#73 | Global Golf and Translation

Jean-Pierre Degembe, Global Director, Sourcing – Golf for Wilson Sporting Goods, regals me with stories of golf from around the world as we talk about his experiences with adapting golf products and marketing for different regions.

Learn why in France the words – wood, shaft and putter are not translated and why they are in Canada.

If you are planning a golf vacation, you’ll hear about the different ways people play golf in Japan, Malaysia, France, in the US and more!


Connect with Wendy - https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendypease/

Connect with Jean-Pierre - https://www.linkedin.com/in/jpdegembe/

Music: Fiddle-De-Dee by Shane Ivers - https://www.silvermansound.com


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ATTENTION: Below is a machine generated transcription of the podcast. Yes, at Rapport International, we talk a lot about how machine translation is not good quality. Here you see an example of what a machine can do in your own your language. This transcription is provided as a gist and to give time indicators to find a topic of interest.


[00:00:34] Wendy: Hello listeners of the global marketing show. I am so happy to welcome you here today. And I don't think to mention it often, cause I think it's covered in the intro and the extra, but did you know that we are sponsored by Rapport International and the marketing team at Rapport International is fantastic.

[00:00:58] They put out tidbits almost every day on social media. So if you follow Rapport International, or me, Wendy Pease you can get these tidbits and they're hysterical. So I want to give you an example of one, there's a word called. Cwtch it rhymes with butch. And it's a Welsh word. That's for a special cuddle or an emotionally significant hug.

[00:01:25] And it conveys warmth safety and a sense of home to the one receiving it. Now we have the word hug in the United States, but we don't have something that really, really pulls that in. So that's why language is so exciting to me because you've got these words in other languages that we can take into the United States and, and they'll catch the emotional meaning behind it.

[00:01:47] All right. So speaking of emotion, golf can be a very emotional sport. And today we're going to talk to somebody who has a, a very global viewpoint. He says global is his life. Literally he grew up and was educated in France and in the UK, he's living in the U S right now, his family has links to Japan. He's worked in the UK, the U S Malaysia.

[00:02:20] And his jobs have taken him all over the world. In addition to working in, in those places, he really appreciates and understands cultural differences. He's had to, with what success he's had at different businesses. And he really has a consumer centric approach with global marketing, and that's enabled him to deliver innovative award-winning products from concept through commercialization in all

[00:02:44] continents he's currently here's the golf connection, the global director of sourcing for golf at Wilson. So Jean-Pierre Degembe. Welcome to the global marketing show. Good

[00:03:00] Jean-Pierre: afternoon. Thank you very much.

[00:03:04] Wendy: So let's, let's start out with a little bit about golf around the world. Where is it played and what are the differences that one might see?

[00:03:16] Jean-Pierre: Well, it's played around the world. That's for sure. There's 66 million golfers around the world. And the, the rules of the games are pretty much the same as around the world. Now, the game has totally different kind of, uh, connotations or ABIC, depending you are In the USA, you have what we call the six pack game, which is the bunch of buddies who goes on the weekend and they play, they play around and whatever is the score.

[00:03:44] Doesn't matter. As long as they got six back done by the front frontline and six back down by the back nine, that's a great round of golf. And then you have your, the golfer. Very meticulous, very serious about their game. They will make sure Avery points off keeping score and every rules and regulations of the games are in place in Japan.

[00:04:07] It takes a full day to play a 18 hole in Malaysia. You play during the night. So it's a sport. If you want it to be a sport, but it's also a social activity is also a business platform. It's a family so it's a, it's a point of communication. It's a place of entertainment around the world. You've got plenty of, plenty of way to do it.

[00:04:33] And I've been fortunate enough to be, to experience it myself in few places. And, uh, but the main purpose I think for me is. You got like few hours to spend with Scott full of peoples and I enjoy it and enjoy, I enjoy your time and enjoy the scenery. And it's for me, it's more social activities and get, get some pressure.

[00:04:52] That's pretty much what the, what the game of the golf.

[00:04:55] Wendy: All right. I have to go back to this. So in Japan it takes a full day to play. It takes a big chunk of time to play 18 holes in the U S but why is it a full day there longer?

[00:05:06] Jean-Pierre: They were, first of all, uh, every time I played it, when I was in Japan they pick you up in the morning.

[00:05:11] It's around six something in the morning. By the time you drive to the golf course. So you go through all the traffic and everything. You're already about two hours away. So you're driving over there. And there's a quick breakfast because a there's also the, everything is haze. There's a, there's a process.

[00:05:28] Then you go and play nine hole and be takes forever because they tend to look at every asset, every angle of the putts and every, and you have one kid he's taking care of everything for you. And then comes to the back nine, then there's lunch. Oh my God. So the lunch took forever. I even being French, or you will think I would have appreciate a longer lunch.

[00:05:49] I'm not normally in the mood for a long lunch when I play golf. Especially then you cuts all the momentum, uh, and then you back for the back nine. And then after that you got the, the best, and then you got detail. So by the time you come back, it's eight o'clock at night. So that's, that's what I. Oh my oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:06:08] Uh, I was nearly refusing to play because if I was stuck in Japan for a weekend, yes, I will go and play during the day. Now,

[00:06:19] bear in mind in Japan. Golf is very. It's fairly exclusive in less now than you was 10, 15 years ago. But it's also a very expensive place. So you really make an occasion when you go and pray. That's, that's pretty much what it is. Yeah.

[00:06:37] Wendy: And so is it predominantly like the businessmen who play or is it, do women play.

