When it comes to marketing your business, it is important to remember two things: 1) one size doesn’t fit all and 2) think global, act local. The world is increasingly becoming a smaller place, and audiences that were once overlooked are now businesses’ consumers of choice. While getting your product to these consumers is important, it is only half of the work that needs to be done. The other half? Effectively communicating with your consumers – especially those coming from diverse cultural backgrounds.
The technical term for communicating with diverse audiences: cross-cultural communication. Technical terms don’t matter; your actions regarding cross-cultural communication, however, do matter.
Full disclosure: communicating with diverse audiences can be challenging, especially if you’re an entrepreneur overseeing all aspects of your company. Despite the challenges, recognizing your audiences and addressing them according to their cultural norms, values and morals can greatly benefit your company.
Here’s why cross-cultural communication is imperative to the success of your marketing efforts (and your business!):
1. Trust. People go to brands they trust, first. People tend to trust brands that identify with their values and understand their way of life. For example, Latino consumers value family; if your product or service can genuinely appeal to that value Latino consumers will be more inclined to have confidence in the strength, integrity or ability of your product, service and brand.
2. Relationships. Relationships are the lifeblood of brands. People like to interact with brands they feel connected to; so you must connect with them in a setting that’s comfortable for them. In China, people use Weibo (a microblog), instead of Twitter or Tumblr. When brands want to connect with Chinese consumers they create a Weibo account and interact with those consumers. And, make sure you’re not just disseminating information – it should be a two-way conversation; after all, that’s how relationships are built.
3. Mutual Benefit. Carefully crafted messages that speak to diverse audiences have benefits far greater than just a product or service sold. By specifically targeting different audiences, businesses are able to cater to their needs and in return, receive the most valuable marketing of all: word of mouth. Think about why you try a restaurant for the first time. Often, a friend has told you, ‘the food is to die for’, ‘the atmosphere is great’ or ‘the customer service is excellent’. Their reviews make you want to go there and try it yourself.
The benefits of cross-cultural communication to your business are numerous. From relationships to return on investment, targeting your audiences will grow your business and further your brand.
About Brittnee Anderson:
Brittnee Anderson is a New York City-based strategic communications professional. The “employedpreneur” spends her days doing public relations for one of the world’s largest beauty retailers and her nights executing communications initiatives for her freelance clients. Brittnee has a strong interest in communications that intersect branding, digital media and cross-cultural communications. Learn more about Brittnee at www.brittneeanderson.com.