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Multicultural Marketing Excellence Doesn’t Just Happen by Liz Castells-Heard, INFUSION by Castells

Date: Oct 10, 2023
Multicultural Marketing Excellence Doesn’t Just Happen

By Liz Castells-Heard, CEO & Chief Strategy Officer, INFUSION by Castells

Multiculturals are Fortune 500 companies target sweet spot and the core growth customer to futureproof their business given the majority of consumers under 45 are Multicultural or Multi-racial, rising to 48% of the total population over next decade, and their prime earning years. They lead 100% of population, job and HH growth, drive digital and pop culture trends, and decide which brands win. Multiculturals are THE business imperative.

The Multicultural Marketing Blueprint

Multicultural marketing excellence doesn’t just happen. It requires Multiculturals’ consideration and impact factored in from the top-down with equitable investment and representation at every level…from resources and operations to planning, strategies, and marketing across the Ps. Creating an expert Multicultural marketing center of excellence with P&L responsibility who collaborates with cross-functional teams plus an evolved overall marketing playbook that’s broader, more diverse and knowledgeable to meet consumers’ unique needs. It takes calculated thinking, the right paradigm, metrics, investment and research, a customer-centric approach and skillful execution – and an agency partner with cultural fluency to develop knowledge-based strategies and authentic cultural marketing that drives affinity, response and growth. Why?

Culture Matters More Than Ever, Strengthened by Digital Access 

Multiculturals connection to their cultural heritage and roots has never been stronger. Culture trumps all other factors in how Hispanics, Blacks and Asian Americans define their identity. Wireless and social connectivity further fuels cultural ties with evermore cultural digital spaces, communities, content and voices. Their access to unique media, people, codes and references sets them apart. This cultural lens grounds their values, shapes their lives, affects their consumption and media behavior, and how they view and process everything. It impacts category behavior, needs, preferences, purchase triggers, where & how they respond to brands. 

The Multicultural consumer and media landscape is in constant shift and the impact of AI, metaverse, Web 3 and tech advancements means constantly evolving. Culture is inherently dynamic, our audiences are dynamic, content is dynamic – and successful brands must be dynamic.

Complexities and Nuances of Diverse Consumers Matter 

Effective marketing requires knowing the complexities of diverse consumers at a macro and micro level. While Multiculturals as a group have some commonalities and each ethnic segment has overarching cultural traits and proclivities, they are certainly NOT homogenous. For example, Hispanics are united in their core values, work ethic, optimism, resilience, collectivity, ‘Familismo’, cultural duality and U.S. patriotism. But their diverse country of origins result in varied traditions, sports, music, content, food and even bean preferences. There are many layers to peel: acculturation, language, regional influences, on top of the basic segmentation demo/psychographic factors, but their importance depends on the category, brand strategy & business goals.

Multiculturals are more avid social, digital and mobile users and streamers who over-index on live content and overwhelmingly favor cultural content that reflects who they are. However, their desired content genres, devices, streaming services, and top mobile benefits differ from NH-Whites and each other.

Beyond Representation, It’s About Being Understood

For marketing efforts to drive response, consumers need to feel understood and reciprocated. Multiculturals prioritize trust in brand choice, are more impacted by their ‘own’ influencers, WOM, responsive service, and brands who consistently engage them. Meaningful effective work has to be within their content, context, experiences, and what matters to them and their community. That means relevant inspired storylines, benefits they care about, and authentic, multi-dimensional portrayals that empower them, echo their lifestyles, and fuel their spirits. In particular, culturally-relevant social engagement and passion-point experiences impact. 

We just launched two campaigns for Charter Communications showcasing how Spectrum One enables the ultimate connectivity and streaming experience to connect Multiculturals to what they love most, in this case their music. We leveraged our African American influencers – comedians Tony Baker, KevOnStage and Tahir Moore and added Ron G to the mix to create a 3-minute ‘THE ONE’ branded music video with teaser promos. This launched a 360° Digital, Mass Media & Direct campaign amplified by integration into their ‘Bald Brothers Comedy Tour”, PR, live and virtual interviews, partners and social media. The video’s success birthed the viral TikTok Dance trend #SpectrumOneChallenge which had 200 million views the last time I checked.

In parallel, we teamed up with Mexican pop-rock trio Reik for a Hispanic Heritage Month campaign launched with a bilingual Spectrum ONE brand original song that informs, entertains and pays tribute to Hispanic culture. It has multi-layered social, media, community and fan activations and a live Reik concert on Oct. 19 hosted by our brand spokesperson Clarissa Molina at the Dolby Theatre in LA – a natural fit being the #1 market where Hispanics are over half the population and 73% Mexican.