[00:06:47] Jean-Pierre: Yeah. Used to be very much very much a male business orientated. He has changed a bit, but the things is the access to the support in Japan is, is, is pretty, it's hard to get access to the sport because first of all, there is not that as costs are not as available as you can find either in the Europe or here in USA.

[00:07:09] So mainly, uh, it's still very much a male American environment. You have few places where you got two ladies will play, but they will play sometime during the day, certain days, but it's still very much a male environment.

[00:07:23] Wendy: Okay, so let's jump to Indonesia. You say they play at night?

[00:07:28] Jean-Pierre: No, that's in Malaysia.

[00:07:29] Malaysia, Singapore. Yeah, they got, yeah, they got night. They call what's called night golf. And the reason of my golf, because it's so hot during the day. So you play, you play at night and the float, the golf course laugh. That's great. That's a very unique experience. When I was living in quite a long pool, that was my, one of my favorite things to do when play a nine to 18 hole after work.

[00:07:49] And you play a very minor, you are equal to your line. So by by five, six o'clock at night, it's getting dark anyway. So you can play in four hours. You're done. So you got the first, the first. For six, seven hole. You still have the lights or, and then, then the, the gold golf course get flood light. And then you just play with the light.

[00:08:11] Wendy: No, I would imagine that the there'd be a lot of par threes and not a lot of par five. So if they're trying to light it, no,

[00:08:19] Jean-Pierre: no, no, no. The food, the food costs is lit. This is lit every way on the yep. It's like a. So the, the lights are very much a strategic point. So basically you play with the lights off.

[00:08:31] So don't try to cut corners because then you're done. Now they cut corner and it's not the solution. You go, you go where the lights are. The greens are late in, in pretty much every direction. The tee box, the fairway is now a. Yeah, it's funny when you fly, when you fly over like Malaysia, Singapore, places like you can see the golf course.

[00:08:53] Uh, yeah. It's, it's it's few courses in neighbor, uh, manager. The bunch of Thailand's got some courses as elite and that's the reason is because it's so hot during the day. So you can you can play later in the afternoon and at night it's very.

[00:09:07] Wendy: Oh, how fascinating. So if you don't hook it or you got to say straight down the fairway, otherwise you,

[00:09:16] Jean-Pierre: well, the costs are most of the costs, the costs, which are designed for third light.

[00:09:21] They tend not to be, as we know, in fact, even emission here in China and that's a full-size course, but they'd know the lighting is very good. That

[00:09:30] Wendy: is fascinating. I don't think I've ever seen one in the United States with floodlights on it.

[00:09:36] Jean-Pierre: Do I know any costs in USA, but like, I don't know. I don't recall any driving range for sure, but not.

[00:09:44] No, no.

[00:09:45] Wendy: All right. What are the, what other, I mean, this is fascinating to me. I didn't even know we were going to go this angle. So you've got Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, that OLED you've got Japan that you know, is very exclusive. What other things. Any other countries?

[00:10:02] Jean-Pierre: Well, if you look Europe France is becoming, Gulf became much more a family affair.

[00:10:08] So it's pretty common. Now you got the mum and dad and some of the kids who played it's a lot more, a lot more social activity, family entertainment, uh, UK it's still very much a. It's still very much male kind of male environment, but yes, change a lot. It used to be very mature, the kind of a stuffy country club, kind of a things, and their desk change a lot of the last 20 years.

[00:10:33] A lot of the golf courses on are a lot more open to non-member to participate. Pretty much all courses now open to women. They used to be time where some courses were males only that pretty much disappeared these days. They have, most of them have, I've got pretty good program for junior high as well. So UK has always been fairly at the forefront of trying to find some way to grow the game.

[00:10:58] Scandinavia Sweden is the second largest market in Europe. Funny enough. Uh, yeah, despite having such a short season, but they've got lots of now bear in mind in summer, they can play here 24 hours a day and they never stopped. So it's a lot sort of, so more social as well, and they have a very good use program in, in, uh, in Sweden, Germany on user hand.

[00:11:19] It's it's an interesting market. Close to 40% of the market in, uh, in Germany is a, is a female. So there's a lot of ladies playing golf in Germany, which is great. So that's a good things. Spain, you still have a fairly traditional country club kind of approach, but there has, well, over the last few years has been more becoming more socialized and the COVID has been in some ways if Covey that did some good things, uh, COVID has been great for.

[00:11:52] Because you know, we have so many people participating now into the sports. The reason being is last two years, a lot of places were closed. In fact, the start of the pandemic, pretty much everything closed. The golf course. Most of them were stay open because you can keep some social distance and lots of people.

[00:12:11] The activities that couldn't do now, it's a walk and to do, and a lot of the kids, uh, junior in USA, I've picked up the game of golf over the last 18 months. The reason because they are baseball camp two years ago were canceled. So they might get to go and my dad's playing golf or. My Hong Kong is playing all for my buddies, playing golf, and this go into the ethic, find a set of golf club and go to the range.

[00:12:34] And there was a, there was a place for them to escape and to be, to be able to do something. And we have seen it. We have seen a huge amount of new demand and people participating into the game, which is great.

[00:12:47] Wendy: Yeah. Yeah, that is because it is such a great social skill. It's I mean, it's a social game and it's great for exercise and takes concentration.

[00:12:57] You have to forget about everything else. It's also frustrating as heck, but.

