We are available 24/7 on this email
The importance and impact of cultural consulting
In recent years, cultural consulting has become increasingly important as businesses strive to adapt their strategies and offerings to cater to diverse cultures. By understanding and navigating cultural differences, cultural consulting can help companies effectively communicate with their target audiences and ensure a smooth entry into new markets.
There is also a growing need for cultural intelligence (CQ). This becomes essential for businesses as they focus on minimising or negating any potential adverse effects as they venture into new global markets.
What is cultural consulting?
Cultural consulting, as a term, has two interpretations, being closely related yet distinct in their applications within the business world. We will define both and lay out the differences. Though keep in mind for the rest of the article we will be using the term in the context of the market research and insights industry.
Cultural consulting in organisational culture
Cultural consulting, in the context of organisational culture, refers to the process of analysing and understanding the internal cultural dynamics of a company. This includes examining the values, beliefs, and norms that shape the behaviour of employees and the overall work environment.
In this context, cultural consultants help organisations develop strategies to foster a healthy and inclusive workplace culture. By identifying potential areas of cultural conflict or misunderstanding, consultants enable companies to effectively address these issues and promote a more harmonious and productive work environment.
Cultural consulting in research and insights industry
In the research and insights industry, cultural consulting involves the study of cultural aspects that are prevalent in certain target markets. The process helps businesses better understand and cater to the needs and preferences of their potential clients in new markets. This includes considering factors such as language, customs, values, and societal norms.
Cultural consultants play a vital role in helping businesses to navigate cultural complexities and nuances. By providing insights into the unique preferences and expectations of different cultures, consultants guide companies when considering new product offerings and creating marketing campaigns. The goal being to resonate with the target audience, ultimately leading to increased market share and a stronger global presence.
The role of cultural consulting in market research
Cultural consulting plays a vital role in conducting accurate and effective market research. By partnering with cultural consultants in tandem with market research professionals, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of their target market and customer behaviour. This knowledge enables companies to tailor their products and services to meet the unique needs and preferences of different cultures. Ultimately leading to better market penetration through relevant marketing campaigns that lead to customer satisfaction.
A typical process may look like the following:
Stage 1: Identify the target market
Determine the specific market segment or region to target. This step helps businesses focus their resources on the most promising markets and identify potential growth opportunities based on factors such as demographics, economic indicators, and market trends.
Stage 2: Analyse cultural factors
Examine cultural aspects such as language, customs, values, and societal norms. This allows businesses to develop a deeper understanding of the cultural context in which they operate, preventing miscommunication, misinterpretation, and potential backlash due to cultural insensitivity.
Stage 3: Assess market needs & preferences
By gathering insights about local tastes, preferences, and habits, brands can tailor their products and services to better meet the needs of consumers in the new market, and in doing so, increase the likelihood of success.
Stage 4: Adapt marketing strategies
Modify marketing strategies based on the cultural insights gathered. This involves creating culturally appropriate messaging, visuals, and promotional materials that resonate with the target audience, fostering a positive brand image and improving the effectiveness of marketing efforts.
Stage 5: Evaluate success & adjust
Measuring the effectiveness of the campaigns and products and adjusting as needed will be vital to success. This is an area where post-campaign market research can play an important role. Working with cultural consultants, market research companies can help to shape future campaigns or adjust existing campaigns to make them even more effective and relevant.
Benefits of cultural consulting for global marketing strategies
Cultural consultancy ensures that the chosen research strategies are relevant and appropriate to the target market(s). It considers all aspects of the culture, which in turn leads to overcoming communication barriers and ensuring that the messaging resonates with the audience. This leads to more refined and appropriate marketing strategies.
Advantages of using cultural consultancy:
- Improved understanding of target markets
- Enhanced marketing effectiveness
- Reduced risk of cultural missteps
- Increased competitiveness
- Facilitated market entry
- Strengthened brand reputation
The risks of neglecting cultural consulting
While understanding the importance of cultural consulting in the market research industry is crucial, it is equally important to recognise the potential negative consequences that can arise from neglecting it. Failing to incorporate cultural consulting in market research and global expansion efforts can lead to miscommunication, lost opportunities, and even damage to a company’s reputation.
