If there is one quote that resonates with a marketer, it would be “know your audience.” Marketers are constantly trying to understand how to reach their target market. When it comes to marketing across varied cultures, marketers need to hold a special sensitivity to different perceptions of the world and understand the diversity of human necessities.
When the culture is dissimilar to our own, it can be challenging to acquire knowledge and effectively impact your intended audience.
Before you start marketing to dissimilar cultures, you should be aware of the 3 tips listed below:
1. Use your advantage of being a foreign marketer
While it may seem like an odd tip, there is a huge benefit to be a foreign marketer. A foreign company entering a market with diverse cultures has the ability to analyze opportunities from both internal and external perspectives.
This means that as an outsider, you offer a new outlook to problems. You can look at dilemmas that your consumers may be presented with from a different angle. You may also notice things easier than your customers. If they have been in their original environment for a long time, they may have a hard time identifying problems or things that could be improved. Your fresh set of eyes will be able to catch issues more readily.
2. Numerous factors play into intercultural marketing
Whether it be western European countries or regions within east Asia, every culture has dramatic variations on how they live and understand the world around us. Keep this in mind and realize that the commonalities and differences of each culture are vital in creating effective marketing strategies that will not be misinterpreted by your audience. Some questions to consider include:
- Is your country that you are working with receptive to direct or indirect marketing strategies?
- Does your country respond better to rational marketing, or does the group you are targeting respond better to emotional appeals?
- Some groups resonate more with supporting information (i.e. Germans and Americans) while others respond better to fantasy oriented marketing campaigns (i.e. French and Italians).
Knowing your audience and looking at the factors that are encompassed within the field of marketing will help you reach your cross-cultural market.
3. Your cultural assumptions are almost always going to mislead you
You likely have biases, stereotypes, or preconceived ideas about different cultures. Unless you have spent considerable time in a country or conducted extensive research, you will never be able to fully understand the culture’s way of thinking. Do not ever market based off of assumptions. You will either miss your target market or potentially offend them and turn them away from your brand.
When it comes to marketing across cultures, you simply cannot use one marketing approach for all. You must identify and research how the people you are trying to reach live, comprehend, and dream. Take your time, learn the locals’ consumer behavior, and be creative in your marketing approaches to reach international customers.