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Outlook for Multicultural Marketing in 2013 and Beyond

Date: Jan 17, 2013

Top multicultural marketing experts weigh in with their informed opinions on what to expect in multicultural marketing in 2013 in the US and Canada. Read on to learn what these experts have to say about marketing to African Americans, Asian multicultural consumers, South Asians, Hispanics and people with disabilities.

Outlook for the Asian Multicultural Market

In 2013, Asian multicultural marketing will continue to garner increasing recognition by categories and brands which have not yet ‘taken the plunge’ – with expected new activity within the CPG, QSR (fast food), travel and leisure, healthcare/pharmaceutical, and luxury goods industries. At the same time, marketers who have been active (in the financial and telecom industries, among others) are expected to continue – if not deepen – their programs to build relationship with Asian multicultural consumers.
The newest Census 2010 data illustrates the demographic viability of Asian consumers in the
US: fastest growing racial group, highest median income, highest level of education, second highest homeownership (after Caucasians), and younger median age and larger median family size. Such data will propel brands and marketers to sit up and take notice. Interestingly, the recent presidential election in the US illustrated the need for stronger recognition of this population due to the newly emerging political clout Asian communities in key areas of the country. For example, there has been quite a bit of offline and online discussion about the role of Asian voters in key swing states such as Florida, Virginia, and Nevada (See article: “The Republican Party and Multicultural Voters: 3 Steps Towards Relevance” in the Huffington Post).
In Canada, while marketers await the publication of the latest ethnic data from Statistics Canada 2011 coming late this year, or early next year, the last published Census in 2006 already reconfirmed the prime place that Asian Canadians have in the population ‘mosaic’ north of the border: Asians account for half of all ‘visible minorities’ in Canada, with South Asians and Chinese alone comprising half of all Asians. So, whereas multicultural marketing in the US frequently begins with targeted outreach to Hispanics – the largest ethnic group in the USA – in Canada, multicultural programming typically begins within the Asian segments. And, indeed, many of the categories and brands that have yet to implement Asian marketing in the US are already active in Canada.
The good news in both the US and Canada remains the robust availability of targeted Asian marketing channels in the form of culturally and linguistically relevant offline media, a growing landscape of targeted online channels, and the continuing, and concentrated, reach afforded to marketers through community-specific grassroots planning and public relations programs.
By Saul Gitlin, EVP Strategic Services, Kang & Lee Advertising,, 212-375-8130.   
Outlook for the South Asian Market
The South Asian American marketing segment is poised for a breakout year in 2013. On top of long term advertisers from the banking, telecom, travel, and insurance industries, we have already seen increased activity from retail, luxury product, automotive, and hospitality businesses as all companies are keying on the purchasing power of this growing group.
Between 2000 and 2010, the South Asian American population became the fastest growing major ethnic group in the United States, having grown by 81% over the decade. At over 3.4 million people, this segment of the population is the highest educated and has the highest income per capita relative to any other ethnic group in the country.  Furthermore, as members of this community have a tendency to be professionals across various industries, Census data shows that this community is densely populated in the New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and San Francisco metropolitan areas.
Through The South Asian Times, we help these global brands build meaningful connections with the South Asian diaspora in the New York Tri-State area.
By Arjit Mehta, President, The South Asian Times,, 212-361-9814.
Outlook for the Hispanic Market
With Census 2010’s results now well analyzed and absorbed and the continued growth of the US Hispanic market strongly confirmed, 2013 may mark the beginning of a paradigm shift in marketing to Hispanics. We are likely on the verge of an increasingly dynamic period for the Latino segment. On the one hand, US-born, bicultural Millennials are increasingly influencing our segment and how brands market to us. Language preference and acculturation level have become the key considerations for brands talking with Hispanics. But as the US Hispanic market gradually goes “Spanglish” our Latino culture continues to provide the voice that speaks to us all.
The rapid adoption by Hispanics of digital and mobile technology is providing both opportunities and challenges for marketing to Latinos. These modern marketing channels provide new opportunities to connect directly with consumers but are also adding to the fragmentation of media options. Increasing affluence begins to blur the economic lines between a majority of US Hispanic households and their non-Hispanic neighbors. This expanding buying power continues to compel new brands to pursue Latino pocketbooks. However there are many leading brands that are still missing the opportunity.
The winds of the New Year may also bring important immigration reform; the most significant since the 80’s. The possibility of an expanded work visa program would bring highly educated and skilled Latinos to the country, and a guest worker program could open the door for thousands of legal temporary workers as well as legal status for many already in the US. In any case, immigration reform will be positive for the US Hispanic market and increase the benefits of marketing to us. I believe 2013 will mark the beginning of an inflection point in the direction of marketing to US Hispanics – a shift that will greatly impact our thinking and ideas throughout the remainder of the decade.
By Eduardo Perez, President, PM Publicidad,, 404-870-0099 ext 205.    
Outlook for Multicultural Markets
The latest Census data proves that growth and spending power in multicultural markets is tremendous. In 2013 and beyond, companies large and small must employ this valuable insight when implementing new strategies for revenue growth and increased brand loyalty. They must look at these growth populations as the new “general market”. Think “Sofia Vergara Effect”. Sofia Vergara is a Spanish speaker, and represents her roots proudly. But Ms. Vergara is now seen as relevant to all consumers. She is represented in both English and Spanish ads, and has product lines that reach well beyond the traditional Hispanic marketplace. Companies must make a shift in thinking and understand that Multicultural and Mainstream marketing have merged. The lines between them have been forever blurred. The use of accurate multicultural data, analysis, market identification and appropriate messaging will be the key factors to success. Multicultural Marketing, Research and Ethnic Identification is our passion and we look forward to helping all forward thinking companies, clients and partners achieve the results they expect from the Global Leaders in Ethnic Data Enhancements. Our country is a beautiful mosaic and we celebrate it every day!
By Karen Sinisi, Director of Sales, Ethnic Technologies, LLC,, 866-333-8324, ext. 117.

