How Cultural Competence Can Help Market Your Startup

Cultural competence is the ability to interact effectively with people from another culture. While it is generally thought of concerning international business dealings, and even more commonly in social work, it is also important to consider this competency in terms of marketing to different ethnic and social groups within one’s own country. Consider these advantages when you have a team that is culturally competent.


When a marketing professional has the marketing skills to communicate with people across cultural boundaries, then others become more willing to listen. It allows the professional to show empathy because they truly understand the other person’s point-of-view. Building rapport is the first step in building a trusting relationship, and customers are more willing to buy from a company that they trust.

Opens New Markets

When a person of a different cultural group understands that a marketing professional comprehends their position, then they are more apt to buy the product. Once they buy even a small order, then they can see for themselves how great your product is in meeting their needs. In return, they tell all their friends, and a new market suddenly opens for your product.

Builds Loyalty

You’ve acquired your first 100 customers, now you have to keep them. Customers who feel like a company’s marketer understands their culture, and wants to directly communicate with them through their ads are more likely to come back. Numerous studies show that repeat customers are cheaper to market to and they usually buy more making them the most valuable customers for your company. When a culture becomes enthralled with a product, then a company can grow very rapidly.

Creates Innovation

As a fresh startup, innovation is key to reaching modern demographics. You need to be willing to adapt to a modern society’s needs and values. This is one area startups have an advantage as often they are full of younger people who are able to keep their fingers on the pulse of modern society.

The smart marketer also knows that their customers have the best ideas. When a person of another culture starts using a product, then they can often teach the marketer about a different way to use the product, a different market for their product, or even a different use for the product altogether. The result is that the marketer then looks really intelligent for finding a completely novel use for the product.

Helps Eliminate the Need for Reputation Management

Being culturally aware is a great way for a company to make sure that they do not accidentally commit a snafu that is offensive to someone of a different culture. In the modern political climate this is doubly true. Many social media accounts are becoming more personable and able to joke around with customers. When cultural competence isn’t in play these jokes can quickly cause a problem.

When the problem is not corrected quickly, then the company may find that they have to spend thousands defending their reputation and apologizing to the people that they offended. Some companies never overcome a bad reputation and simply fold. With how quickly social media can crucify a business or person, it’s imperative to be careful and handle such situations correctly. Having a bad reputation typically results in poor online reviews, which will drive customers away from your business. In fact, 13% of people wouldn’t even consider purchasing from a business with a 1- to 2-star rating on Google. If you don’t want to lose customers, then it’s essential that you safeguard your reputation.

With so many ways that cultural training helps with marketing, think about getting all of your salesforce trained today. The rewards for them personally can be huge as cultural understanding can impact many different aspects of their lives and your business. Further, the rewards for having a culturally aware marketing team can change the life of your startup and help it gain the positive reputation it deserves.

Is your business ready to take the next step? Check out our business plans here and see how we can help your business secure funding for expansion, growth, and development!

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