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  • Writer's pictureEva Baluchova

Cultural differences and their impact for your copywriting.

In our previous blogs, we've discussed the value of knowing who you are aiming for. We discussed the motivators, requirements, and anxieties of your target audience in our discussion.

Let's speak about the attributes and characteristics of our target audience, which are the portion of the iceberg that sits under the surface.

So what you must be aware of under the surface. There sit global, cultural, and individual aspects of your audience that impact their decision-making processes. Seeing this will enable you to communicate effectively. Understand how to communicate successfully with your target audience using language, nonverbal clues, and visual design. Only then will you be able to convince them with honesty. Use psychological persuasion concepts to guide (rather than force) your prospects into a win-win situation.

How do cultural differences impact your copywriting?

Your culture shapes your actions, beliefs, and even emotions, whether you realize it. It shapes the language(s) you speak, the art you like, and the music you listen to. The social standards you follow, the attitudes you exhibit, and the ideas you hold are all influenced by your culture.

People in any society throughout the globe are sharing and teaching their culture's social map to one another, influencing the values and actions of future generations. This crucial process of cultural transmission is what separates one culture from the next, and your understanding of these cultural sensitivities will decide how much power you have in any particular market.

I highly recommend a book by Natali Nahai, Web influence which radically changed my approach. I will summarise what she says here:

Keep in mind that the term you should know is glocalization.

Glocalization is the process of modifying goods to match the demands of a local market. The premise is that "a single, globally attractive website appears unachievable given the disparities across particular cultures." But translating your website and marketing materials isn't enough. You also must ensure that your website and marketing materials are in the correct language. In addition, your product or company names, time zones, local color preferences, gender roles, money, and the use of geographic allusions must also be looked at.

A person's cultural background is essential when they think about things like language, which could be mistranslated or styled incorrectly if they don't speak the same language (hence why literal translations can inadvertently wind up as memes). In addition, how you write and talk about your work is very important because different cultures have other ideas of how much information is needed to understand a piece of text or speech.

Translation alone is not enough to reach and connect with a new audience. Therefore, Glocalisation is a crucial tactic when you're taking your business internationally.

Essentially, it means tailoring a translation to adapt culturally to a different country or region.

Personal passion is what drives me to study this topic. When I moved to the Netherlands seven years ago, I noticed I had changed culturally. There was a lot of adjusting to do. Changing my way of speaking and writing would help me improve. I need to learn to write differently when reaching out to passive candidates through email.

Formalities are frequently written in Slovakia with structures, authority, credentials, and status. Using proper titles and emphasizing the candidates' qualifications is a good persuasion tactic in Slovakia, but it has the opposite effect in the Netherlands. Dutch audiences prefer to emphasize equality and prefer a collaborative, transparent approach.

In Slovakia, a casual tone could be interpreted as impolite and intrusive. Still, in the Netherlands, you must adopt a visually appealing approach, a joyful, emotional tone, humor, and other techniques to spice things up.

So to appeal to my new audience in the Netherlands, I must change my writing.

Let me give you another great example of how cultural differences impact your copywriting and why you must glocalise your writing towards your audience as a copywriter.

Different countries have their own dialects, rituals, and customs. To the Dutch, something that makes perfect sense to a Brit could be entirely confusing. Before introducing your company to a new talent pool, account for cultural and language variances.

In job descriptions or LinkedIn posts here in the Netherlands, I often see Dutch idioms literally translated into English. Here are some of my favorites:

• "Let's fall with the door into the house."

Meaning: Let's get straight to the point.

• "You'll sit with your mouth full of teeth."

Meaning: You'll be speechless.

• "Now you finished reading, and your wooden shoe is breaking"

Meaning: Now you finished reading and are totally amazed

• "With our learning program, you will have it under the knee."

Meaning: To possess in-depth knowledge of something, to master it.

• "Apply today; it's a whistle of a cent."

Meaning: Apply today; it can be done with minimal effort.

Would you get what the author means by those idioms?

I hope I brought a grin to your face because it usually did the same for me, but I was also quite confused. But I think you get the idea. Confusion and ambiguity would result from literal translations of idioms and expressions into another language. In addition, translating into a foreign language necessitates research on the language's cultural connotations. Alternatively, you can use simple terminology that we've previously explained in a blog post.

Your brand will suffer if you misuse idioms and cultural references. Take the time to learn the language and customs of your target culture and get the benefits.

Final Thoughts

Cultural sensitivity is being too aware of specific cultural factors affecting research. Writers must be mindful of local cultural differences and write relevant messages to their target audience. If this is your first time doing a glocalization project, you'll need to think about cultural sensitivity before talking to people from other countries.

But what are some of the most important things for brands to remember when they use cultural sensitivity in international recruitment marketing campaigns when they want to launch new products in a new country?

  1. Genders' stereotypes (what is sexist, masculine, or famine differ per culture)

  2. Slang and idioms (mentioned before)

  3. Brand graphic and website layout (colors and structures vary per culture)

So if you want to market your brand to people from different cultures, don't just copy and paste your brand message or marketing campaign. This will be very difficult.

The devil is in the small things. Applying cultural sensitivity to your whole marketing plan will ensure that you can effectively market your product in new places, use your brand to fight off foreign competitors, and build brand loyalty with local customers.

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