Have you ever done something with good intentions, only to find out that people are seriously offended? That is a big issue for people and businesses in our increasingly interconnected world.
Let’s take Nike as an example. In 2004, it’s “Chamber of Fear” commercial was banned by the State Administration of Radio, TV and Film in China, for insulting Chinese culture. The commercial, which borrowed from the ideas in Bruce’s Lee’s movies and video games, shows NBA star LeBron James combatting temptations. The problem is that these temptations were in the form of Chinese people and symbols of China like dragons, which are sacred to the Chinese culture. Check out the commercial.
Do you think the Chinese Government and some Chinese people cared that Nike and its advertisers did not mean to be offensive? The backlash happened because Nike advertisers didn’t do their homework. They made a big marketing error of not showing their target audience that they knew them.
In the same way, how many people are we potentially excluding from our social media or marketing efforts? For example, are we considering the culture of persons with disabilities, of which there are over 4.5 million in Canada and 50 million in the U.S.? What about the foreign-born population, representing 7 million in Canada and 40 million in the U.S.? Do we know what they need and how they feel about what we are saying or what we have to offer? In our social media or marketing efforts, are we showing diverse people that we know them?
These days there is a lot of focus on customer relationship management (CRM). What may be equally or more important is what I call Diverse People Relationship Management (DPRM). This could prove a crucial factor when dealing with content management for our social media, websites, and other initiatives. To get people to give us their attention, we need to show them we know who they are.
Copyright © 2011 M. Dawn Armstrong. All rights reserved.