Are you marketing in a multicultural way?

Posted by on May 23, 2012

For the first time in U.S. history, the percentage of nonwhite newborns rose to more than 50 percent of American children. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates impact national political and educational agendas, but also signifies the growing importance of multicultural strategy for marketers.

Most large companies have already incorporated multi- and cross-cultural advertising and marketing in their planning, but plenty are doing it wrong. Small changes – like using stock photography with nonwhite models – only scratch the surface of multicultural tactics. Without an overarching strategy to back it up and reach specific audiences, those tactical changes miss the point.

Programs must be re-thought from the top down, testing multicultural audiences for resonance and then adjusting the strategy, messaging and creative as needed. In addition, each multicultural group must be approached differently through various methods of communication. For example:

Mobile: According to an eMarketer post, Hispanics are early adopters of smartphones, so channels like SMS/MMS, in-game mobile marketing and QR Codes should be considered for this audience.

Events: Working within communities by sponsoring events will touch a targeted group in another way, while also showing support of the community.

Direct Mail: Deliver Magazine reported in its May issue that 30.5 percent of African Americans are exposed to direct mail, but more than 75 percent read what they receive. With numbers like these, direct mail, while shrinking in most marketing budgets, may still make sense for this segment.

The biggest message here is that multicultural marketing is not going away. In fact, it may be that the country’s former “minority” population will soon overtake the traditional majority. The budgets and focus of marketing teams must adjust and adapt, or plan to lose market share accordingly.

What are some of the ways your company is rethinking its marketing to target multicultural audiences?


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