Multicultural Articles

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Outlook for Multicultural Marketing in 2012 and Beyond

Top multicultural marketing experts weigh in with their informed opinions on what to expect in Multicultural Marketing in 2012 and over the next decade. Read on to learn what these experts have to say about marketing to African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, the GLBT consumer market and people with disabilities.

The Asian Multicultural Market

Asian multicultural marketing continues to be a discipline that is attracting new categories and brands, as well as welcoming back clients whose Asian programs have heretofore 'lapsed.' This trend is underscored by the Census 2010 data which has been released in the last year that confirms that Asians are the fastest growing population in the country (neck and neck with Hispanics), and remain the most attractive segment with respect to many other critical demographics. Some key trends to watch for in 2012 and beyond include: Expansion of active product categories and entrance of new category players in the Asian multicultural space. While the historical "big players" of financial services and telecom will continue to remain active, new growth will come from increasing, or 're-activated,' marketing activity from clients in the automotive, retail, and luxury products sectors. Healthcare and pharmaceutical marketing programs will also deepen as Asian DTC efforts move beyond the historical focus of the last decade (liver health and osteoporosis) to embrace new disease categories including mental health, cardiovascular, oncology, and others. Major OTC brands will also turn towards the Asian segments for the first time as a new 'frontier' that extends their prior successes in Hispanic and African-American marketing. The coming 3-5 years will also welcome new, or fairly 'inactive' categories to the Asian market as multicultural marketing as a discipline completes its transition from 'option' to 'imperative.' Such categories include consumer packaged goods (in its broadest definition), computers/software, travel & leisure, and others. Drive to the Web: Asian marketers will increasingly build their online competencies as the spotlight is maintained on Asian consumers in the USA as the most 'mature' users of the web - with respect to their daily/weekly/monthly surfing habits, their leading use of social media, and their leadership among all segments in researching products online, purchasing products online, and conducting financial transactions online. However, unlike in the general market, growth in online marketing programs will not replace traditional Asian media programs, but rather serve as an essential, integrated 'complement' to such programs. This is due to the long history of Asian offline media in the country, the ever-expanding offline content sophistication, the continued strong reach which Asian offline media affords within the top 'Asian' cities, and it's comparative low cost vis a vis media in other consumer segments. As such, the cost barrier-to-entry in building 'surround-sound' offline/online programming to reach Asian consumers will continue to remain low, thereby enhancing market attractiveness. By Saul Gitlin, EVP Strategic Services, Kang & Lee Advertising

The Hispanic Market


The evolution of multicultural marketing has already begun, and today's businesses are racing to keep up with the pace of change. In 2012, this industry will experience a more significant shift as investments, strategies and communications are leveraged on a single, historical piece of data: unprecedented growth of the U.S. Hispanic population. (In the last decade alone, the Hispanic population in Hawaii increased by a staggering 40%.) As this news arrives with the results of the upcoming U.S. Census, businesses within this industry - and the clients they serve - will continue to focus more of their marketing dollars on establishing connections and building loyalty with Hispanic audiences. In accordance, we will see an increased demand for native language content that acknowledges important variances in sociographics, demographics, and regional terminology. Multicultural marketing firms will increase collaboration with local translation firms that understand the Latino market in order to penetrate cultural barriers and, ultimately, influence consumer behavior. By Andrés Echeverri, President and CEO, ACSI Translations

Multicultural Markets

Who are they voting for? Every four years we hear the same refrain: "This is the most interesting Presidential election in history!" My usual response is "Why do you say that?" the answers generally go from, "The candidates are so different" to "The issues this time are bigger than ever." Really? Can't we come up with anything more original? How about this? The 2012 election will be extraordinary because of the 2010 Census. More so than any election in the past, the data suggests that Hispanic and Asian Americans will have an important and ever-growing impact on the political landscape of this country. Here in California Hispanic's are 38%, Asians 13% and African Americans are a little over 6%. This compares with 32%, 11% and 6% respectively in 2000. With Hispanic and Asian populations increasing all over the US this is an entrepreneurial marketers dream! For the first time you will see more segmentation among pollsters. What presidential candidates, Democrat or Republican are favored by Latinos/Hispanics? (Don't be fooled! You can't lump California, Texas, Florida and other states together!) How about the different voting patterns of Chinese, Korean, Filipino and Vietnamese Americans? They are very different but those differences are indications of trends that marketers can latch on to outside the political arena. Who are they voting for? We'll see! By Michael Halberstam, President, Interviewing Service of America

In 2012, multicultural marketing will continue to migrate toward digital assignments. The declining cost of smart phones and other mobile devices will make them more accessible to everyone, and the result will be substantially higher usage. Multicultural consumers already show higher usage than the overall market in accessing the Internet through mobile devices. Marketers must understand that optimizing digital messaging for mobile devices is key to reaching these consumers. At Prime Access, our digital communications business is climbing steadily, so it will continue to receive our greatest investment as we focus on cutting-edge uses and applications. Yesterday's dominant target audience (young and middle-aged whites) are clearly aging out of their prime consumption years. A majority of marketers will now begin to see there is no "general market." Because technology has enabled messaging to be more targeted than ever, specific marketing communications that speak to the wants and needs of multicultural audiences are becoming more important than ever. Given today's marketplace and today's myriad media consumption patterns, highly targeted multicultural messaging is a best practice - rather than pursuing an approach of make-one-size-fit-all through superficial means such as casting. The attention generated by the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage will fuel an increase of client interest in LGBT consumers. Multicultural agencies will hold the best understanding of consumers comprising the new American marketplace as legacy agencies and holding companies still, for the foreseeable future, will not employ a critical mass of seasoned managers who understand these consumers' sensibilities and world view. Multicultural agencies will be particularly important in addressing greater client interest in targeted social marketing and direct interaction with consumers. By Howard Buford, President & CEO, Prime Access.