[00:13:05] Jean-Pierre: It's a spot to refill a lot of yourself in some

[00:13:07] Wendy: ways

[00:13:10] Jean-Pierre: there's some great study. We just were published by the RNA and how much golf is beneficial to health of people, where everybody was trying to find something positive to do during the pandemic. There's lots of very good research has been done.

[00:13:23] Proving them the fact that you're outside, you've got. Contact with people, even if you're not in direct contact with the fact that you're able to exchange with people and you get some fresh air, you walk around and that's, uh, it's been very, it's also very good for the brain because he, funny enough it keeps you, uh, you have to keep thinking during the game, uh, you have, uh,

[00:13:44] Wendy: okay.

[00:13:45] So if you think about the different ways. People play golf around the world. What does that, how does Wilson have to market differently?

[00:13:55] Jean-Pierre: Well, you have to consider every, every markets, but the specific stations If I just go very simply, if you look Asia Pacific, just because of mainly the morphology of the golfers, they tend to be a bit shorter.

[00:14:12] They tend to, to have a slower swing speed than, uh, the, the, the, the. The big quarterback type of guys we have here in USA. So we tend to have golf club. We tend to be a bit lighter in weight, softer in the, with the shaft. Europe also prefer to have something a bit softer in the shaft where in USA, there's a bit of a Metro approach sometime in the game and they want the things and grip it and repeat type of approach that you feel something a bit more, a bit more stiffer into their chef.

[00:14:40] So we have product specifications, which varies, uh, Basically three types of specification around the world. You've got Europe, who's got one specification, Europe, and then they get you get Asia. Yeah. So there's some fine tuning into the product. Should look at golf bag. For example the U S market is very much.

[00:15:00] Car type of golf bags. So people put on the back of their golf carts. Uh, Europe has more people carry bags, but they also like a lot of the bags in Europe. They want bags, which are waterproof because if you rains, it doesn't stop them to play where her Asia Pacific, uh, their bags tend to be a lot more decorated.

[00:15:20] The like, uh, lots of embroidery, a bit more shiny materials. So that's when things Golf glove is another one, which is interesting to look at because the ad follows you around the world is not exactly the same. For example, the guys in Australia tend to have shorter fingers than the rest of the world.

[00:15:38] So you have gloves which are called cat sizing, and most of the business in Australia is done with our cat it's sizing, where the rest of the world is the regular size. Um, Asia Pacific. They don't use the conventional sizing as we have. They use. What's called it's a centimeter sizing, and it's also slightly different cuts, effectively narrower across the farm, a bit shorter along the finger.

[00:16:03] So it's the same glove, uh, days, some nuances depending where the product is shipped.

[00:16:10] Wendy: It's fascinating to me. I I've never stopped.

[00:16:15] Jean-Pierre: If I look at myself, I'm a, I'm a, normally a us, a regular, medium, large in my golf love. When I go in Australia, one of the categories. The a bit short and finger for me is a bit tight.

[00:16:28] And if I go in a, in Asia, I have to go between a 22 or 23 size. So yeah, that's but that's, that's, it's true for everything around the world, you know, having a very unique product, which you say it's exactly identical to the same around the world. Unless it's a basic commodity. After that you got a lot of product which are tweaked.

[00:16:50] You take any big global brand. You can take even the Pepsi Cola and the Coca Cola of the world. Their formulations are slightly different around the world. The big McDonald's of the world, they are burgers are different tastes around the world. So even the cars, you know, when I, when I was in Malaysia, my car never had a heat.

[00:17:09] There's no heater in the car in Malaysia, you can have a BMT, you have a B you order a BMW in Malaysia. There's no heater because he never get caught in that country. There isn't any type of heater.

[00:17:21] Wendy: Right? Right. That's funny. It used to be in the United States. There were many cars without air conditioning, but I think they come standard with heat now.

[00:17:31] Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So you're with your global marketing, it starts with the product and then is you,

[00:17:40] Jean-Pierre: it's tough with the consumer pretty much every time you always start with the consumer and then from the consumer, you go, yeah, it's this, this it's a palette pass between what the consumer. And what the, the development R and D honey, those two have to work pretty much in together, but if you just do a product purely from an R and D standpoint at some point in the development, you're going to have to look at what what's required for the consumer, especially in product.

[00:18:09] Like we do. I have a lot of testing with consumer testing with the professionals. And because you can have something which on cat looks great, or you can have a, you still have the eye of the consumer. That's, it's funny when you have a, in sporting goods. I see my colleagues in racket sports, or in baseball.

[00:18:29] When, when you develop a product, you put it down and you look at it the way it looks to your highs and every. Every golfer, especially at the pro level, it's like, oh, this is too much. Angolian big curvy here. They will have the two is too low or that is too high. There's too much of set. It's a, the product is how it feels to the highest.

[00:18:50] It's very important to golf clubs.

[00:18:52] Wendy: Right. Exactly. So, yes, I agree with you. any business starts with the consumer that you've got to talk to them first and understand what their need is and speak to them in their language. And then once you do that, you start developing the product and you're adapting it for the market then.

[00:19:08] Okay. So it starts with the consumer. And then you, you have the product adaptations and then when you're going to market, do you have more of a, a globalized approach or are you very decentralized or how, how is marketing set up?

[00:19:24] Jean-Pierre: It's a global perfor golf is a global approach. If you take a, like a new golf ball, for example, we will have a global message.

[00:19:32] The game at the end of the day, it's, it's the same game around the world. The rules are pretty much the same around the world. So you have at least a common base. And the idea is you got that little white ball and you try to put into the hole is the least amount of stroke. So that's pretty much what the, the, the product has supposed to do.

