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Outlook for Multicultural Marketing and Diversity in 2021 – Your Multicultural Marketing News December 2020 Newsletter

Thursday, Dec 10, 2020
Multicultural Marketing News December 2020

Outlook for Multicultural Marketing and Diversity in 2021


  • Multiculturalism in 2021: A Silver Lining Type of Year (C+R Research)
  • How COVID-19 Is Resurfacing US History of Racism Against Asian Americans (Ethnic Technologies)
  • Horowitz’ Outlook for 2021: Unpacking “Authenticity” (Horowitz Research)
  • LGBTQ-Inclusive DE&I: Now… More Than Ever? (Community Marketing & Insights)
  • It’s Time To Understand the Nuances of Multicultural Audiences in 2021 (Bold Culture LLC)
  • Finally, Some Good News: LGBTQ Inclusion (Gay Ad Network)
  • Multicultural Communities Are Speaking. Are You Ready To Listen? (AAAZA)
  • POOL of Diverse Talent Is Out There (MediaVillage)
  • The 2021 Multicultural Marketing Growth Imperative: The Collision of Covid, Technology and Census (INFUSION)

    Multiculturalism in 2021: A silver lining type of year
    We all know that 2020 has been a tough year, but as we move into 2021, we see a brighter light on the horizon, especially for multicultural people and multiculturalism as a whole! Many of the events that occurred in 2020 were tragic, but they have triggered a renewed, more committed interest in understanding and sincerely connecting with multicultural consumers. From individuals and companies being touched and shocked into action by the ugly realities of racial injustices and their ripple effects throughout society and economy to BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) and LGBTQ+ communities further cementing their presence in politics, business, and entertainment, the energy is changing for the better! Our CultureBeat team is excited for what’s to come, and we’re ready to continue helping brands get an authentic, in-depth look at their key multicultural audiences and consumer cohorts through great research and our unique individual perspectives. There’s a reckoning happening, and we expect the momentum to continue to shift – inspiring companies and organizations of all types, across all industries, to truly commit to adding multiculturalism to their business strategies and invest in bringing about real change. By Jorge Martínez-Bonilla, Vice President, CultureBeat & LatinoEyes,

    View company profiles here and here.

    How COVID-19 is resurfacing US history of racism against Asian Americans

    Many people are feeling anxious during these uncertain times as they navigate the risks associated with COVID-19 and experience the tension from physical distancing or isolation for what can seem like an eternity. But people of Asian ancestry face yet another set of challenges posed by racism and xenophobia which has soared during the COVID-19 pandemic amidst rumors and blame placed on China. This pandemic-driven rise in anti-Asian racism is so pronounced, that some have described it as a “secondary contagion” threatening this population. In the past few months, there has been an alarming rise of xenophobic backlash and racial harassment and violence against Asians globally, blaming China and the Chinese for the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Researchers have already begun to document a marked rise in Sinophobic content on both mainstream and fringe social media. But we need to keep in mind that Asian Americans have done nothing wrong, nor do they have anything to do with this virus, yet, hateful people across the country are choosing to blame them for the crisis. As the country’s stakeholders in the public, private, and social sectors look toward recovery, the Asian American community will be a critical engine. The Asian American population is projected to become the largest immigrant group (38 percent of immigrants) in the United States by 2055, so raising awareness of the community and addressing inequities within the group are increasingly urgent. Gaining a greater understanding of Asian Americans—the true picture of their experiences, strengths, and challenges—is vital. By Bryan Lee, Senior Sales Manager, Ethnic Technologies,

    View company profile here.

    Horowitz’ Outlook for 2021: Unpacking “Authenticity”
    2020 was a wake-up call for just about every brand in America and across the globe. At Horowitz, we have been putting our 30 years of experience conducting research among and advocating for Black, Latinx, Asian, LGBTQIA+, and other communities to work. We are helping brands get up to speed, helping them learn what questions to ask that will lead to more effective marketing, advertising, creative, content creation, and product development that considers multicultural audiences front and center. Invariably we are asked: How can we authentically connect with multicultural consumers? We see this word “authentic” as inherently problematic. It assumes that these groups are monolithic, that there is one way to connect with an entire community. It fails to account for the diversity and various intersectional experiences of these groups that makes them inherently heterogeneous. Marketers know better than to ask this question of the “white community”, yet it is asked all the time of Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and other groups. Our focus in 2021 will be to help brands across industry verticals unlearn this kind of ethnocentric, essentialist thinking about multicultural audiences, guiding them towards a more sophisticated and nuanced approach that will lead to a more successful multicultural (really, general market) strategy. By Adriana Waterston, SVP, Insights and Strategy, Horowitz Research,

    View company profile here.