It's almost 30 years since the heralding of The New Majority and increased attention given to multicultural marketing. I remember for the New York AMA I lead symposiums at the United Nations concerning the growing importance of African American, Asian and Hispanic consumers. Currently African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics together represent 34.7% of all Americans. Yet they have been the majority in America's top ten cities for years, or decades in several cases. Early on, the focus was on ethnicity, then later on culture. So what's up now? There is still lot's of interest in multicultural marketing, with the elementary question of "How" (to proceed) still being asked.  What's happening now as a default is largely diversity in advertising which is not multicultural marketing, where cultural insights are used to motivate a segment of consumers. Rather, culturally diverse casting is used to substitute for multicultural messaging based on strategic insights. Believing distinct insights and strategies for each major segment and their subgroups are required is daunting and has been a barrier to true multicultural approaches. Values create perceptions and motivate behaviors. Culture incubates the formation of values and these are the pieces of the puzzle that level the playing field. So, connecting the dots between segments using values makes multicultural programs the mosaic we seek. By Ron Campbell, President, Campbell Communications

Diversity and Inclusion: More color and diverse leadership within corporate America with even wider inclusiveness. Think Total Inclusion.   
Multiculturalism: Here to stay and grow beyond advertising, marketing and communications, encompassing all aspects of culture and community. Think Cross-Culturalism.
Ethnic Marketing: Increased awareness, involving emerging groups and evolving as an integral part of mainstream marketing. Think Diverse Marketing.
Hispanic: Commanding power and value as the largest multicultural consumer group and growing even faster. Think $1 Trillion+.
African American: Losing ground to Hispanic but still commanding respect as an influential and growing segment. Think $1 Trillion.
Asian American: Increased realization from corporate America on its fast growing buying power and growth potential. Think Emerging Group.
Culture: Takes a new meaning; goes beyond language and ethnic barriers to be more inclusive of the inherent diversity within all of us. Think Diverse.

By Pawan J. Mehra, Founder and Principal, Améredia Inc. 

The latest Census data showed us the increased growth and spending powers of the multicultural markets.  In 2012 and beyond companies will need to implement new strategies for increasing revenue and brand loyalty utilizing these growing segments of the population. We envision large companies creating more positions for analytics, research and marketing focusing on these growing demographic segments. Professional positions with titles like Multicultural Strategy Manager, VP of Multicultural Market Growth and Director of Hispanic Marketing (to name a few) will give them the edge over their competition. Their job will be analyzing then creating growth within these fast growing segments of the population. The use of accurate multicultural data, analysis, market identification and appropriate messaging will be the key factors for their success. Multicultural Marketing, Research, and Ethnicity is our passion here and we look forward to helping all of our clients and partners achieve the results they expect from the Global Leaders in Ethnic Data Enhancements. "Our Success is your Success" By Candace M. Kennedy, Director, Sales and Marketing, Ethnic Technologies, LLC


The African American Market


"Black Still Matters: Why Increasing Your Cultural IQ About Black America is Critical to the Survival of Your Brand" by Pepper Miller Boyd (Paramountbooks.com) sets the marketing outlook for 2012. Key decision makers in CPG or Pharma brand categories, financial services, chain or independent retailers, and federal agencies should know "Black Still Matters."  Effectively reach these consumers through proven grassroots cultural connections: churches, beauty salons, barbershops, neighborhood venues, community based retailers, (large and small chains) and black media, (traditional and social). Burrell Communications (burrell.com), notes that trends in multicultural marketing blurring color lines fail to engage African-Americans.  Eighty-seven percent of those surveyed are attached to African-American culture, and balance their cultural interests with their cultural identity. The buying power of 40 million plus African-Americans will reach $1.1 trillion by 2015, according to "The State of the African-American Consumer" (nielsen.com/africanamerican) report by Nielsen research company and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (nnpa.org). African-American households earning $75,000 or higher grew by 64%, almost 12% greater than the change in the overall population's earning power between 2000 and 2009.  Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau, (www.reachingblackconsumers.com) says  there are 15% more black than Hispanic households in the US; 70% of black high school students go to college; the medium income of married black working  couples is $91,578. By Lafayette Jones, CEO, SMSi-Urban Call Marketing; Publisher, Urban Call.  

The Disability Market

The forecast for disability-inclusive multicultural marketing is shinning brighter than ever with the disability power and pride lens.  This year, we will celebrate the 21st Anniversary of the historic Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Companies and organizations fortify sustainability efforts by grafting disability onto marketing, and employment outreach. Strategic marketing WITH disability and aging market segments (including veterans) mirrors success of other diverse markets and is coming of age. Now is the time to rethink ad campaigns and collateral to include America's largest diversity group (54 million) with $1 trillion in aggregate income.  A University of Massachusetts/America's Strength Foundation survey discovered 92% of consumers felt more favorable toward companies that hire individuals with disabilities. Participants had strong positive beliefs about value and benefits, with 87% specifically agreeing they would prefer to give their business to companies that hire people with disabilities. The outlook for 2012 is shining bright with disability power, pride and untapped potential. EIN SOF can support you to weave an accessible welcome mat for civilians and veterans with disabilities; to help build sustainable disability-inclusive diversity strategic marketing, disability awareness, recruiting, accessible events, focus groups and establishing disability Employee Resource Groups contact Tari@EINSOFcommunications.com - We Mean Business 25/7. By Tari Hartman Squire, CEO, EIN SOF Communications, Inc.