[00:19:53] But So you have your, your technology, which is pretty much global, and then you will adapt a bit, your communication message because if you say golf ball in certain country, they are more interested in how soft is. In some other part of the world, they will be more interesting is how much distance is the border.

[00:20:13] So you have to play some elements. Some elements are more important in some market than some other. The overall message is the same as depending on which focus or emphasis you want to put. In certain point, we assist some other.

[00:20:26] Wendy: Yeah. So what's interesting to me is I wanted to go to your website and I wanted to compare the kinds of products that you were talking to across and in the United States.

[00:20:37] When I type in Wilson golf, it's recognizing my IP address and giving me English in the U S. Now, if I'm, if I speak Spanish and I'm in the U S I can't get to a Spanish speaking Wilson website. Correct. And, and so I can't find the site that would come up in Mexico.

[00:20:58] Jean-Pierre: To be honest with you, I don't think we have a site in Mexico.

[00:21:03] We have a cycle, Spain. We have a site that you really have to be. That would be from our, uh, from our several heart of Europe. Because in Europe you can choose your language. If you're on the site. Oh, so why don't we don't have the same. We don't have all the same products in use than you have in Europe.

[00:21:23] So a website that also design for the market center.

[00:21:28] Wendy: Okay. So

[00:21:30] Jean-Pierre: the website, the website is a communication tool today. So I've got product in USA, which are not available in Europe, advisers like a product in Europe, which are not available in USA. Do your things you have is pricing. Some of the pricings are not always the same between Europe and USA.

[00:21:45] They are very, very similar, but we've got some key retailers around the world that they want to have their own policy. So. We don't have a global, we don't have one website with everything in it. No.

[00:21:58] Wendy: Okay. All right. Well, I did find the one in Spain. I went to Wilson golf, Spain, and I came up with the Spanish one.

[00:22:08] Jean-Pierre: And then Jeremy has his own way with Germany's website. There's a French, there's a UK. There's a Swedish. Yeah. There's uh, all those key market have their own

[00:22:18] Wendy: site. Right. So it gets very complex on something like this because there's lots of people. I mean, the United States has the second largest Spanish speaking population of any country,

[00:22:30] Jean-Pierre: but pretty much the communication should look at packaging.

[00:22:34] What we do in packaging, uh, golf balls, uh, bilingual. Globally. They are in English and French around the world. So if you are in Spanish where you either speak English or you speak French, we don't do the packaging in a, in Spanish. Same for the German, the, the vast majority of of the golfers. They are pretty acquainted with all the kind of language and jargon of the, of the golf industry.

[00:23:02] The local, the local catalogs will be done in local languages. So you can find that, but the product itself that we don't read from on golf bags, for example, uh, pretty much all the PRPs are done in English and a bit of French. But there's nothing in German. There's nothing in Spanish in those in those product.

[00:23:22] Wendy: So you were talking about how there are. You gave a number? Oh, 40% of the market in Germany is female. And there was one of the countries you gave the number of, oh no, no. I know what it was. You said there's 66 million golfers around the world. Have you, did you break that down by what language that they speak or what countries they're in?

[00:23:45] Jean-Pierre: Yeah, I've got to break down, not the top of my head. Right. You have to look at. Close to 40%. Uh, the world market is split roughly 40%, us 40% Europe. And there's a 20% Asia. That will be my split for Wilson. Some brand may have a different split. They may have a more, they may have a much bigger business out of a out of Asia Pacific before us is a, is a kind of a 40, 40, 20.

[00:24:14] Wendy: Okay. All right. So that's where,

[00:24:17] Jean-Pierre: but in Europe, yeah, you, you've got all those different country. They all have those different languages, but with all our communications at the local level. So the reps and me than some of the catalogs, some categories are not translated into, into local languages anymore.

[00:24:33] Wendy: That you just keep them in English and

[00:24:36] Jean-Pierre: French. Yeah. Well the English and French, the French is because of Canada mainly.

[00:24:41] Wendy: Okay. And then how do you set the corporate strategy and then the marketing strategy for the multilingual? Like who, who controls that in the company or how

[00:24:53] Jean-Pierre: the product message. Comes from Chicago at the global global marketing level.

[00:24:59] This is what the story of the product is then that is push to the local market. So at the global level, Chicago will design, this is a Smith story for that new golf ball. Okay. Those are the key features. Those are the key benefits. And then the European group will basically take that. And the guys in Germany, We'll adapt their message to their market.

[00:25:23] Then the French and the Spanish, then the, the guys in Sweden and in Norway. So they will all locally transform or adapt some of those languages for their local communication. So when they go and present the product to their, uh, their customers, they have their, so in fact, I spent some time, a few months ago with a French group on the, on some of the new Gulf war product.

[00:25:46] There there's some words in English, there were some phrases in English. They had some problem to translate back into, into French. So we had to discuss you think that it's sometime it's pretty tricky. And that's mainly because we relate that back to them because they are the people who are in the business.

[00:26:03] They understand the jargon of the industry. We found out that the only way. It's easier for them to develop their story in their language and be able to communicate it rather than us trying to force something. We give them a time of kind of a frame in English and then they at that from there.

[00:26:22] Wendy: Okay. So they have the framework, but they have a lot of creatives. Like you have some

[00:26:28] Jean-Pierre: flexibility. Yeah. Yeah. Sometime you can say something in English where, when it's in French, it has to be, it means the same, but you have to present it in a slightly different way. And you also go back to what I was saying earlier in some markets, some features are more important to the consumer than in some other markets.