    LGBTQ-Inclusive DE&I: Now… more than ever?
    LGBTQ marketing outreach and HR inclusion was on quite an upward trajectory during the Obama years. We’ve observed a bit of a softening during the Trump admin. That’s all about to change. President Biden will be more diversity-inclusive and LGBTQ-inclusive than any previous President. And the zeitgeist of the country will shift with the new administration, as the conversation shifts from divisiveness to inclusiveness. That’s excellent news for businesses, employees and the providers of diversity marketing services. When it comes to the recovery and how to best emerge from the recession, post-COVID (coming soon!), businesses can leverage what they’ve learned in the past: Diversity marketing works. Consumers are growing accustomed to a more personal approach to communications. Emerging from hard economic times, outreach funds are not likely to be sufficient to be all-things-to-all-people. Nor would that approach yield the best ROI, even if you could afford it. Far better will be to identify best-prospect markets, early adopters, those less hard-hit by the downturn. And research points to the LGBTQ community as a likely good match. We encourage readers to download CMI’s latest report on 17,000 LGBTQ Americans, at no cost: 14th Annual LGBTQ Community Survey You’ll find data and observations about the LGBTQ markets across gender, generation and ethnicity. And please be in touch to discuss a custom LGBTQ market study on your products and services. We’ve been here 28+ years, and we have a lot of “knowledge-base” to share! By Thomas Roth, President, Community Marketing & Insights.

    View company profile here.

    It’s time to understand the nuances of multicultural audiences in 2021
    2020 has expanded a truth that brands and their agencies have known for quite some time but have largely avoided—multicultural consumers are highly impactful to a company’s success and must be represented across all levels; however, their company talent ranks don’t mirror that reality. This knowledge of multicultural impact has historically been met with leader inaction or unsustainable practices. This is because when marketers are addressing inclusion, it is from a one-sided, many times flat approach. Bold Culture’s philosophy is to build inclusion and equity from the inside, out. This means companies must assess their own non-inclusive practices and cultures, interrogate the inclusion practices of the agency/vendor partners, understand the nuances of diverse communities, and work with individuals of a particular community in order to create impactful multicultural campaigns. In 2021 and beyond, a one-size-fits-all, flat approach to multiculturalism will not work. It’s time to understand and take action on cultural nuance. Bold Culture’s insights, consulting and connections services can help.We provide inclusive marketing and workplace audits, sustainable strategic plans, ongoing cross-cultural marketing consulting, connections to diverse talent and more. Darren Martin, founder and CEO, Bold Culture. Learn more about or email me directly at

    View company profile here.

    Finally, Some Good News: LGBTQ Inclusion
    Gay media has been transformed over the past two decades. The convergence of digital and mobile technologies has enabled the once-fragmented LGBTQ community to become a powerful voice for equality and a powerful consumer market for advertisers. Audience targeting networks, gay dating apps and social media collaborations have become the predominate platforms for accessing the LGBTQ consumer market at scale. Mainstream media takes center stage when it comes to influencing broader cultural change in America. This year we saw the highest percentage of LGBTQ characters on TV shows and movies. Hulu and the Hallmark Channel released holiday films featuring LGBTQ couples in the main roles. Corporations are also hopping on the LGBTQ inclusivity bandwagon. Nabisco, Etsy and Starbucks feature same-sex couples in their latest holiday advertising. The HRC 2020 Corporate Equality Index reports the 91% of Fortune 500 companies have sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination policies in place. The future for LGBTQ equality is looking brighter than ever. The Biden-Harris transition team has named several LGBTQ people to key White House posts and has an extensive LGBTQ-inclusive agenda. Brand preference and loyalty is earned over time, through ongoing outreach and consistent messaging across mainstream and gay media platforms. LGBTQ inclusivity should be an integral part of every brand’s marketing mix during the holiday season, during pride month and every other month of the year. By Mark Elderkin, CEO Gay Ad Network. To make your brand more relevant to the LGBTQ consumer market, contact Gay Ad Network,, (954) 485-9910.

    View company profile here.

    Multicultural communities are speaking. Are you ready to listen?
    While 2020 and COVID-19 have brought challenges to light that we could have never expected, it has also created conversations that have been long awaited. Multicultural communities are seeking a platform to be heard and brands need to be there to listen. By developing strategies together and learning from one another, communities and brands can offer solutions to meet the needs of consumers ultimately leading to stronger engagement and meaningful relationships. One size doesn’t fit all with multicultural marketing. Diverse communities are culturally and linguistically unique and marketing strategies need to recognize their differences. Consumers, now more than ever, are holding brands accountable and demanding transparency. Help them feel empowered not overlooked. Representation is critical to show that there are products tailored to their needs by companies that care. Take the time to understand multicultural communities, what they want and how you can deliver. According to the Selig Center’s Multicultural Economy Report, the combined buying power of African Americans, Asian Americans and Native Americans is estimated to be $2.4 trillion, while the nation’s Hispanics command $1.5 trillion in spending power—larger than the GDP of Australia. Start the conversation and you will see the rewards. By Jay Kim, President of AAAZA,

    View company profile here.

