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Multicultural Marketing 101

Date: Jul 10, 2013

It never ceases to amaze me how so many in the advertising and marketing community are seemingly in denial over the dramatic demographic changes occurring in America. In the 30 years I’ve spent in the advertising business never have we had such a clear, compelling blueprint defining what the future of consumer marketing will necessitate.

It’s analogous to ignoring the Internet in the early 90’s, cell phones in the 80’s or the implications of social media in the 21st century. The only difference between those events and the changing consumer marketplace is unprecedented predictability.


When reputable consumer research firms indicate that by 2015 that ethnic consumers will represent $1.2 trillion in consumer expenditures (yes, I said trillion) wouldn’t you think marketing and advertising professionals might sense opportunity?


Here are a few facts that progressive marketers (in financial services, telecom, entertainment, retail and automotive) simply won’t ignore.

  • Numerically, the US is being transformed. The latest census data clearly indicates that by 2043 non-Hispanic whites will no longer be the majority. That has never occurred in our 237 year history.
  • Close to 50% of students in kindergarten through 12th grade are minorities.
  • By 2039, racial and ethnic minorities will make up a majority of the US working population.
  • The assimilation of Asians and Hispanics is happening faster today than it did for Poles, Irish and Italians arriving in America at the turn of the 20th century.


As we work with clients recognizing the potential for both extending their brands and building new customer relationships, the focus is on the “how” part not the “why” part. Since Asians, Hispanics and African Americans all have unique social and cultural attributes, it’s critical to understand how to engage them and “be relevant”. In the past, we defined generations Y and X but now we have millennials – they’re coming from a diverse group of ethnicities. Marketers are discovering that purchase decisions by Asians differ from those by Hispanics or African Americans. The motivation to buy may not be to get more things but to gain a better sense of empowerment. In many cases it can be as simple as wanting to tell friends that they also have “it” and enjoy discussing the fact that they do.


Our research on digital as an example, confirms that multicultural consumers are early adopters of technology (specifically smart phones and mobile) at much higher rates than their white counterparts. Why? Because they as a group are younger. Asians, African Americans and Hispanics “over index” in digital behaviors like tweeting and blogging. They also consume more Internet video and mobile video.


Consistent with the “how” part is simply understanding ethnic consumers’ diverse cultures, attitudes, behaviors, expectations and lifestyles. The facts as I alluded to earlier are crystal clear. Consumers no longer reside in an ethnic versus general market world. Their identities are mosaic in nature and their identifying cultures extend beyond race and ethnicity.

By Wayne Kinch, Senior Consultant, Global Markets, Ethnic Technologies, LLC

Ethnic Technologies, LLC – Multicultural Insight

Ethnic Technologies, LLC is the platinum standard in multicultural marketing. The result of over 40 years of continuous ethnic, religious and language preference research, E-Tech allows clients to segment their database by ethnicity, religion, language preference and country of origin more accurately and comprehensively than any other approach. E-Tech uses unique linguistic and onomastic rules for identifying multicultural consumer segments. After coding their specific names, E-Tech does a neighborhood analysis using multi-sourced information compiled from our analytics team.  The application of Enhanced Neighborhood Analytics (ENA) technology in E-Tech Version 8.1 establishes a new and unprecedented level of granularity in multicultural marketing. The end result of this robust analysis is the most comprehensive and accurate ethnic data enhancement product on the market. Clients can also benefit from acquiring ethnic mailing, telemarketing and email lists covering both the US and Canada.  E-Tech’s Analytics Group offers ethnic data appending (enhancement) and demographic mapping providing marketers and advertisers with an overview of current customer penetration in existing markets and business potential in new markets.


Contact Karen Sinisi, Sales Director at 866-333-8324 ext. 117 or

E-Tech ® and The EthniCenter ® are registered trademarks of Ethnic Technologies, LLC