue ethnic marketing.

Although some German companies started to pursue ethnic marketing, it is still done in a very hesitant way. Even though the share of the Turkish population in Germany is about 3%, the annual expenditure for the Turkish ethnic marketing is below average. Of the €7.5 billion expenditure for advertisements in Germany only €12 million were spent on ethnic marketing. This shows that most German companies are not interested in the Turkish population in Germany as a special target group or they hesitate to invest in ethnic (Turkish) marketing campaigns, because they are not sure about its success or might assume a high degree of integration, which is not the case for all of the Turkish population in Germany (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002; business-, 2001).

The most important reasons for not pursuing ethnic marketing have been identified as complexity of the market, inconsistency of the data, the unwillingness to spend money for accurate and annually updated data and the different distribution needs (Kraus- Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002). Due to these reasons, marketers in Germany are not willing to spend additional money for a marketing campaign which appeals to the Turkish community in their language and which considers cultural aspects and mentality (, 2001).

Some of those German companies which are willing to appeal to the Turkish population, but do not see the importance of doing specific marketing for this minority group, are also not successful (Cinar et al., 2003; Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir- Brincks, 2002). Some companies only translate their mainstream marketing campaigns and think this would be enough to pursue ethnic marketing (Valiente, 2006). These mistakes are done when companies see the chance of profit in a target group but do not see its specialities in meaning of culture and language. Hence, an ethnic marketing campaign needs to be more specialised than just translated in the specific language. In most cases cultural differences are even more important to consider (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002). Furthermore, in the case of distribution of a product or service it is also important to have e.g. Turkish sales representatives or Turkish speaking call centres (Düttenhofer et. al, 2000).

The few ethnic marketing agencies in Germany usually consist of employees who also belong to the group of ethnic minorities. Their knowledge is mainly based on personal experiences and their insider information about the cultural specialities of the Turkish community. This can be seen as further evidence for the lack of empirical data concerning the Turkish community in Germany (Cinar, 2002; Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002; Akyol, 2001).

Even though the biggest ethnic marketing agencies in Germany such as Tulay & Kollegen, LabOne and WFP see big potential in the Turkish population as a target group, their budgets for the campaigns are very low. According to Ozan Sinan, the chief of the LabOne agency in Berlin, the budgets vary between €125,000 and €500,000 a year. Added up, this comes up to the figure of €60 million, which is only 0.002% of the total yearly advertising expenditures in Germany (Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir- Brincks, 2002).

Based on the experiences of the agency owners, the main arguments for Turkish ethnic marketing are summed up in Figure 1 below: (Cinar, 2002; Kraus-Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002; Valiente, 2006):

Figure 1 Main Arguments for Ethnic Marketing for Turks in Germany

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Ethnic marketing is not only interesting for the first generation Turks. Although the second generation can, in most cases, speak better German, it does not mean that ethnic marketing is totally wrong to target second generation Turks. The commitment to the Turkish (ethnic) identity and the Turkish language are evident among all generations and different political and religious views. However, the second generation is, in a higher percentage, trying to integrate into the mainstream German society. This could weaken the importance of ethnic marketing when appealing to the second generation but does not consequently mean that those Turks have a totally negative attitude towards ethnic marketing campaigns. A different view states that it could also just be that they find it interesting but not implicitly influencing their consumption behaviour (Kraus- Weysser and Ugurdemir-Brincks, 2002; Sen and Halm, 2001).

4 Acculturation and Ethnic Identity

The issue which was raised at the end of the last chapter will now be evaluated in more detail pointing out the possible reasons for different views towards ethnic marketing among generations. The two most extensively discussed topics in this context are ethnic identity and acculturation. These will be defined and closely dealt with in this chapter.

Various literatures (Phinney, 2003; Berry and Sam, 1997) look at immigrant populations in an indigenous group in order to gather empirical data about ethnic identity and acculturation. The identity of an ethnic minority is linked to the change of attitudes and behaviour, while living in an environment dominated by a different culture, language and, therefore, different social identity. Due to this, acculturation also needs to be looked at closely when analysing the Turkish population in Germany to consider the process of change of characteristics while living in a foreign country (Gordon, 1964; Berry and Sam, 1997; Esser, 1980).

4.1 Acculturation

Acculturation occurs when ethnic minorities lose their ethnic identity to one degree by adopting the behaviour of the mainstream population over time (Rugimbana and Nwankwo, 2003). Moreover, acculturation can be described “as the process that occurs when the characteristics of a group are changed because of interaction with another cultural or ethnic group”. However, because not only one group is interacting in a diverse society, but all different cultures which are evident in the population, both groups exchange cultural characteristics and, therefore, both proceed in the acculturation process (Banks, 1996; p.61).

Figure 2 Assimilationist Model of Ethnic Minority Acculturation (Banks, 1996)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Looking at acculturation as a process, it is the social process by which social-cultural change takes place through face-to-face contacts with people of diverse cultures (Schiffman et al., 1981). The process of acculturation does not take place in a social vacuum. Furthermore, for the acculturation process to be started and fulfilled intragroup and inter-group relations are needed (Jamal, 2003).

High levels of acculturation lead to the fact that the individuals of an ethnic minority become assimilated, whereby they become completely integrated into the indigenous culture. A development like this would not demand any special targeting by marketers (Rugimbana and Nwankwo, 2003).


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Ethnic Marketing for Turks in Germany - Influences on the attitude towards Ethnic Marketing
Manchester Metropolitan University Business School
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This master thesis was written at the end of a master program at a university in the UK. This master thesis deals with the Turkish population in Germany and the historical background of the immigration to Germany.Furthermore several topics are dealt with, which are possible influences on the attitude towards ethnic marketing.The primary research consists of a survey about the attitude of Turks in Germany towards ethnic marketing and how acculturation and ethnic marketing influence this attitude...
Ethnic, Marketing, Turks, Germany, Influences, Ethnic, Marketing
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Kutay Erdem (Author), 2006, Ethnic Marketing for Turks in Germany - Influences on the attitude towards Ethnic Marketing, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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