Why Marketers Should Learn a New Language
My track record for learning second languages was terrible until I attended college. From a numbers standpoint, the only thing I can think of that was sadder than my grades in Latin and Spanish was the DOW Jones Industrial average in 2008 and 2009. Yes, they were that bad. By the time I attended SUNY Albany, I was a more focused person. I was able to excel in many courses, including Arabic! This time around, I put in the extra hours in addition to making it a point of learning from my previous mishaps. Currently I’m working on learning Spanish, and I have to say that I think people who work in the marketing field would benefit greatly from learning a new language.
You Can Reach More Customers Than Before
What I learned early on in my marketing career is that effective advertising involves making an emotional connection with a consumer. Learning a second language, in my opinion, gives you the ability to reach customers you wouldn’t normally be able to have a conversation with about what you’re selling. This gives you the ability to relate to a potential buyer on a more personal level than before. It can also give you the distinct advantage of outpacing your competitors that aren’t interested in bridging a language gap.
Your Communications Skills Will Grow
Communication skills are key to making a bond between a seller and a buyer. Learning a second language involves problem solving when speaking, writing, and listening. Having to rephrase things, with what might start out as a more limited vocabulary can be a blessing in disguise. For example, when I’m having writers block, relying on some of the solutions I’ve used to communicate in Spanish or Arabic has come in handy for conveying ideas in a way that’s fresh and understandable.
You Will Learn New Things About the World
I’ve found that the journey in learning a second language can involve communicating with people from other parts of the world, examining media from outside of the United States, and learning about the history of other countries. Working in our field involves coming up with new ideas, and one way to do this is to learn as much information as possible about the world around us.
Conclusion – It’s Rewarding to Learn a New Language
Learning a language isn’t an overnight process, and it requires a lot of work. My advice is to set aside as much time as possible each day to do nothing but study or immerse yourself in the language. I started learning Spanish by reading the book Spanish in 100 Days. Currently I’ve been watching Netflix shows with Spanish subtitles and I’ve been utilizing a page named “Spanish Word of the Day” on spanishdict.com. Most importantly, I’ve been taking notes and review them as often as possible. This is by no means a road map for learning a language and everyone has different ways of absorbing and memorizing information, this is just what has worked best for me. Putting in the effort has been rewarding, and I’m finally starting to understand bits and pieces of conversations that my Spanish and Portuguese speaking friends (there are linguistic crossovers) are saying in my Facebook feed. For me personally, the reward of an accomplishment makes the entire process worth it.
Written by James Novak, SEO Specialist at Brawn Media. Learn more about him and the rest of our team here!