Marketers who want to reach out to a variety of target consumers from a specific class, geography, and cultural will benefit from applying cultural research to their international marketing strategies. Some marketers may target a small population with similar cultural values, focusing on their code and value, while others may promote items that can be marketed across cultures and engage in cross-cultural marketing.
What is Cultural Research:
Cultural research is the study of human behavior and psychological processes following the ways where subculture builds and transforms individual experiences, everyday life, social relations, and power.
There are five essential elements to consider when beginning your cultural research activities:
- Geographic Influences: Each region, country, city, and neighborhood have its unique communication styles, historical influences, and worldview. Some people have lived in the same place their entire life, while others are newcomers. As they are exposed by various events over time, this can have a significant impact on their perception. Consider how you would communicate with Chinese and then American people, and how their differences are influenced by their geographical location and cultural differences.
- Influential Figures and Movements: Cultures revolve around idols who are well-known among the community. Each country, subculture, or fashion trend is based on a group of people who have been actively involved in the cultural movement’s growth, either historically or now. They might be politicians, musicians, artists, or activists, or someone who becomes known as the perfect embodiment of a cultures ideals.
- Language and Memes: Memes, or language and image references, are at the heart of producing resonant material. You should look at how people communicate, including the words, phrases, and memes they use to express feelings and ideas, rather than just the simple language hurdles that you must overcome to reach new markets. All of these can assist you in determining your preferred mode of communication, whether formal or casual, including how to use these styles to integrate into a community.
- Historic and Current News: History, news, and events all impact the path that cultural movement takes, resulting in a richer experience. New cultures have a limited number of influences, experiences, and organizations looking for common ground to gain exposure. Other cultures are minuscule and might never develop because they do not exchange news or are not apparent in the media’s attention spectrum, therefore they will be more difficult to study since their history and news are not central.
- Rules and Mores: Generally accompanied with a set of norms, is the cultural aspect of people, places, religions, and beliefs. A simple example is religious dietary restrictions, such as avoiding eating pork or beef, and so on. Other regulations, such as not using specific brands because of their beliefs, and avoiding specific colors that have an undesired meaning, may be more subtle in some cultural movements.
Cultural Research Tools:
In the digital era, marketers have many tools at their disposal for conducting cultural research.
These tools can be used for classic audience research, but they make it much easier to target certain cultures.
Below are some of the most common cultural research tools:
1- Social Media Conversations
Keywords, Facebook groups, Twitter communities, hashtags, and influencers are all useful tools for understanding how a certain community is communicating, talking, and interacting, as well as their level of involvement with your business or product.
2- Audience Research
Marketers will be able to use audience research firms study on certain cultural groups. This may be done by firms such as, eMarketer, Nielsen, and many others. However, it can also be done by specialist firms that will create dedicated reports and case studies on what worked and what didn’t while working on cross-cultural campaigns. Scholarly research may also be a valuable source of information as it is more in-depth and specifically tailored to certain subcultures.
3- Dedicated Platforms
Following the customers journey through content is another method to utilizing digital media to further your cultural study. You may learn about all the prior concerns we’ve covered and understand what values are of most importance to the cultural group by locating and visiting niche websites, influencers accounts, dedicated applications, blogs, and forums.
Cultural research is essential when expanding to any new target country, it helps reducing the risk of misunderstanding or causing offense, which might result in negative publicity of the company. Marketers will be able to decrease risk, and have their campaign effectively accepted by that new culture by understanding the cultural background of the audience.