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Cross-Cultural Communications: How to Successfully Tap Into a New Market


​“Sero Communications is a cross-cultural communications agency.”

So what does that actually mean, you ask?

First, there's a difference between ‘cross-cultural communication’ and ‘cross-cultural communications.’ Here's a simple way to understand it:

Cross-cultural communication is the goal; cross-cultural communications are the means to successfully achieve that goal.

Cross-cultural communication (noun, singular): A field of study that examines how individuals communicate and interact in an attempt to overcome barriers related to distance, language and culture.

This concept has become increasingly popular as globalization and international business expand. As we come into contact with more people with diverse linguistic and/or cultural backgrounds, we need to strive to understand one another and connect in a meaningful way.

Cross-cultural communications (noun, plural): The use of content and appropriate media to target a specific market or market segment, taking into account particular factors relating to region, language and culture.

Cross-cultural communications are a form of marketing communications – but they go even further. Content and media are carefully conceptualized, created and/or adapted taking into account distinct regional, linguistic and cultural characteristics and preferences in order to connect with the target audience.

Still not quite clear? Ask yourself these questions:

Would you develop content for an English speaker in Canada and an English speaker in the UAE the same way? Would the same communications – from content to images – work in both places?

Would you communicate with an English speaker in Toronto the same way you would a French speaker in Montreal? Can you market your products and services the same way in Quebec as you would for the rest of Canada?

Would your content be the same for an Arabic-speaking GCC national residing in the UAE as for an English-speaking UK expat there? Now what if the GCC national also speaks English? Would target both groups with all your offerings? Would you communicate your message the same way?

Imagine how simple it would be if all the answers to those questions were yes! In the real world though, it’s far more complex – and that’s where cross-cultural communications come in.

Have any more questions about cross-cultural communications? Join the conversation below, on Twitter or on Facebook. We want to hear from you! ​

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