Liz Lemarchand: How is it that innovative software solutions have the ability to change the world yet they don’t sell themselves? How is it that I know my target market but I’m not able to generate enough sales opportunities? How do I even get started to create visibility for my brand when I’m not an expert in marketing? That is the question and this podcast will give you the answer. Welcome to SMplified: Software Marketing Made Simple!
Hey everyone, it’s Liz from MediaDev and today I’m going to talk about how culture influences marketing. So, I’ve lived in France now for basically 22 years and before moving abroad I always had a very American-centric outlook to marketing, to business, just to the world, in general. I think that it’s not something that was necessarily unique to myself.
I’ve seen many other American businesses also operate in this kind of manner where they believe that because American culture is so pervasive worldwide that people just adhere to American culture and just basically have it adapted it to their own, which is absolutely not true.
My husband, he and I, have very different outlooks on life and it’s great because I’ve learned a completely new perspective on things and on myself. And sometimes what can be perceived by others as being an overly optimistic American kind of way of being, which perhaps comes in part from the adherence to the American dream culture that I was taught when I was a child.
But it’s true that many other cultures don’t like claims to fame, or, you know, the kind of style that many American companies do have, which is to kind of exaggerate or use the superlatives to say we’re the best or we have the greatest this or the most amazing that, or the world’s best whatever it is and it’s true that it’s not just the French that think that that’s kind of ridiculous to make these claims without necessarily having facts to back them up, you know, Asian cultures also have the tendency to be a bit more subdued or to be a bit more calm in the way they approach things.
So, whether we’re aware of it or not, these subtle differences in communication patterns really can make a huge difference when we’re talking about marketing outreach to those other cultures. What you may think is good business or common sense may not be perceived that way by your target audience who’s outside of The United States.
Language is also a very big factor. Most local cultures prefer to receive content in local languages and that can be very difficult to manage, especially if you don’t have people internally who can do any kind of local language outreach, whether that be on the content creation side or on the sales side of the business.
So, it is interesting to see, you know, even though I’m operating globally, I may not have people that are locally based, but sometimes I may need support locally to be able to really address that market and to enhance the marketing or sales outreach that I have in that local market. So, being able to tap into native language resources is very, very important when we’re adapting our offer to a culture, right? And it’s not about translation. You can take any text whatsoever. Translate it in another language and it may or may not, and most of the time it may not resonate with your target.
I know that anything translated from English into French if you don’t adopt that French language to the French culture, people are not going to resonate with your message whatsoever, and they’ll be very turned off by it. So, it’s really more about adapting the language than a translation of the language.
Again, understanding the communication style of your audience will help you create marketing messages that are received better by that target audience.
So, it is important for you to look around and see, you know, what are other people doing in this market? What are my competitors doing in this market? Are they present there? What content do they have? What are the messaging that they’re using? How are they doing with that messaging?
And you can’t just obviously copy-paste what already exists, but you certainly can try to find ways for you to be innovative without being annoying and really test your messages with your audience until you get it right.
In terms of building trust, you know it’s not something that just happens immediately.
You can’t just say, trust me, and then everyone will. So, it’s something that needs to be built over time through respecting your prospects during the sales cycle. So, making sure that you’re not kind of being overly salesy or really trying to cram a message down somebody’s throat and every culture is really different in this regard.
So, you have to know the cultural norms when it comes to trust building to make sure that your business is on the right track, so again, it’s important just to keep in mind that culture is something that’s just absolutely inherent to marketing. It is what’s going to make the difference between a brand that really takes off and a brand that just kind of stagnates.
It’s also very important to keep in mind certain culture trends, the elimination of gender stereotypes, for example, this was really key a few years back in the UK because there was such a backlash against gender stereotypes and advertising, for example, so it’s important to keep up on what are some of the changing trends when it comes to culture and marketing and making sure that you’re able to really understand the market, the culture that you’re targeting with your offering so that your messages resonate with your buyer personas.
So that’s it for today. Thanks again for tuning in and we’ll see you back here soon for another episode.
You just listened to SMplified brought to you by MediaDev. If you have software marketing questions or need help marketing your software solution, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out other amazing assets for you on our resource library at mediadev.com.