China marketing agency, Long Advisory, is a guide into Chinese digital marketing for Western companies. The company collaborates with several prestigious universities around the world, giving many students and upcoming enterpreneurs the opportunity to delve into the world of digital marketing related to the country of China.
Today we share part of the thesis project of graduate Tognini Gaia, from the Carlo Bo University of Urbino, titled: “Training Intercultural Mediators for the Italy-China Business Context.”
The Long Advisory agency is a guide into Chinese digital marketing for Italian companies. It deals with digital marketing in China on behalf of Italian companies. Their mission is to create trust and interest in corporate brands that interface with the Chinese market. They are therefore committed to providing support to create synergy between companies, Italian brands and the Chinese market. The agency offers a wide range of services, including assistance to companies for the presence of their brands in Chinese social media, which are totally different from Western ones and require in-depth knowledge and skills. It provides support for marketing campaigns and for participating in events and trade fairs with Chinese partners; finally, it offers translation services from Italian into Chinese and vice versa.
Below are the answers to the questionnaire submitted to Mr Ricardo Pellissero:
What is your background and training as an intercultural mediator? How did you come to perform this role in the company?
“My friend and partner Matteo and I had the good fortune of being born to two parents of different nationalities, and this factor influenced us. Our open-mindedness and therefore natural inclination to break down preconceptions and prejudices are the key ingredients to successfully mediate with people and in business. Personally, I was educated at the University of Urbino Carlo Bo; however, I believe that the greatest lessons I have learned came from the practice and experience in the field. As a result of our school experiences, the conditions were realized for us to embark on this project, which turned into a company, both in Italy and China.”
What skills and knowledge do you consider essential for an intercultural mediator working in the business context between Italy and China?
“Knowing the language, the culture, the history, are all fundamental. It is important to be able to understand the person you are with, to know their background. To facilitate this learning, I think it is essential to go on location and get involved in various contexts. From social to work, which help to see how people live, how they think. This helps to understand where people come from and what cultural background they have, what their needs and ambitions are.
Having effective communication skills is a key factor. Having patience, being humble are key elements to be able to communicate fruitfully with other professionals. To date, there are few people and companies that attach much importance to this, that are aware of how possessing these attitudes is a key to business. One has to be open to accepting differences, not closing oneself off to them because in our culture or in our business operations it is not customary to do so.”
What are the main challenges you face as an Italy-China intercultural mediator in your company? Could you share some specific situations you faced and how you handled the mediation?
“Certainly the main challenges, or obstacles if you want to call them that, are the different thinking logics, the language and the way it is used to communicate, finally the lack of proactivity. The starting point for overcoming these obstacles is to patiently explain how things are. It is critical that the parties are willing to listen and not put up a wall to communication. The key is to properly communicate the viewpoints of the interlocutors. The mediator is in the middle and must make it clear why one person has decided one thing and why this thing works a certain way. So the challenge is to be able to be heard and to be able to mediate with communication that is clear and as understandable as possible for everyone.
What are the main objectives and benefits that intercultural mediation brings to companies operating between Italy and China?
“Increasing turnover is certainly the company’s main goal, but to get there, cultural mediation is a key element. Often for many entrepreneurs the shock to Chinese culture is a lot, so we are there to help, to mediate and minimize this shock. The presence of a figure to guide and mediate you from culture to culture is essential, and this applies both from Italy to China and vice versa.”
How do you keep your skills and knowledge on Italian and Chinese culture and business dynamics up-to-date?
“Being on the ground, I have the opportunity to observe on a daily basis how people behave and how Chinese society works and evolves. Also, as a company we think it is very important to invest in research and development within the company,starting with the staff. This is because it allows us to be constantly updated and to keep up with the times, which is also increasingly crucial to offer better services and return of investment for our clients. Finally, one way I like to keep up to date and which I think is really important is to nurture and cultivate personal curiosity.”
What are the main cultural and communication differences you have found between Italy and China in the business context? How do these differences influence your mediation?
“Important differences that I have been able to find are definitely communicating directly and indirectly and the concept of family in the business environment. In the former case, if it’s a matter of contradicting something or communicating an idea that may be uncomfortable, people in China tend to go around it. Whereas for our working culture we tend to be very direct in dealing with these topics and try to get to the point as much as possible. With experience you then learn to be a little more indirect, thus respecting the way the Chinese operate.
Regarding the concept of family in business, in Italy, in companies family is seen more as a burden. Leaving no room for managers to work as such. Family in this sense is also limiting for the growth of employees and the business. In China, the company is something else. Employees spend a lot of time in the company and feel like parts of a family, because work and private life are very similar. There is no judgment or malice. It is important to recognize these differences so that we have a broader and more respectful view of both cultures and populations.”
What strategies or techniques do you use to facilitate communication and mutual understanding between Italian and Chinese professionals within the company?
“Certainly knowledge of both Western and Chinese culture and logic of reasoning. It is essential to have a frame of reference related to Chinese history and culture not only limited to books. But also of today’s culture, from shopping from live streaming. One strategy that helps achieve this understanding is constant influence between customers and employees. Finally, I would like to emphasize how technology plays a not insignificant role in mutual understanding of each other. Spurring and motivating both parties to use the social media present in their respective cultures is a piece that we in the company consider crucial in fostering mutual openness.”
What advice or suggestions would you give to those who wish to become Italy-China intercultural mediators for the business context?
“The advice I would give to those who are planning to take this path is to keep these concepts in mind: open-mindedness, absence of prejudices, learning about local history and culture, knowing and practicing languages by speaking as much as possible, trying to live in both poles, and, at the base of it all, being humble. It is important to always take an interest and keep alive the curiosity and desire to explore aspects related to culture and traditional background of Chinese culture. It is good to try your hand at insights that start from a personal drive. What I think is most important is to have study or work experiences in China. I believe that Italian universities that are in charge of training young mediators should encourage young people to take part in this kind of experience.”
In conclusion, practical experience in the field, together with a solid cultural and linguistic foundation, is the most effective way to have better results in intercultural communication. Unfortunately, the importance that companies attach to intercultural mediators is still low. Instead, it is crucial to invest in the education of these professionals, as they are crucial figures for companies in achieving their goals.
A special thanks to Gaia for her commitment and interest in Long Advisory.
Long Advisory digital marketing agency in China
Long Advisory supports American and European companies in China through digital marketing. In fact, our experience has led us to believe that today, the best and most convenient approach to making your brand well-known in China is through a digital approach. Furthermore, thanks to our know-how, we know how to make your brand known to potential Chinese consumers. With the effective coordination of Long Advisory, your company will see a new rise in the largest market in the world: China.
Long Advisory is a digital marketing agency specializing in developing digital marketing solutions tailored for the Chinese market.
Interested in expanding your brand in China? Contact us for more info and details at firstname.lastname@example.org
GO BEYOND THE WALL