global people

BREXIT, Nelson Mandela and humanity

With all the BREXIT discussion recently and the referendum around the corner, I thought it would be interesting to discover how many EU citizens live in the UK. According to  the number is around 3 million or 5% of the UK population. (This compares with an estimated 1.2 million Britons living in other EU countries.) Since over 2 million of these are in work, they represent around 7% of the working population. Government statistics show that of the 3 million, the countries of origin with the highest numbers (in 2015) were Poland, Ireland and Germany, followed by Lithuania and Romania.

Since these people represent potential customers for any B2C  – and even B2B –products/services too, what marketing strategy do you require to reach these people?

Even though many of them will speak English, it also makes sense to talk to them in the language(s) they grew up with and/or prefer to use. After all, when creating a marketing strategy in many cases you want to create emotional affinity with the brand in order to encourage higher sales. Addressing a customer in a language they prefer to use lowers the emotional barriers. Or as Nelson Mandela once said “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

I had a conversation recently with our local football club. They told me they had signed up a Polish player and tried to engage with the local Polish community on social media – in English. Their success was very limited. Linguagloss is able to solve that problem by pulling social media feeds, translating them into up to 30 languages in close to real time and posting them back onto social media. This enables you to connect with potential customers on a deeper level.

In his excellent book documenting the difficult road to removing apartheid in South Africa, Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela also says “without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry, or savour their songs.”

In fact, anything that causes people to interact at a deeper level must be applauded as beneficial. This video Eye contact for 4 minutes is based on research showing that if they maintain direct eye contact for 4 minutes, strangers can fall in love. It shows Syrian refugees interacting with Europeans and is well worth a look.

If nothing else, direct eye contact increases communication since each person looks beyond the stereotypes and starts to see the real person. It encourages interaction, understanding and human contact.

And the whole world could do with more of that kind of humanity these days.