Communication in Global Business & Marketing

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  • 0:03 Global Business…
  • 0:26 Cultural Awareness
  • 2:28 Communication Methods
  • 4:15 Comparing &…
  • 5:05 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jesse Richter

Jesse holds two masters, a doctorate and has 15 years of academic experience in areas of education, linguistics, business and science across five continents.

Do you want to learn more about communication and marketing in the global context? This lesson compares and contrasts various methods of communication that exist globally, and discusses how to apply them to business and marketing.

Global Business Marketing Overview


Communication on a global scale is both interesting and challenging due to the rich variety of cultural differences around the world. In the areas of business and marketing, the savvy professional must consider a variety of factors so as to ensure successful international and multinational communications. Let's first consider a few cultural awareness concepts.

Cultural Awareness

It's prudent to bear in mind that various regional, national, and local cultures may have particular communication preferences and expectations. These variations also depend on the organizational cultures of involved individuals. These nuances include tendencies to use some technologies versus others and varying customs and conventions such as formality, which can be seen as the level of professionalism; punctuality, which is the speed at which you arrive to an event; urgency; teamwork dynamics; and negotiation strategies. Here are some general tips about communication and marketing dynamics:

  • Get to know your business partners. What are their individual and/or institutional styles of communication?
  • Consider timelines. Are your business partners punctual or more relaxed about meeting times, deadlines, etc.?
  • Some individuals, institutions, or entire cultural regions may have a preference of communication mediums (e.g., paper-based vs. digital).

Although language barriers may be a challenge in some situations, English is generally accepted as the language of international business communication; accordingly, it's usually safe to assume that most or all participants will be able to engage using English.

What about holidays? It's always a good idea to be aware of important holidays, seasons, and other events in foreign countries. Try to avoid scheduling meetings or making phone calls on holidays and other non-business days. For example, it may be Monday morning business hours in Asia and Australia, but remember that at that time it is late Sunday evening in the Americas.

Similarly, what is happening in the news? Did a major event recently happen in the home country of your business colleague? Try to be sensitive to anything that may have a direct impact on your colleague's environment. The big idea is simply to be aware of what's happening in the world from the points of view of all participants involved.

Communication Methods

On a global scale, it's inherently implied that technology will be involved. The obvious question is: What technologies are available and appropriate for which contexts? The answer to this question is most easily answered by engaging in a preliminary conversation with discussion members in order to determine what works best for everyone involved.

Here in the 21st century, most professionals involved in global-scale business have access to the Internet via smart phone, tablet, and/or computer, and thus have access to a variety of software programs suitable for effective communications. Popular platforms include videoconferencing software, which are programs that allow people to communicate over long distances using both video and audio, and include programs such as Skype, Adobe Connect, GoToMeeting, and WebEx, among others. Additionally, there is an increasingly diverse array of social media tools, such as Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Slack. Keep in mind that some individuals may not have access to some platforms. For example, until very recently, WhatsApp wasn't available for use on Mac computers or cell phones without WiFi capabilities, though that's now changed. Another thing to keep in mind is that some countries' governments rigorously disallow the use of social media sites within their boundaries.

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