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Communication in a globalized multicultural era
It is known that communication is key. It is not always easy to communicate, due to the complexity sometimes required. Sometimes everything seems so complex and unattainable. It is not enough to just say that we have the best product on the market. The human being is complex and must be seen as such. We all have different characteristics, different personalities, and the way we were educated differs. Sometimes people from different countries have more in common than two people from the same city. It seems strange, hence the importance of not being able to assume facts and the need to know how to communicate with different individuals.
We live in the era of globalization. Everything is just a click away. We adopt characteristics of different cultures on a daily basis and sometimes we don't even realize why. Sometimes we start with a simple American series that is in trend, and we make it ours, but we forget that millions of people around the world also consider it theirs. We capture expressions, we are curious to try that dish that our favorite character eats so much, we adopt the soundtrack to our playlist and when we realize we are experiencing a culture that is supposedly not ours, but in the end it belongs to everyone.
Communicating to an audience that includes several audiences can be a complicated task. The first step in achieving effective communication is getting to know the audience.
Communicating to different generations
The mix of generations in the market is a challenge, since it is an increasingly diverse and confusing scenario. When creating your digital strategy, ask yourself:
- Who is the target audience?
- What do you want to achieve?
- Which digital strategy is best suited to each generation?
It is important to realize that each generation has different ways of looking at the world. We are in the age of social media. Each social media has a different purpose, hence the importance of being seen as such. Assuming that all generations use social media in the same way is a mistake.
Communicating to a global market
Technology is one of the drivers of globalization. It is said “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. For effective communication it is important to understand and respect the culture of the target audience. For a careful analysis it is necessary to consider some factors:
- Economic power;
- Social and political environment;
Due to these factors, the communication rules should not change, but the way we communicate. The way in which the message is disseminated must be different for effective communication.
How to adapt your digital communication?
- Digital events
Due to the current situation, digital events have taken the place of physical events and as such it is necessary to know how to adapt. It has never been as easy as now to bring thousands of people around the world together for a digital event. Intercultural communication is no longer just an option but a necessity. There are a few factors to keep in mind:
Make sure that the chosen time is convenient for all participants in any country in the world.
For example: In some countries, lunchtime is important and can be seen as an affront by some people.
When communicating, it is essential that the message reaches everyone. If communicating for a specific market, find out about the most used expressions. Pay attention to the accent, sometimes it can be trick.
For example: Imagine that you are speaking and say "I can’t go", but the other person understand "I can go". The message is misinterpreted and can lead to a misunderstanding. In this case, saying “I cannot go” will be clearer.
In order to promote everyone's integration it is necessary to have subtitles. If at your digital event, you have videos that have already been recorded, choose to add subtitles in the language in which it is being spoken, and in the languages of the audiences you want to reach.
For example: Teams, in order to integrate everyone in their digital events, has the option of live caption. Thanks to artificial intelligence, while your event is running, subtitles are created in real time. Fantastic isn't it?
- Social Media
Please note that the social media policy is not the same in all countries.
For example: Most of social media platforms are banned in China.
Don’t see this as an obstacle. Adapt! And find out about the most effective social media in that market.
The perception of a brand also depends on how it communicates visually. While there are countries where a minimalist design works, others the more eccentric the better.
Factors to take into account:
The symbology of colors varies from culture to culture. Don't expect the same colors in Europe to have the same impact in Asia. It will not work. Each culture associates different sensations to each color. Choosing the wrong color can transmit the wrong message. Make a careful analysis when creating your strategy.
For example: If you communicate in different markets, creating different websites adapted to the characteristics of a culture can be the solution.
Choose the font that best suits the market you want to communicate with.
The choice of certain symbols must be strategic. Some forms have different symbology in different cultures. Choosing a number can also have consequences.
For example: The number 13 in some cultures is seen as an unlucky number, in others a lucky number. It is a matter of perception.
Knowing how to communicate is a complex process. It is important to know how to look at each individual differently. Develop your cultural intelligence in order to be able to integrate into any circumstances and your communication will be more effective.