Multicultural Millennial Mindset: Transactional or Transformational | Business 2 Community

Multicultural Millennial Mindset: Transactional or Transformational | Business 2 Community.

Here’s an interesting article I found that looks at interracial and multicultural individuals from the long-term business perspective.

Obviously regardless of indifference (probably the greatest force), businesses will have no choice but to integrate more as the face of society as a whole darkens.

Opinions on this piece?

Multiculturalism grant

Multiculturalism grant (Photo credit: BC Gov Photos)

MediaPost Publications Multicultural Consumers Wield $1.3 Trillion Consumer Spending Power 04/08/2013

MediaPost Publications Multicultural Consumers Wield $1.3 Trillion Consumer Spending Power 04/08/2013.

It’s old new to anyone who actually works in the real world for a living that society is in general multicultural, diverse, interracial, and ultimately better for it. What Big Business cares about is the holy grail of the almighty buck. And wherever the most people go, that’s where the most money will be concentrated. That’s why “The Bachelor,” ABC TVs most profitable franchise is deathly afraid to add color to the mix (and probably never will include diversity of any real depth), and why most media is still lilly white.

The Joker, after emerging from the canal of ch...

The Joker, after emerging from the canal of chemical-waste from Batman: The Killing Joke. (Photo credit: Wikipedia). It can drive advertising companies crazy trying to figure ways to keep making more money.

But advertisers and marketers looking for statistical outlyers or “fringe” areas not fully exploited, or growing look to multicultural consumers – meaning anyone who is not as white as the Joker looking character in the article photo.

The multicultural market is huge, and still new to most advertisers and marketing companies because white America is still the majority – but that’s slowly turning…

Interracial & Multicultural Greeting Cards & Prints for the Holidays?

As we continue to refurbish Interrace Today, we want to let our gentle readers know that we are the only resource online (that we’ve found) to offer our own original artwork interracial and multicultural greeting cards and prints for sale to the public.

English: A photograph of a greeting card. The ...

English: A photograph of a greeting card. The greeting card was printed sometime before June, 1909, in Germany. A swastika is used as decoration on the card. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’ve been looking for a unique greeting card or holidays card to reflect a diverse world and not the bland one represented by the vast majority of greeting cards and prints available out there, please consider visiting our Store.

Best wishes to all Interrace Today readers and please keep involved.

Love, peace, and hair-grease,

David

Minding Your Global Manners

Minding Your Global Manners

Minding Your Global Manners

By: Lydia Ramsey

To say that today’s business environment is becoming increasingly more global is to state the obvious. Meetings, phone calls and conferences are held all over the world and attendees can come from any point on the globe. On any given business day you can find yourself dealing face-to-face, over the phone, by e-mail and, on rare occasions, by postal letter with people whose customs and cultures differ your own. You may never have to leave home to interact on an international level.

While the old adage “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” still holds true, business clients and colleagues who are visiting this country should be treated with sensitivity and with an awareness of their unique culture. Not to do your homework and put your best international foot forward can cost you relationships and future business. One small misstep such as using first names inappropriately, not observing the rules of timing or sending the wrong color flower in the welcome bouquet can be costly.

There is no one set of rules that applies to all international visitors so do the research for each country that your clients represent. That may sound like a daunting task, but taken in small steps, it is manageable and the rewards are worth the effort. Keeping in mind that there are as many ways to do business as there are countries to do business with, here are a few tips for minding your global P’s and Q’s.

Building relationships: Few other people are as eager to get down to business as we Americans. So take time to get to know your international clients and build rapport before you rush to the bottom line. Business relationships are built on trust that is developed over time, especially with people from Asia and Latin America.

Dressing conservatively: Americans like to dress for fashion and comfort, but people from other parts of the world are generally more conservative. Your choice of business attire is a signal of your respect for the other person or organization. Leave your trendy clothes in the closet on the days that you meet with your foreign guests.

Observe the hierarchy: It is not always a simple matter to know who is the highest-ranking member when you are dealing with a group. To avoid embarrassment, err on the side of age and masculine gender, only if you are unable to discover the protocol with research. If you are interacting with the Japanese, it is important to understand that they make decisions by consensus, starting with the younger members of the group. By contrast, Latin people have a clear hierarchy that defers to age.

Understanding the handshake: With a few exceptions, business people around the world use the handshake for meeting and greeting. However, the American style handshake with a firm grip, two quick pumps, eye contact and a smile is not universal. Variations in handshakes are based on cultural differences, not on personality or values. The Japanese give a light handshake. Germans offer a firm shake with one pump, and the French grip is light with a quick pump. Middle Eastern people will continue shaking your hand throughout the greeting. Don’t be surprised if you are occasionally met with a kiss, a hug, or a bow somewhere along the way.

Using titles and correct forms of address: We are very informal in the United States and are quick to call people by their first name. Approach first names with caution when dealing with people from other cultures. Use titles and last names until you have been invited to use the person’s first name. In some cases, this may never occur. Use of first names is reserved for family and close friends in some cultures.

Titles are given more significance around the world than in the United States and are another important aspect of addressing business people. Earned academic degrees are acknowledged. For example, a German engineer is addressed as “Herr Ingenieur” and a professor as “Herr Professor”. Listen carefully when you are introduced to someone and pay attention to business cards when you receive them.

Exchanging business cards: The key to giving out business cards in any culture is to show respect for the other person. Present your card so that the other person does not have to turn it over to read your information. Use both hands to present your card to visitors from Japan, China, Singapore, or Hong Kong. When you receive someone else’s business card, always look at it and acknowledge it. When you put it away, place it carefully in your card case or with your business documents. Sticking it haphazardly in your pocket is demeaning to the giver. In most cases, wait until you have been introduced to give someone your card.