Negative consequences of neglecting the cultural consultation process:
- Cultural misunderstandings: A lack of cultural knowledge can lead to miscommunication, misinterpretation, and confusion, damaging relationships with clients and partners.
- Ineffective marketing: Marketing materials and campaigns that don’t account for cultural differences may not resonate with the target audience, resulting in wasted resources and poor results.
- Offending or alienating clients: Insensitive or inappropriate messaging can offend clients, leading to a negative brand image and loss of business.
- Missed opportunities: Businesses that don’t understand the cultural context of a market may fail to capitalise on unique opportunities, leaving potential growth untapped.
- Difficulty in market entry: Entering a new market without proper cultural understanding can create unnecessary challenges, reducing the likelihood of success.
- Damaged brand reputation: A lack of cultural sensitivity can harm a company’s reputation, making it difficult to build trust with clients and partners in new markets.
Examples of successful cultural consulting
Gillette: Capturing the orthodox Jewish market in Israel
Gillette faced a challenge in capturing the Orthodox Jewish market in Israel, as its share was a mere 3%. The company aimed to increase its market presence and sales within this community.
Cultural consulting approach
By working closely with cultural consultants and the target community, Gillette identified a market opportunity to resonate with the Orthodox Jewish audience. The 24-hour Sabbath period prohibits work, and this includes applying deodorant. This could present a challenge for the community as everyone gathers in synagogues for prayers, especially in the summer months when temperatures regularly approach 40 degrees centigrade.
Gillette wanted to promote its 48-hour protection deodorant, which could work effectively over the 24-hour sabbath period. However, the Orthodox Jewish community was largely unfamiliar with Gillette as a brand, as they typically do not shave.
To overcome this challenge, the cultural consultancy process involved understanding the unique religious and cultural aspects of the Orthodox Jewish community, as well as their specific needs and communication channels. Gillette closely analysed the community’s customs, values, and preferences to develop a targeted and culturally sensitive marketing strategy. This approach ensured that the messaging and promotional materials resonated with the community, effectively addressing their concerns and showcasing the benefits of Gillette’s 48-hour protection deodorant.
As a result, Gillette successfully increased its share of the Orthodox Jewish market in Israel from 3% to 15% in just two months, demonstrating the power of cultural consulting in achieving market success.
Unilever’s Dove campaign for real beauty: challenging global beauty stereotypes
Unilever’s Dove brand aimed to challenge traditional beauty stereotypes and promote a more inclusive definition of beauty through its “Campaign for Real Beauty” The company sought to create a global conversation on body positivity and self-esteem.
Cultural consulting approach
Dove engaged with cultural consultants to develop a campaign that would resonate across different cultures and countries. The consultants conducted extensive market research on beauty perceptions, societal norms, and expectations in various regions. This helped them to gain a comprehensive understanding of the cultural nuances that shape the way beauty is perceived and valued across the globe.
Armed with these insights, Dove designed a campaign that was both culturally sensitive and relatable. This ensured that the messaging and visuals would strike a chord with consumers worldwide.
The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty became a global success, sparking conversations about body positivity and self-esteem. The campaign also led to increased sales and a stronger brand image for Dove, showcasing the value of cultural consulting in creating effective marketing strategies.
In conclusion, cultural consulting plays an essential role in the global market, helping businesses navigate cultural differences and adapt their strategies accordingly. By incorporating cultural consulting in market research and global expansion efforts, companies can avoid miscommunication, tap into new growth opportunities, and build a positive brand image in diverse markets.
Successful case studies such as Gillette and Unilever’s Dove demonstrate the significant impact that cultural consulting can have on marketing outcomes and overall business success. As businesses continue to expand internationally, the importance of cultural consulting in today’s globalised business environment cannot be overstated.
If you’re interested in enhancing your global market research and ensuring a smooth entry into new markets, get in touch with Global Lingo. Our team of experts is ready to help you navigate the cultural complexities of your next project.
Looking for translation services?
Our global translation services help companies distribute content to other audiences across the world. Whether this is information in documents, web content, product or marketing campaigns, or audio-visual media, our team of experienced, industry-qualified translators offers an exceptional level of service.
Speak to a consultant
If you’re not sure what service you need or you’d like to discuss the kinds of Translation you require then we can get one of our team to give you a call. Simply complete the form below and we will get back to you.