Is there a preferred modality for conducting market research or polling among the ever-growing diverse populations of the US? There’s a plethora of traditional and new methodologies to choose from. These include telephone (both Landline and Cell phone), online (panel, river and social networks), focus groups (traditional and online), in-person, ethnographies, eye-tracking, neuroscience, in-store purchase tracking utilizing smart devices, gamification, crowdsourcing and holographic devices. Currently, the methods utilized the most are still the more traditional modes of telephone, in-person, focus groups and online. (Yes, online if now considered traditional!) However, more and more of our clients are requesting us to build online community panels and some have begun dabbling in the eye-tracking and neuroscience arena. This could very well be the next wave in measuring differences between groups and even generations within groups. To sum up, there is not yet, and there may never be, a preferred mode for conducting market research among diverse populations but there are a lot of exciting things that will be fun to watch for!
By Michael Halberstam, President, Interviewing Service of America,, 818-989-1044. 

Got Digital? The year 2013 has digital written all over it. This will be a defining year for its appeal being equally relevant across mainstream and multicultural. With rapid growth of digital channels and enhanced tools available to pinpoint the consumer, corporations and agencies alike will be looking at new and efficient ways to connect with their diverse consumer base. Conventional boundaries are going to diminish in the digital world and the new intra-national consumer will replace the traditional inter-national consumer, one that closely resembles the new emerging America. Digital will become the driving force for the newly defined mainstream, more diverse and inter-cultural, than ever before. Traditional agencies and media will have to adapt to these new market realities or risk becoming obsolete. Corporations will seek agency insights on tapping into this more social and inter-connected consumer. Thought leadership will become critical. Agencies and organizations with the most relevant knowledge – on the new consumer, the new digital landscape, and the new vision, will win the game! Got Digital?
By Pawan J. Mehra, Founder and Principal, Améredia, Inc.,, 415-788-5100.    

More Evidence Initiating Multicultural Marketing is a requisite: Any company goal of continued revenue growth cannot ignore multicultural marketing for much longer.
The U.S. Census Bureau released a set of estimates showing that 50.4 percent of our nation’s population younger than age 1 were minorities (U.S. Census definition) as of July 1, 2011. This is up from 49.5 percent from the 2010 Census taken April 1, 2010.
The population younger than age 5 was 49.7 percent minority in 2011, up from 49.0 percent in 2010.
For companies like Johnson & Johnson, P&G and Toys “R” Us this means by extension the parents and grandparents of this increasingly younger multicultural population are a prime target for their brands.
It has been roughly 30 years since the marketing community began heralding the New Minority Majority and marketers began seeking information regarding the ins and outs of multicultural marketing. Surprisingly, some are still asking how it is done. At the same time, some companies have met the opportunity with dedicated multicultural marketing departments.
The path to marketing success follows the same steps that have been used for decades. Segment (even within ethnic groups), target geographically, budget commensurate with the opportunity, and leverage consumer insights. Most of these are easy enough to accomplish, however the leveraging of insights may be elusive and often result in ethnic advertising (casting) rather than insightful messaging.
Seems we have come a long way although we need to keep up with the growing opportunity.
By Ron Campbell, President, Campbell Communications,, 718-671-6989.  
Outlook for the Disability Market
The outlook for disability-inclusive multicultural marketing is shining bright for progressive marketers and advertisers. But that is obvious. Why would any company want to give 20% of its prospective primary customers to its competitors?
Yes, 20% (and growing) of Americans have a disability. It is projected that millions more have a functional limitation, a “hidden” or non-apparent disability, and don’t yet self-identify. The disability market is the most elusive and often-ignored segment, yet it boasts $1 trillion in aggregate income with $220 billion in purchasing power — more than the coveted teen market.
22 years since passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, this dynamic market is coming of age, producing results and revenue for savvy companies.
How do I resuscitate my company profits to tap this brand-loyalty market segment? Simply apply CPR:
1) Cast models and performers with disabilities in your print and electronic advertising
2) Practice “disability-inclusive diversity” in your strategic marketing efforts and outreach
3) Recruit employees with disabilities. Strategic marketing WITH disability segments (including seniors and veterans) mirrors success of other diverse markets. It’s just a matter of treating this customer segment with the same outreach and respect as other diverse groups such as LGBT, Latino, African-American.
To fortify sustainability, graft disability onto diverse marketing and employment outreach. To sharpen your competitive edge, rethink ad campaigns and collateral to include America’s largest diversity group (57 million). A University of Massachusetts survey discovered 92% of consumers felt more favorable toward companies hiring people with disabilities, with 87% prefer giving business to those that hire people with disabilities.
EIN SOF can help. When Sundance Channel tapped EIN SOF to launch its series PUSH GIRLS, social media traffic increased 500%. For Fox Searchlight’s THE SESSIONS, we developed strategic marketing campaign and grass-roots opinion-maker screenings with filmmakers.
EIN SOF can help build dynamic disability-inclusive diversity strategic marketing, disability awareness, recruiting, accessible events, establish and galvanize disability Employee Resource Groups, or conduct focus groups to gain rich qualitative insights. As a woman-owned small business and GSA federal contractor, clients include: AT&T, Microsoft, Bank of America, Miramax, COSD, National ADA Network, UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Leadership Institute for Managers with Disabilities, US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, Veterans Administration and National Council on Disability.
Outlook for 2013? Bursting with disability power, pride and untapped potential.
By Tari Hartman Squire, CEO, EIN SOF Communications, Inc.,, 310-473-5954. 


Agata Porter
Multicultural Marketing Resources, Inc.