Cultural Relevance Cultivates Brand Relationships

Multiculturals favor brand ads that they can identify with – and beyond information – show that ‘this company understands, respects and values my community, my life and needs.’ Cultural authenticity is a subtle, very nuanced art. Multiculturals are laser sharp in both calling out token, brown casting, cliché or disrespectful efforts, and raising fan-as-advocate to an art form when a brand ‘gets them’. 

Our focus is on creating ROI-Powered Ideas®. That means Return on Investment and Relationship Opportunities through Insights to build sustainable brand relationships. We live, breathe and intimately know Multicultural consumers and the latest emerging trends. This enables interpreting data and research with a base of profound knowledge to develop effective strategies, a relevant customer journey, identify the right influencers, platforms, digital spaces, community activations – and insights for powerful creative campaigns.

Customization Doesn’t Exclude Intersections 

While being culturally grounded, 79% of Multiculturals are also hybrid-Americans, people are not ‘one thing’ and that allows for intersections. There are human universal truths that resonate across cultures, we just experience those truths through our unique lens with which we view the world.  And the intersections go both ways. Contrary to the outdated belief in ‘American’ conformity, diversity has intensified as a defining feature of American life – and mainstream content (think Money Heist, The Chi, Squid Game). In fact, over two-thirds  of Non-Hispanic Whites believe the emerging multicultural majority will impact American values for the better.

Authentic Multicultural targeting in both mainstream and ethnic media combining unique custom efforts, cross-cultural efforts, and universal campaigns with cultural fluency has proven successful for our clients Charter Communications, Toyota and McDonald’s, and other best-in-class marketers like P&G, Johnnie Walker, Target, Walmart, Comcast, AT&T, T-Mobile, Pepsi, J&J, and State Farm (to name a few).

The Need for Nuanced Market Approaches 

The make-up of different U.S. markets plays a role in the overall market’s cultural orientation that requires nuanced marketing approaches. For example, in Multicultural-majority markets like NY or SF, results are maximized with an overall transcultural approach led by Multicultural insights but with cross-cultural context, plus unique segment efforts. In Hispanic-majority markets like LA, Miami and most of Texas, the overall transcultural approach should be led by Hispanic insights plus unique segment efforts. If you have an overall “GM” approach, then add Hispanic-centric efforts in Spanish and English. Remember, 63% of Hispanic TV/content viewing is English-language, so Spanish alone is NOT a Hispanic marketing strategy.

Capturing Multiculturals Hearts, Minds and Wallets

In this new era of ‘Culturenomics’ where Multiculturals are the driver, consumers demand personalization, authenticity, and one-on-one brand relationships, effective Multicultural marketing is imperative for growth. As P&G so eloquently coined – ‘If you’re not doing multicultural marketing, you’re not doing marketing.’  

Multicultural experts like INFUSION by Castells are the missing link to fill the gap of that much needed cultural depth of knowledge to complement Clients’ broader agency teams. Knowledge-based strategies weigh all the diverse consumers’ factors to find the differences and commonalities, how it manifests itself, and identify which differences matter to drive a segment’s affinity and sales – or find cross-cultural appeal. 

Multiculturals are a people of infusion, whose depth of origins, experiences, creativity and narratives embody America’s rich diversity. Our TransculturationTM model helps guide companies to profitably address, integrate and activate that rich cultural fluency. Because multicultural marketing excellence doesn’t just happen.



INFUSION by Castells is a top national marketing/advertising agency and WMBE founded in 1998 providing Fortune 500 Clients best-in-class Multicultural strategic leadership and consistent results with culturally fluency, analytics, ROI-Powered ideas®, first-of-kind thinking, and a powerhouse LA and NY team. Led by Liz Castells-Heard, our whip-smart ‘tell it like it is’ Stanford MBA, industry thought leader and creator of the Transculturation™ model, our leadership includes partners Leticia Juarez, Malu Santamaria and Terry Sullivan, creatives heads Rod Ribeiro and Carlos Correa, and media head Marielise Nascimiento. We specialize in the Hispanic, African American, and Asian American consumer segments with a deep cultural understanding and connection to the communities we serve. Our digitally led omni-channel work drives results, brand value, total market success and awards for core clients Charter Communications, Toyota, and McDonald’s. Infusion by definition, is a change catalyst bringing new elements and ideas into the mix for impact. We are Multicultural experts who collaborate with broader agency teams, fully immersed and invested in our clients’ businesses, and we don’t quit until our clients win.

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Contact: Liz Castells-Heard,