How you go about your web marketing to develop an international market is critical.
Marketing To Different Cultures
There are two things you need to research when marketing to different cultures online:
1 – Differences in web maturity, local infrastructure and online habits.
- How your foreign users use their computer and how you need to communicate with them
- What they expect to find online and what you need to communicate
2 – The best marketing channel to use.
There is a variety of online communication channels:
- Newsletters or ezines
This means that you need to look at two different resources:
- User statistics in your foreign market
- Cultural behaviors for you foreign market
The statistics are fairly easy to find.
And a cross-cultural marketer can help you identify the best communication channel to match a specific marketing message to a different culture.
Adding Social Media
But there is another factor to take into consideration.
Social media is growing.
And you might want to choose a social media communication channel to reach your international markets.
There is one key difference though. Social media is growing differently in different cultures.
As we noted above, this is due to differences in country-specific web maturity and cultural preferences.
If you want to use social media to develop your international business, this adds on some more cross-cultural communication difficulties.
Live Cross-Cultural Communication
When looking at the 5 scales of differences in cultural behaviors, it is easy to assume that social media would work very well in countries with high Collectivism scores.
But a high score on one of these scales does not give you an accurate picture. You need to look at the results on all 5 cultural behavior scales to get a better picture.
And even then, no matter what cultural measurement scales you use, you still need to get direct market intelligence. You need to put your marketing into the right context.
And there is another fundamental point to remember with social media.
Social media is a closer communication with real people. And cross-cultural communication difficulties flare up faster in close communication.
In face-to-face cross-cultural communication, the non-verbal communication can help you to pick up on any difficulties.
Most businesses realize this and hire the right local staff for these tasks.
What do you think? Please share your thoughts and comments below.
Photos from Shutterstock.
Filed under: cross cultural social media
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