Valuing time. Not everyone in the world is as time conscious as Americans. Don’t take it personally if someone from a more relaxed culture keeps you waiting or spends more of that commodity than you normally would in meetings or over meals. Stick to the rules of punctuality, but be understanding when your contact from another country seems unconcerned.

Honoring space issues: Americans have a particular value for their own physical space and are uncomfortable when other people get in their realm. If the international visitor seems to want to be close, accept it. Backing away can send the wrong message. So can touching. You shouldn’t risk violating someone else’s space by touching them in any way other than with a handshake.

Whether the world comes to you or you go out to it, the greatest compliment you can pay your international clients is to learn about their country and their customs. Understand differences in behavior and honor them with your actions. Don’t take offense when visitors behave according to their norms. People from other cultures will appreciate your efforts to accommodate them and you will find yourself building your international clientele.

 

Author Bio

Lydia Ramsey is a business etiquette expert, professional speaker, corporate trainer and author of MANNERS THAT SELL – ADDING THE POLISH THAT BUILDS PROFITS. She has been quoted or featured in The New York Times, Investors’ Business Daily, Entrepreneur, Inc., Real Simple and Woman’s Day. For more information about her programs, products and services, e-mail her at lydia@mannersthatsell.com or visit her web site www.mannersthatsell.com

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6 Steps to Attracting Black Customers Online

6 Steps to Attracting Black Customers Online

6 Steps to Attracting Black Customers Online

By: Jamila White, “The E-Commerce Diva” (TM)

In the rush to keep up with technology, many African-American business owners are so busy trying to add the latest bells and whistles to their Web sites, get to the top of the search engines, and learn the latest database technology that they often forget this simple fact: people do business with other people, not computers. Understanding the importance of relationships is key to attracting African-American buyers online. Here are a few practical tips to getting Black customers to buy more from your Web site.

Here are a few practical tips to getting Black customers to buy more from your website.

Step 1: Make a personal connection… put a face on it.

Adding photos of realistic-looking people to your Web site will increase your sales. Photos jump out from a page, so even if someone just skims over the words, the photo will create a lasting impression. If you don’t have photos of your actual employees or customers, use stock photography.

Here are a few of my favorite sources for photos:

Royalty-free images start at around $19-35 per image and are much less expensive than rights-managed images. If you have a bigger budget, you can purchase CDs with entire collections of African American stock photographs and illustrations.

Step 2: Establish trust.

When you walk into an establishment, you usually can tell right away if you feel comfortable doing business there. You can see if the place is clean and well maintained, brightly lit, and whether someone friendly is available to greet and help you. On the Internet, your Web site has to do all the talking and all the handholding. If this is a potential customer’s first visit to your Web site, they may be uncertain if you’re a legitimate business and if they can trust you.

There are a number of ways to alleviate these fears and give your customers peace of mind. First, provide full contact information – including a telephone number – on your Web site. Second, show a picture of your location and employees, if applicable. Third, if you are a member of any professional organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau and/or professional trade organizations, this is a great time to display your membership logos. Most importantly, display quotes and testimonials for your current happy customers to show how what great quality products and service your company provides.

Step 3: Use the “word of mouth” network.

From the griots of Africa to barbershops and hair salons to the chat rooms on BlackPlanet.com, at the center of African American culture is the oral tradition. Use this ready-made network to your advantage, and give people the tools to tell their friends and colleagues about your products. A great way to do this is with an instant “Tell a Friend” button on your Web site. Constant Contact (see Step 6) includes this service as part of it’s e-newsletter management program.

Step 4: Network with other Black Web sites.

One way to jump-start the flow of traffic to your Web site is by recruiting customers from other high-traffic sites. You can buy ad space on a well-trafficked site that also attracts a high percentage of your target market. A cheaper alternative is to swap ads with a business that offers products or service that complement, but don’t compete with, your own offering. For example, if you offer Web site design, look for someone who offers Web site hosting or network services. This strategy can work both with ads on a Web site, but don’t overlook swapping ads in each business’ promotional e-mail newsletter.

(NOTE: Do not swap customer databases or lists of email addresses unless you have specific permission from your customers to do so.)

Step 5: Give your customers a reason to act now.

How many times have you visited a Web site and thought to yourself: “What a great product! I’d like to buy it, but I think I’ll come back later.” Did you actually go back and buy it? Perhaps not. Help your customers make their decision today: make them an offer they can’t refuse. For example, use promotions like “limited time only”, “this week only”, “act today and take $10 off,” etc.

Step 6: Keep in touch.

Remember, it’s about relationships. Did you know that customers who buy online usually do so on the fourth to eighth visit to your Web site, and not the first visit? So you’ll need to come up with a strategy to get them back to your Web site a second, third, and fourth time. The easiest, simplest, and cheapest method, hands down, is an e-mail list. It isn’t enough just to collect e-mail addresses on your Web site and at your vending events – you have to actually write and send messages to the list! Strive to get your newsletter out at least twice a month, but if you’re just getting started, do quarterly, then build up to monthly, and then build up to every other week.

Here are a few e-mail list services I like:

  • Aweber
  • Constant Contact
  • YahooGroups (free)

Essentially, what successful online marketing boils down to, regardless of ethnicity, is relationships, relationships, relationships. Find meaningful ways to connect with your customers, and they will not only reward you with their loyalty, but they’ll be happy to spread the word about your Web site as well.

 

Author Bio

Jamila White, “The E-Commerce Diva”, is an Internet Strategist, Web Designer, and E-Commerce instructor in the Washington D.C. area. Reach her on her Web site, www.ecommercediva.com

NOTE: You are welcome to forward or “reprint” this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the “about the author” info at the end and the copyright notice), and you send a copy of your reprint to articles@ecommercediva.com.

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