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WeQ’s Business Etiquette Tips for Acquiring Mobile Advertisers

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Do you have your sights set on acquiring new mobile users or expanding monetization reach in a new GEO? Then you’ll want to do solid research on your new market – and that includes how to approach the stakeholders you’ll be meeting at conferences, events and roadshows. What’s more, the FIFA 2018 World Cup which is seeing 32 global teams playing football in Russia is a great timing to get acquainted with other cultures around the world.

As any savvy sales professional will tell you, securing new business in the field of mobile advertising is as much about crunching the numbers, as it is establishing a good personal rapport with prospect clients. Then, once the deal is signed, “keeping the spark alive” with newfound partners becomes of utmost importance too.

Naturally there are many business etiquettes to keep in mind during vis-à-vis meetings, written communication and business calls – but things become even more complicated when cultural differences and language barriers come into play. So the question arises: what are the essential business etiquettes used to establish and nurture relationships in mobile advertising globally?

With 36 nationalities at WeQ and a global network of partners, our team of mobile experts not only scales user acquisition campaigns daily: they are also well-placed to share their essential business etiquette tips for acquiring and maintaining good business in the field of ad tech and mobile advertising. Find them below.

Disclaimer: We know that every case and every experience is different, so these generic guidelines may not apply to everyone. Please don’t take them too literally or seriously

Internationally valid tips:

  • Respect local cultures and always do you research before you land on foreign soil (high five if you are reading this!)
  • Mark local holidays on your calendar and don’t pester clients on those dates – they will appreciate it.
  • Bring gifts anywhere in the world if you are attending a meeting. This is a must!

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  • Offer to pay the bill – it’s always a nice gesture.
  • Keep emails “official” and strictly business-related. If you want to discuss something privately, do it verbally.
  • We found that “Game of Thrones” is always a nice ice breaker at the table! If your guests know it, it becomes a passionate topic to discuss. If they don’t you can just move on (maybe to another series…).

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Russia

  • If you don’t know the person that well, avoid chatting about personal stuff in the very beginning – especially NOT family questions. It is always safe to go with neutral topics like the weather, vacation plans, common interests, etc.

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  • If it’s already an established relationship, start with small talk – then straight to business (Russians appreciate straight, to-the-point discussions). When you are done with work, you can switch to non-business related topics. Priorities first!
  • First meeting? Scout a nice dinner location for your meeting or take them to a glam event: fancy settings and meals are much appreciated, as it shows that you are willing to invest in the relationship.

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  • Hipsters, take note: the ad tech scene in Russia is quite casual, but it’s expected to not go too casual as it is deemed disrespectful. Dress up! Smart-casual would be your safest bet.

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“Never turn down a drink offered by a Russian” you say? We say nay, think again: vodka-fuelled meetings are a 100% stereotype. We wouldn’t advise drinking too much during business settings. OK, this applies internationally too.

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  • Russians don’t beat around the bush, so while pitching or talking about business keep the communication always direct (avoid long, ambiguous wording). Otherwise you will never get the ball rolling!

Brazil:

  • The stereotype of Brazilians being social creatures “rings” true – so pick up the phone! Yeah, we mean your actual phone with a landline or mobile connection. We found that it’s better to call Brazilians, than to message them on Skype or email them. You don’t usually even need to schedule a call, you can just follow up after sending an email.

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APAC Region – Applies to All

  • Dress smart! Generally in Asia, people wear suits a lot (depends on companies) or if not, blazers for them are a must – it’s considered disrespectful to wear casual clothes to work. So, don’t dress too casual: wear a suit or blazer, just in case.

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Korea:

  • Handshake is the preferred meeting gesture – don’t get too physical! If you don’t know the local language, don’t approach them: leave it to a translator.

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  • Koreans are hard workers and are known to reply to emails until midnight. Therefore, they would expect us to be just as diligent and answer emails promptly.

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  • Unlike many other Asian countries, Koreans are quite relaxed about name formalities: you can call them by their first name, as many of them have western names and they don’t get too hung up on Mr/Mrs titles.
  • Koreans are generous hosts and will rarely let you pay when you visit them in their country. But it’s always good to offer.
  • Always use Kakao chat for communicating with Korean clients.

