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Connect Better With Your Diverse Customers: Intentional Multicultural Marketing

Updated: Feb 21, 2022

What are considered "Minority" groups today, will soon be the majority in numbers. As our world becomes more and more diverse, so should your marketing strategy and creative messaging. Is Multicultural marketing part of your business strategy? Here are a few reasons why it should be and how to get going today.

What is Multicultural Marketing?

Multicultural marketing is marketing efforts targeted to different ethnic groups and cultures. In essence, it’s the ‘diversity and inclusion’ of marketing. The foundation of multicultural marketing is structured around the specific ethnic group’s beliefs, traditions, customs, and even celebrations. In order to be successful, your strategy has to share the same emotion(s) with targeted consumers.

Let’s take multinational footwear and apparel corporation, Nike, for example. In 2019, Nike launched its “Dream Crazy” campaign featuring former NFL player Colin Kaepernick. In the campaign, Nike showcased athletes of different cultural backgrounds and experiences. The purpose of the campaign was to go against the grain and stand up for undersupported viewpoints, such as Kaepernick’s. Although digital and fiscal backlash was received, Nike ultimately gained from $163 million in earned media and a 31 percent increase in sales. Here’s coverage of the campaign:

Why is Multicultural Marketing important for businesses today?

Multicultural marketing allows your business to reach a wider audience. If successful, it can open up many opportunities for expansion nationally and internationally. As observed by recent societal events, marginalized communities are often overlooked. Now more than ever, it is important to embrace our differences and properly represent all the communities in which we do business and that matter for our businesses. According to the University of Georgia in 2018:

“the combined buying power of African Americans, Asian Americans and Native Americans [was] estimated to be $2.4 trillion, while the nation’s Hispanics command[ed] $1.5 trillion in spending power — larger than the GDP of Australia.”

Minority communities make up a large percentage of purchasing power in the United States. Although conventional marketing has carried over for many generations, marketing has evolved to be more inclusive and there is still room for improvement for creating more inclusive messaging, creating, and campaign strategies. Conscious inclusivity can position a business to reap similar benefits as did Nike and many other companies that have adjusted and implemented conscious and effective multicultural marketing.

How can you implement Multicultural Marketing into your Business Strategy?

Are you a US-based business looking to make a connection with a LatinX audience? Or looking to connect with African American Millennials? Or a U.S. based company looking to drive deeper engagement with LatinX females in Latin America or Japanese Millennial females in Japan or the US? Most businesses have subsets of audiences and the messaging used to connect with these various audience subsets is critical in making an impact and influencing a desired outcome.

Here are some pointers and reminders for effective Multicultural Marketing:

  • To make a positive brand impact, you need to create messaging specifically for targeted communities.

  • True multicultural marketing cultivates brand awareness and loyalty through an authentic approach by speaking directly to consumers.

  • Multicultural Marketing does just mean having representation within creative messaging although that is a great place to start.

  • If your company is serious about reaching new markets and diversifying its consumer base, it has to connect with diverse consumers on their own level and in their own spaces and in their own language and tone.

  • A consideration can also be to use translated marketing materials or colloquialisms that personalize messaging.

  • Before getting started, it is also critical to have a good understanding of your audience to avoid being insensitive. Research, evaluation, and re-evaluation can be very beneficial before each cultural campaign.

  • If necessary engage a 3rd party sounding board or culture committee of sorts to bounce ideas off of for added confidence in your messaging or creative.

In the next few years, what we label as cultural minorities in the United States will soon be the majority. It is smart business to start diversifying business messaging and approach as cultural shifts and dynamics evolve but most importantly to personalize your messaging and create deeper relationships with consumers who support your business and brands.

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