Communication Breakdown In a Global Market
“If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.” I’m not talking about NBA basketball. I’m talking about the challenges of communicating with customers who don’t speak English. Or Millennials trying to talk about Medicare with someone 40 years older.
In this article on Target Marketing, Daniel Burstein, describes this problem on many levels. He’s not joking about the challenges of language and cultural differences. Daniel warns against using humor at all. This always sound advice when it comes to public speaking. Most people won’t get the joke. Others will be offended. The rest will be laughing and texting it to an associate.
Get Your Marketing Team Fluent in Your Customers’ Language
Perhaps your ideal customer speaks English and your marketing team does, as well.
Or you have an international customer base and your marketing team has English and Spanish speakers in the Americas, but French, German, Dutch and Hebrew in EMEA — then Mandarin and Korean in APAC.
So you think you have this language thing covered. Far from it. Getting translations right for an international audience is only the beginning. Your marketing team must also be fluent in the customer’s trade language, mental levers and word preferences — all lingua francas that exceed national boundaries.
For marketing leaders, the first step is being aware of the role language can play in subconsciously signaling to your customers that your brand and solution are a right fit for them.
The next step is increasing your marketing team’s “fluency.” This can be especially challenging when members of your team are in a significantly different demographic than your ideal customers (for example, Millennials marketing Medicare, which is unintentionally alliterative) or come from a different industry (marketing is marketing, but B2C luxury property marketing is a different language than B2B enterprise software sales, a lesson I learned early in my career).
Read the rest of the article here:
Language challenges come with marketing opportunities. Master the language differences and your global customers will thank you for it. Of course, if you run a local business in Los Angeles, you may have customers speaking a dozen languages.
Just remember the K.I.S.S. principle: Keep It Simple Shopkeeper. It means you have less to translate and lessons the risk of offending someone.