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Tips for managing cultural differences in marketing strategy

How to adapt your marketing strategy to cultural differences?

Globalization of a brand is the most effective way to aim for a high return on investment. That’s why reaching out to a culturally varied audience is proving to be the challenge that businesses face today. Indeed, taking these differences into account can help you stand out from the competition and increase your turnover. It is a difficult process, but it is possible.

This article will discuss the following points:

  • Focus on adapting the message for good interaction
  • Focus on effective cross-cultural communication in your marketing strategy
  • Choosing the right communication channels

marketing strategy

Adapting the message for a good interaction

If you want to promote yourself abroad, first break the language barrier. Message adaptation or transcreation is a technique that helps companies expand internationally. Adapting your slogans and advertisements into a language other than your own is essential for launching your business. Sometimes brands keep their signature, especially when the message is in English. This is because it is the language of international trade. In other cases, to reach a wider audience, transcreation may be used.

The challenge for the transcreator is to recreate an advertising message that appeals to foreign consumers. By adapting the message to their culture and humour, an emotional reaction can be provoked in the target audience.

Before beginning this process of cultural adaptation, professionals evaluate a brand’s logo and slogan. Then they adapt the advertising message to the culture of the target customers. If necessary, the transcreator is asked to modify the slogan and logo of the company to be promoted. With a revised advertising concept, it will be easier to reach them.

Several well-known brands have used this technique to boost their sales.

Focus on effective cross-cultural communication in your marketing strategy

Very often, companies think that if several countries speak the same language, the message will be the same. This is not true! The meaning of a word varies from one country to another and changes from one culture to another. Clearly, it is not advisable to keep the same advertisement for all English, French or Spanish speaking countries for example. The advertising message may be misunderstood and misinterpreted by consumers.

It may seem like a simple detail, but even the colours you use have meaning in each country. Green, which symbolises hope and renewal in Western countries, reflects jealousy in the USA. In China, while blue signifies immortality, in Iran it is the colour of death. This is why it is essential to pay particular attention to the colours used in each communication medium.

The same goes for gestures, do not think that all gestures are universal. By taking these points into account, you will establish the best marketing strategy to conquer the international market.

Choose the right communication channels abroad

The communication channels to be used vary according to the targets. Practices are not the same in every country. Before embarking on an international campaign, you need to start by defining your targets and then identifying their behaviour. This will help you to identify the right communication channel to reach them.

Take the example of the United States, where many people from different cultures live. You are more likely to reach Hispanic Americans with radio and TV commercials. Asians prefer to get their information from newspapers.

If you are going to use social networks, choose those that correspond to the objective of your business and are adapted to local practice:

  • Facebook, the number one social network, is the perfect tool to spread your advertising;
  • In China, you can create a company blog on QZone to launch your brand;
  • Vkontake is a dynamic channel, like Facebook, that Russians particularly like.

All of these social networks are predominantly made up of people in their 30s. The good news is that brands are most often looking for people in this age group. You may want to use LinkedIn if your product is B2B.

Conclusion

The diversity of cultures in the world requires the marketing strategy to be adapted to several factors. In order to target the international market, companies need to focus on intercultural communication. Each audiovisual and textual element will be recreated according to the target culture. After a thorough study of the cultures and practices of your prospects, you can consider other marketing approaches such as emailing or phoning.

 

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