[00:26:46] So within all those different feature or product may have, you may want to reinforce one more than another depending where you presenting the product to.

[00:26:54] Wendy: Yes. It's so interesting to me to talk to people at large companies and look at how their strategies are set up, but like, you've really got a multinational one where you create it corporately, but then give each country.

[00:27:09] A lot of discretion on how to do it. And then other countries it's handled from corporate and, and they're making sure that the messages are appropriate, but they're also developing the messages at the start to be culturally appropriate. And then the. We

[00:27:27] Jean-Pierre: developing the message, then it's corporately appropriate.

[00:27:31] Uh, the, the feature benefit products are, are the same. And then just after that is how you interpret that to the point. Then it's easier for the local market to communicate or for the consumer to understand that.

[00:27:44] Wendy: Right. So all companies go through miscommunication at some point or another when they're running a global business, because it's inevitable, what kind of, what mistakes.

[00:27:56] You know, either that have you run into or miscommunications.

[00:28:02] Jean-Pierre: Well, we were at which I was just mentioning earlier. Spend a bit of time with a French group on the, on the new golf board we are launching is there was this question of density of the new product. You know, you, I don't want to enter into too technical that new golf ball we have is the mute layer constructions and the density of.

[00:28:23] Um, layers are the same, which makes the ball balance. And I was, it's not easy to translate to the French because it couldn't, it was not easy to find the right terminology of how you're going to say. Well, every, every layer of how basically have the same weight in USA, it's presented as weight. And in fact that the real terminology is density.

[00:28:45] So anyway, Talking about weights in Europe, in French, we have to talk about density. So there's, there's a nuance there, but if we say it's just a little , uh, physically it doesn't does exactly mean the same, and those are slight difference and details, which we have to come through. Uh, I have to say most of the time.

[00:29:05] Biggest problem. We have sometime piss specifically myself is when, after you is my critics in Canada some of their translation in French to me sometime, it was like, uh, not exactly right, but maybe right for you in Canada, it's not right for me in French. So I don't know. Who's right. Who's wrong at the end of the day.

[00:29:22] Um, so.

[00:29:27] Wendy: Between the French in Canada and France, from what you've seen, I know there's a difference cause who we assign as translators.

[00:29:34] Jean-Pierre: Yeah. Well, you know, first of all, the Canadian doesn't accept any word of English in, uh, in their heart, in their translation. So. In French when you talk golf in French, there's a lot of English world because they took the word like a word is a word.

[00:29:50] A shaft is a Shafter, a putter is a putter. So those words go straight into a straight into the copy of the product in French. And for example, uh, in, uh, in Canada favorable, uh, yes, uh, I put is not, it's not an iron, so. They tried to find translations, but when you close enough to the product and close enough to the business, so, okay.

[00:30:17] That's, that's. Kind of exactly the right terminology. I understand why they do it because there is not, there's not any direct translation. So they're trying to find something and you call it a of the war. Yeah. Well, I, I know why he didn't go to war because it's straight, but it's not straight. It's flat.

[00:30:35] So you can, they call a shaft. And, but for me, it's a stick. There's a difference between a stick and a shaft, but the translation for that. So that's where, when you are a technical close to a product, if you don't have a direct translation, it's hard to find one. The Canadian needs to find translation for everything.

[00:30:56] So. The after adapt and yeah, sometimes it sounds kind of strange to me when they, when they read that. So what are thinking here, but

[00:31:07] Wendy: that's so interesting, right? Because I've heard that in France, as you know, I've hear this from the translators, the email is accepted as email, whereas Canada, you can't call it email.

[00:31:19] You have to call.

[00:31:21] Jean-Pierre: Call. Yeah. Cool. Yearly clinic. It's an abbreviation of

[00:31:28] Wendy: right. And using email would be very offensive, which is the same thing as just don't use English.

[00:31:33] Jean-Pierre: Well, in fact, says right now is a. Raising the flag, then the stunning to have too many, a phone lake coming into the language. So that's starting to become an issue for them to say, Hey, be careful here. Are we going to create a problem in society where we have people who understand and people who don't understand it.

[00:31:53] So, oh, do we need to start to find some way to regulate it? That I'm a traveler you can have in your life?

[00:32:02] Wendy: Yeah, it it's, it's interesting because that's on the border in the north border of the United States on the south border of the United States, you have Mexico where you have to make sure you use a translator with Mexican Spanish, because there's so many English words or you know, how Spanish and English have merged more.

[00:32:20] So that's accepted there.

[00:32:23] Jean-Pierre: It's part of evolution of language sometime. Is it part of globalization? Yeah, I, I, yeah, it's funny enough. I hit with my, uh, my own, uh, here in my own family. My wife being Japanese, sometimes there's some work to me. Uh, make sense. This is an English world with some, with an O at the NSL, because they don't have a word in Japanese.

[00:32:46] So it was like a stupid things. Like you go, she go to the movie theater, she will get the ticket. The ticket is basically, it's a ticket, it's a movie ticket, but they take the English word and they put an O at the end. So it's suddenly starting to send Japanese tickets.

[00:33:03] You get stuff like that

[00:33:05] Wendy: different than, you know, like, so often we joke around that Spanish is the English word with an O at the end, but it would be to get though, but. Yeah, not that, that is in Spanish. I'm just playing off the word would be in Japanese, but I never realized that before. That's interesting.

[00:33:27] Okay. So what do you think the most complicated thing is about global marketing?

