Posted by BBN Central on 17th Nov 2023
Global Work Experience with BBN
Michelle Scott, a senior user experience strategist at Elevated Third, one of BBN's partners in the US, shares her storyREAD MORE
Posted by BBN Central on 27th Jul 2023
The furthest two people can physically be from each other on Earth is about 12,450 miles (20,036 km), but digitally this “distance” can be mere nanoseconds. We have never been more connected to a global society than we are today, and that connectivity will only get faster and more intense moving forward. But, marketing across international borders can sometimes make it seem like the distance and time gaps are unbridgeable. The purpose of this article is to acknowledge and show our respect for three very important aspects of global marketing, no matter the location – whether physical or virtual.
“Where things can get off-track is a lack of cultural awareness.”
Before we get into the three C’s, let’s address the one commonality I have experienced in all my travels to support clients in various locations around the globe: account management. In my seven years managing an international marketing organization, I have managed projects and clients in Western Europe, South America, Asia, the Middle East, North America and Africa. No matter where my team was operating, the principles of account management remain virtually the same – no matter the country, language or culture, clients want the same things and the “language of marketing” endures. They all want sound strategies and ideas. Everyone wants to be able to prove impact and value for the money spent. And this cannot be overstated enough; they want proactive communication and engagement.
Most corporate marketers are increasingly looking for value-added services and the flexibility to cherry-pick skill sets, allowing them to tap into exactly what’s needed and when. They want teams that are tailored to their needs, who can support them at all levels, and they want personal support they can trust from a global organisation. While at the same time, they expect and demand consistency and continuity. In essence, the clients want it all – the creativity, personal attention and continuity of a small agency with the might of a large, powerful, global organisation.
That is hard enough to do for any organisation. It’s harder still if you do not have the skill and presence to support such a client. The following three aspects provide a playbook for how we manage our international communications.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, true collaboration is difficult to achieve. It requires not only an understanding of the other people and organisations involved in a project – but to make it mutually beneficial – each has to understand the other’s motivations, challenges and goals. This takes effort that goes beyond mere business discussions. True collaboration requires everyone to be invested in relationships with others and companies. And to ensure alignment, each group works with the collective objectives in mind. As part of the collaboration, one of the challenges we often find is the management of time zones…it’s hard, and adding a world clock app has been a must-have for all of us doing international business. The further the distance, the less likely each participant will have an ideal time to hop on a call or Zoom. So, we rotate “the pain” and acknowledge those who get up early or stay up late.
Where things can get off-track is a lack of cultural awareness. While it is noted that historically closed societies such as Saudi Arabia or China are becoming more open, there still is a lot that we need to understand before we begin marketing in a particular part of the world. We owe it to ourselves to do two things specifically:
Another cultural pitfall that occurs while cross-border collaborating can be using colloquialisms. What may be shorthand or easily understood in one language often fails to resonate when translated or relayed to non-native speakers. This is ever prevalent and head-scratching in our business, where our partners in the UK and the US epitomise the saying of two cultures separated by a common language. The number of stories we have just between these partners could be the subject of a book, but it highlights the point… we keep it simple until everyone learns the shorthand, and we make every effort to learn and teach the shorthand.
See Also: Navigating Cultural Nuances
The last C is a bit tricky because while value is relative, the cost of doing business in one part of the world is very different from in other parts. This can be all at once a good and a bad thing. We are always mindful of the money when working internationally as we want to ensure that neither party suffers unintentionally. Things we consider are:
Obviously, there is more to working with clients and partners across borders, but the foundations for success are laid when we collaborate, are conscious of cultural nuances and mindful of the cash. More importantly, we are social beings, and the concept of eradicating borders will only enrich how marketers evolve and better serve their clients.
Posted by BBN Central on 27th Jul 2023
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Posted by BBN Central on 16th Oct 2023
In the ever-evolving business landscape, marketing leadership is at a pivotal crossroads. Today, marketing leaders must step up and takeREAD MORE