Japan

  • English won’t get you far in Japan: if Japanese is not your native language, get yourself a translator, pronto.

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  • Visiting Japan? Keep your schedule free at all times. Depending on the company, you might need to spend the whole day with your client before they will consider doing business with you.

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  • Small talk is good, but don’t get too personal (at least for the first 6 months of knowing each other) whether you’re a Japanese speaker or not.

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  • Formalities are important: Japanese tend to avoid calling each other by their first name in a business situation, so to be polite, always address them by their family name followed by “san” which translates to Mr/Ms. However, in emails and written language you’ll need to use “sama”. If your clients introduce themselves by their first name and/or first name followed by their family name, you can use either, followed by “san”.
  • Japanese are known to be very hard workers, so don’t be surprised if they reply to your email when it’s 3am their time! Although you are not expected to answer right away, promptly respond to communication whenever possible.

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India:

  • Bring small gifts to meetings: they could be anything small, like a pen set or tequila glasses. Never show up empty handed! Exchange gifts during big Indian holidays (like Diwali) and festivals to establish good relations with clients.

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  • Hierarchies don’t matter so much in India, you can usually address people by their first name.
  • Indians are talkative and good-humored: they will enjoy a good, old fashioned phone call over a stream of emails.

Indonesia:

  • Have a request for Indonesians? Perhaps, get it in writing. We find that the lovely locals don’t really like saying no – sometimes they will say “yes” to be polite, but may not always mean it.

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  • Like the good smartphone-obsessed techies that they are, Indonesians talk way more on Whatsapp than on emails.

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  • Indonesians love food and will happily invite you out for dinners if you are visiting. However, don’t expect them to be punctual: traffic is normal in Jakarta, so everything usually gets delayed by hours – including dinners. However, there are fantastic street food stands in Jakarta to keep you from getting “hangry” if the wait is too long.

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China:

  • Hierarchies in China are very important – make sure to always address someone as “Mr.” or “Mrs.” followed by their family name.
  • Download QQ messenger and WeChat asap if you need to reach clients.

Israel:

  • It works very well to meet Israelis in person, rather than talk for ages behind a screen. As they are a fun-loving bunch, engage in less business talk and more out-of-office chats. They are also very persistent, so don’t be surprised if they manage to twist your arm and convince you to stay out til the wee hours!

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  • As Israelis are open to talking about personal things, it makes a nice impact to remember what they tell you and use it as a personal touchpoint for engaging conversations.
  • Don’t be so shy! If you meet them for the first time, but you already chatted on Skype or emails, you might get a hug (also applies to the Spanish FYI) or a kiss on the cheek.

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  • Business days in Israel are Sunday to Thursday: so locals will appreciate you replying to their email on a Sunday. They will remember you for going the extra mile. Avoid disturbing them on their day off (Friday) and they will be happy to return the favour.
  • Always send a Hanukkah gift!
  • In Israel, the preferred chat app is Whatsapp.

USA:

  • Having a business call? The old joke about time zones never gets old: wish them a nice day as theirs is just starting and your working day is ending. You can use it the other way around with Asian clients.
  • Americans really like small talk and are open to personal chats, so do remember important dates. For example: if they told you it’s their kid’s birthday coming up, follow up by asking how it went.

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  • Even if you don’t have anything business-related to discuss, make sure to reach out frequently (even if the topic is the weather) and ask them how it’s going to maintain good rapport.
  • You’ll have watched enough Hollywood movies to know that Christmas in the US is a big deal – so always send Christmas presents and cards.

Germany:

  • Achtung! When it comes to talking subjects, don’t get too personal with Germans for the first 6 months of your rapport. Take it easy and steady.

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  • Formally address people as “Mister” (Herr) or “Miss” (Frau) followed by their family name. Always, unless they request otherwise.
  • Germans like to be kept in the loop, so do communicate when necessary.
  • Get straight to the point – Germans are not the biggest small talkers.

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