[00:33:33] Jean-Pierre: Hmm. That's a tricky question because I guess it's all depends from what angle you're looking at it for me, I don't think global marketing is complicated because I've only live in, in the, in that, in, in that way. I think global marketing is complicated when you, when you come from. From a pretty narrow mindset.

[00:33:54] And I would think that I would think it's stuff from there is if you have a pretty wide open mindset, if you are open to ideas and concepts, which are not where you used. It's a lot simpler, but if you want to stick to just what you know and what you want to do that's where it's becoming complicated.

[00:34:13] The world is pretty much, if you look at the global level, it's the same way that you go, uh, for me, and I've been in 30 plus countries around the world and. The way I go, I find the same things, but I always looking at such a much higher level, I guess, in some ways like people do the same things, wherever they wake up every day, they go and try to find some food.

[00:34:37] They do their work, they go to bed. So for me, it's like, whatever we do after that, is that a Titian. Yeah. And if you can accept, people can do things differently, but at the end of the day, they do the same thing. So I don't know if it makes sense, but I can totally understand why people only eat with their hands because when I was in Malaysia, that's I love to have my band and I leave lunch and dinner on your knees with your hand.

[00:35:00] And it's never been a problem for me. And when. Colleagues coming from the USA, they were sitting in the stable and they didn't know what to do. They were missing plate and fork knife and stuff like that. And I said, it's all the same. At the end of the day, all you need to do is to feed your body, use your hand, or you do it with your focus tonight.

[00:35:18] It's all the same for me. It's never been a problem. And that's where I think that's where it is. If you are willing to. Accepts and recognize, and may, you know, there's different ways to solve a problem. And that's what global marketing is, is you have to look at it and you solve the problem in a different way.

[00:35:34] And I think the solution is most of the time it's already there. You just have to listen and look, what's already available in some ways don't try to impose anything. Just try to adapt.

[00:35:44] Wendy: Okay. So it really is, which is so interesting is a lot of people think it starting from the, the, from fresh are so different, but so like innovation is adapting and it's, you know, and,

[00:36:01] Jean-Pierre: um, I'm probably the wrong person to ask the questions because I never leave.

[00:36:08] In just one place I grew up in, in Northern France. My dad was Belgium. My grandmother was Spanish. Uh, I crossed Boulder. I was, that was probably a couple of days old. I was already crossing border. So for me, it's, I'm used to. Only like 45 minutes drive. When I used to be nosy in France and I used to go to my grandparents in Belgium, you cross the border, you are in a different country.

[00:36:35] You go from Northern France to south Belgium, a different countries. They have different culture. They have different cooking, even if they speak French and Belgium, French it, it's not the same. They don't, they don't eat always the same things. They have different The REITs and did have different celebrations.

[00:36:52] And for me, it's always been something which it never, um, I'm starting to realizing more and more as I'm getting older. And then how much was, so is so much part of myself. And this is a global, I say, it's never been for me, like, oh, It's something different. It's just what, the way they are. It's like, let's say my wife is Japanese and then the Japanese have all sorts of different cultures and all sorts of the best, never been a problem for me.

[00:37:19] I was just like, well, okay, well, that's what you want to do. That's what you want to do that. So I don't have a problem or problem with it. I think it's, if you want to be a global marketers, you have to be very open-mind. You have to actually, okay. That's that's the way that's the way people are doing.

[00:37:33] Don't try to force something, just try to adapt something.

[00:37:37] Wendy: So you've been in, I don't even know how to, what I want to ask is which culture have you been in that's most different from you yet? You've been in the United States for years. Right? How many years have you

[00:37:55] Jean-Pierre: been here?

[00:38:01] Wendy: 20 plus years. And you grew up in Europe. So which culture do you think has been the most different?

[00:38:07] Jean-Pierre: The most different for the most different, for more is, is Japan that's for sure. Uh, yeah, my, my family in Japan is by far the most different, because just because of the language, uh, you can't read anything, try to take a trainee, talk your good luck.

[00:38:24] You can't really think it's just a different, such a different culture. But Even is that difference? I don't, I never feel being a far enough Nina. I don't feel I'm out of place. I do. Okay. Fine. That's the way they are. I just keep going now. You can feel lost sometime. That's for sure. So, but to show where I'm going here or where they're putting on a table, but it's fine.

[00:38:46] China sometime could be, could be pretty. Oh, okay. That's that's it could be some part of China where, uh, you really, I, I think the place where I felt the most, I, and it was 20 years ago, I was in Shanghai one Sunday. I was working in a street and every single kid were turning their highs and.

[00:39:08] Wendy: Because you look so different.

[00:39:16] Yes. My mom did a Fulbright scholarship about 15 years ago in China. And I went over to visit her with some friends and we ended up in a small town and we were at the village square when they were having their, their market. And there was a. Yeah, a young boy must've been around 10 and his family was like, oh, he speaks English.

[00:39:41] So we stopped to speak to him and he could count to 10. He could say, how are you? And the crowd gathered around us. To watch him doing that. And I gave him my business card and I said, here, if you ever come to the United States, but it was very interesting because in the United States, if that interaction had happened, a crowd wouldn't have gathered around to watch what was going on.

[00:40:06] Even in a small town, you'd be, you know, you'd be trying to avert your eyes and show that you had. Watching. So there's a there's little things that, you know, it's very, I was very honored and I enjoyed the, the situation and the boy was very engaging cause he was willing to try English. And so it was fun.

[00:40:27] I was just different. Yeah.

[00:40:30] Jean-Pierre: I don't know what you say. Even when I went to Africa a few times, I never felt that. Ah, I always feel it wherever I go around the world. I always feel that there's a certain zone of comfort wherever I go. But, um, I'm happy to eat in the street in Bangkok and the might be to eat in the, in the premium restaurant in USC.

[00:40:50] I'm fine with both location. So that's, uh, that doesn't bother me. Uh, When I used to cover the Asia Pacific market every, every, every country I was a Vietnam or Indonesia or Thailand or whatever me and ma every time I go at the factories, I got seven. Let's just go and eat somewhere in the streets.

[00:41:08] I'm not just go. I just go there. It's never been a problem. Because I want to, I want to enjoy the, the local and I just, I'm not going to come all the way. None of the parts of the world, just to have the same, the same taste flavor or food or experience and have, if I'm staying at home or I've been there somewhere before,

[00:41:28] Wendy: what's been your, some of your favorite foods that you've had from around the world.

[00:41:33] Um,

[00:41:34] Jean-Pierre: I'm a big fan of, I'm a big fan of the food in Singapore. Singapore for me is, uh, is one of the place for me where I enjoyed the most, because you got all the engine food, you got Chinese food, you got Ty, you got, you got so many different flavor. You can mismatch so many things that uh, I have to say a good, uh, good Korean in Singapore Fisher, Korean, Singapore, or.

[00:41:57] Or drunken prawns or paper crab, uh, on the fish market along the, along the ocean over there, it's a pretty good thing. Only cost you 10 bucks, but it's pretty damn good.

[00:42:08] Wendy: I haven't been to Singapore. It's a very expensive city, but you're saying.

[00:42:15] Jean-Pierre: Well, Singapore is expensive. Depends where you go and where you stay.

[00:42:18] But you can, there's lots of, uh, what they call the hookah food center or you go get some SETI or great Indonesia. There's some good food as well.

[00:42:25] Wendy: Yeah, we got to get our traveling. Hat's back on or,

[00:42:29] Jean-Pierre: yeah, it's painful for me. We used to go around the world about six, seven times a year and look to be able to go out in the plane these days.

[00:42:37] Right.

[00:42:37] Wendy: Right. All right. So traveling that much, you have must have a very memorable cultural experience that's funny or scary, or,

[00:42:48] Jean-Pierre: One of which will stick in mind for many years is we were in China, but you go back a long time ago in China, probably 20 plus years back in China, where I was working in trying to open a new factory, trying to find some source. And then with one of my colleagues from Singapore, And we are stuck there and that's more airport.

[00:43:12] We are going to take a domestic flight to Beijing from that small town, wherever I was close to Sherman or Gen-Z. And at the time, and nothing's happening in the airport. And suddenly we see all the crowd moving in another part of the airport. So it looks at we need change gates and. The stunning, give us a food and say, oh, that's the bad sign.

[00:43:33] And we will stick down, no sign of things. And my clinic from Singapore finally get information that the plane has been canceled. That's no good, good. The story short few hours later, the 7 47 plane was landed there and that plane was coming to pick us up. Well, that's pretty damn putting a 7 47 has your 7 47 and the day is, you know, can you get in there?

[00:43:56] We had to go on the tarmac. And I always remember seeing that set at seven four, we are heading the tarmac. The, the, the door of the, of the plane is open. The stewardess is looking at us. There is that big space and those Chinese. People find a bamboo ladder somewhere around the airport, because they were expanding the airport or were doing some paintwork.

[00:44:18] They put the bamboo ladder along the plane. They were trying to climb the bamboo ladder. It's like, what the heck is going on here? And then there was my colleague during, see from Singapore, said, what's going on there. They finally brought her jet way to get us into the plane. So I was just like, oh, that's a like going inside the.

[00:44:38] And the bamboo that there are 7 47, that was going to be a peak.

[00:44:43] Wendy: She must have such a mental picture of that.

[00:44:50] Jean-Pierre: The chip goes even further. So now I'm in the plane and the plane is nearly full. What the heck is going on in this plane? In those days of China's 20 plus years ago, they used to do whatever they want. They still do that, but So I'm sitting in the tick of seat there and then someone next to me and I looked at the person, so where are you from?

[00:45:06] So we say, what? So yeah, we're the plane was diverted from New York to come and pick you up guys. So the divert, the plane, as soon as the plane was in, basically in the domestic airline, domestic air of China, the divert, the plane to come and pick us up because we were going to Beijing. So now we are in that plane is like a couple of hundred people from

[00:45:31] So they are mad because they've been delayed by two hours as well. And when arrive in Beijing now part arrive in Beijing. And as soon as the plane, the doors open, there's a military. People came inside the plane and they make some announcement. The American people need to stay, stay in the board. The only domestic people come out first, because if you think about it, you mixed up a domestic flight with an international flight.

[00:45:56] So I'm, I'm standing up because I'm on the domestic flight. I've got the domestic flight and the guy comes out to guide me. I put a kind of a little, a little machine gun at me. It's nothing that you can't get out by Dory. He doesn't want you to get out. I said, what do domestic flight? Here's my, here's my, uh, my, my hair, my hair tickets.

[00:46:15] You had to help time to understand. And I was looking at me from New York. So. Could understand why would I want to come from the little town in the middle of nowhere in China, but of that barrier they took, it took a bit of time and the discussion with the crew and then they let me out. Yeah.

[00:46:33] Wendy: Oh my gosh.

[00:46:33] Oh my gosh. So it all works out in the end, but eventually it does. Alright. Well, you know, this question's coming, so I'm curious to hear what you have to say. What's your favorite foreign word?

[00:46:49] Jean-Pierre: Fine. In which language

[00:46:56] Wendy: as I told somebody earlier, foreign word is, is loosely given. It can be any language and word can be a phrase to know I am open. This

[00:47:10] Jean-Pierre: is one language I learned very quickly when I'm with my kids, is, is Japanese. Is.

[00:47:19] time means I want more cake

[00:47:24] and I think it's pretty easy to translate cause Muto is mature as well in the, in, in, in, uh, in Spanish cakey cakes. So it's easy for me to, to, to learn that one in Japanese. So that was one of the first few Japanese world I learned to get more cake. So

[00:47:40] Wendy: say it again. Slower Muto

[00:47:41] Jean-Pierre: cookie

[00:47:47] Which is uh, can I, can I please have more cake,

[00:47:53] which is also in French because cake get too cakey. It's it's it's it's uh, it was pretty easy for me to understand that, to get that one. Yes. Now

[00:48:02] Wendy: what language do you speak?

[00:48:03] Jean-Pierre: The main language at home is English. Then there is, there is a communication line between my daughter and my wife in Japanese.

[00:48:11] So in some way they can keep me away from the conversation a bit. My boy and I, uh, it's pretty much English and sometime we got some French coming into it as well, but English would be the main lane.

[00:48:23] Wendy: And then have your kids learned French and Japanese or? Uh,

[00:48:28] Jean-Pierre: my kids, my kids are friends in Japanese because when I'm not in the house and I used to be away a lot, so my wife was only talking to them in Japanese, so yeah.

[00:48:41] Yeah. Yeah. They got some friendships where, cause. But not the last couple of years, but it asks you summer. They used, we used to go in France and they were attending class in a school in France over there. Cause we finished so early in USA, we finished in June, but the French doesn't finish until basically mid July or early July.

[00:49:01] So they are the months. They could just go to the local school and interact with the kids over there and learn the language at the same time and make some friends over there.

[00:49:10] Wendy: Oh, boy, what a gift to speak English, French and Japanese. There they'll be in global business or global something.

[00:49:19] Jean-Pierre: I don't know.

[00:49:21] No. The other thing is the gift is the gift of citizenship as well. That's an important one, I guess.

[00:49:26] Wendy: And so are they, what citizenship do they have? They were born here. So

[00:49:31] Jean-Pierre: us Japanese and French.

[00:49:35] Wendy: Yeah. Okay. That's fantastic. All right. We're running out of time here. What recommendations would you have for people in doing global business?

[00:49:45] Jean-Pierre: Oh, I, I, I, I go back to what I said earlier. I is you, you need to go with a fairly open mind. Uh, just, uh, just, just keep. Very much listen, because a lot of the time the solution is, will be given to you. You don't sometime you'll have to look. They will tell you what the solutions are for what to address, what needs to be done in the market.

[00:50:08] And if it's not the way you want it to be done, that doesn't, that doesn't mean it's the wrong way. Then, as I said, there's different solution to the problem. You can. I have people who do certain things in certain ways. And some people would do differently at the end of the day. If you are keeping everybody in a kind of a happy, happy mode and then giving them the product to service them.

[00:50:33] Well, I think you are, you are normally in a pretty good shape, uh, but don't try to force things in let the market come to you and work with them. I think that's been a, I sit in relationship is very true. These days, we haven't been able to work a lot directly with people because of COVID and pandemic.

[00:50:51] But the fact when you have relationships with people for so long, and you've been working with so long, Because you understand what the, what they do. You have, you have a respect for what they do. And, uh, he helps a lot, especially when you not able to go and visit them at the moment. Business-wise has been, has been a big, big benefit to be able to work with.

[00:51:12] Okay. Well, you tell us what works for you, how we can make it happen and respect what they have to say and try to find a solution. Yeah,

[00:51:20] Wendy: yeah, yeah. That's really good advice.

[00:51:23] Jean-Pierre: Yeah. I think at the. I know the pandemic's been helpful, a lot of people but I think he will, if he had teachers, one things is the human contact is still hopefully will come back as soon as you can, because not being able to be able to visit people, working in factories and go to the floor.

[00:51:44] And just the fact that it's, it's, it's, it's getting, it's getting better. Right,

[00:51:51] Wendy: but where can people reach you if they want to learn

[00:51:57] Jean-Pierre: I'm on LinkedIn. So that's easy to find me there on LinkedIn

[00:52:02] Wendy: head and spell your name so people can find you on LinkedIn. And it'll be in the show notes too.

[00:52:06] Jean-Pierre: So Jean-Piere Degembe J E A N P I E R R E D E G E M B E.

[00:52:15] Wendy: Okay, thank you very much. This has really been a fascinating conversation for me because I am a, a golfer and I've never thought about the different golfing from around the world. So getting into that and then learning more about how you do your global marketing is fantastic. So thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.

[00:52:35] It was

[00:52:35] Jean-Pierre: a pleasure. Thank you very much.

[00:52:37] Wendy: And for listeners if you know, a golfer, certainly pass this along to them, you know, share this episode because I'm sure they'd get a real kick out of learning about the different golfing international. And if you ever have comments that you want to share with other listeners, there's a Facebook group called global marketing and growth where we're very active in posting in there and engaging.

[00:53:00] So if you've got comments about. You head over to the Facebook group, global marketing and growth asked to join, and then you can participate in the conversation. So thanks so much for tuning in and we will talk to you next time.


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