    POOL of Diverse Talent Is Out There
    The need to hear from thought leaders advancing diversity in advertising, media and marketing has never been more crucial. It was the impetus behind the launch of the new podcast THE POOL on MediaVillage’s channel. It is no secret that the collective worlds of advertising, marketing and media have suffered for decades with a glaring lack of diversity. When challenged on why as an industry they are performing so poorly, regarding diversity, the powers that be often blame the available talent pool. In short, they do not believe the talent is there. THE POOL is a direct challenge to that flawed notion that the available diverse talent pool is either shallow or non-existent. MediaVillage founder Jack Myers launched and brought me on board as its Executive Director to further advance diversity from advocacy to activism in media, marketing, and advertising. In addition to The Pool, stay tuned for information on the 4th annual Advancing Diversity Hall of Honors in the spring. For “The Case for Education & Diversity as Tools for Business Growth in Marketing & Media,” download the white paper here. For more information, visit; follow on @AdvDiversity and @MediaVillageCom. By Philip McKenzie, Executive Director of and Host of THE POOL, is a cultural anthropologist and brand strategist who has been writing the On Influence and Influencers column for MediaVillage since 2017.

    View company profile here.

    The 2021 Multicultural Marketing Growth Imperative: The Collision of Covid, Technology and Census
    The existential threat of Covid and our imposed ‘shelter at home’ has prompted a hunger for change, reflection and willingness to challenge the status quo, from companies permanently changing to flexible work schedules, deleting the unnecessary, and pushing for more equitable D&I practices. My prediction (or hope) for 2021 is that companies will add some much needed brain-searching to their soul-searching to finally do Multicultural marketing right, and allocate the commensurate fair share of budget, resources and attention to this business imperative. 2021 will also be my 40th year in the business, and I will stay true to my ‘tell it like it’ style. Advertising revenues are rebounding and will surge back in 2021. TV viewership is booming, as are Digital/social channels, CTV, OTT, telecom and ‘essential’ services from grocery stores to health/fitness, and automotive has bounced back. The pandemic underscored the power of Multiculturals, with African-American content platforms and Spanish broadcast increases catapulting General Market, which should convert to major tangible ad dollar increases. However, Multicultural media ad spend is only projected to grow +6% to $30Billion in 2021, a tiny morsel representing only 5% of total media spend with 2/3 of clients spending under 1% – while Multiculturals represent 40% of the population, 50% of the average Fortune 200 clients’ business growth, the majority in the <40 age group and economy-driving states like CA, NY, Texas and Florida, and 100% of all growth in population, jobs, and spend. Wake up and follow the money. Data is the lifeblood of my agency, so I am baffled why it’s ignored by major corporations who don’t acknowledge the paradigm shift.  Hispanics alone drive the majority of performance in all the top 10 biggest product categories. It’s not an ‘evolving market place’. It changed years ago. MCM is the GM. If you’re not doing multicultural marketing effectively, you are not doing effective marketing. There also remains the marginalized, incomprehensible Multicultural strategies applied to metrics, marketing, creative, media and digital by major clients, agencies and buying firms. Some still assume that Multiculturals are reached effectively with GM efforts, purchase triggers and consumer truths resonate equally, and ‘cookie cutter’ research, segmentation and media buys do the trick. They must be living in Arkansas, Beverly Hills, Greenwich, under a rock, are lazy or ready to retire. This year’s ‘BLM’ cultural campaign revolution is morphing into a one-off. And even Multicultural marketers fall into the trap of overall strategies and budgets marked by GM or ‘TM’ first, only thinking about the ‘MCM segment’ and dollar allocation afterwards, which inevitably diminishes ‘total market’ returns. Listen up. Brown casting is not a multicultural strategy. Spanish is not a Hispanic Marketing strategy. Google is not an adequate translator, and ‘Spanglish’ is clever no more. Cultural identity is stronger than ever and vital in marcomm. 90% of Hispanics, who consume English media 2/3 of the time, want cultural-targeting and think they are not being properly represented, portrayed or understood in ads, so you better get your act together. Now that I got that out of my system, let’s talk about 2021 dynamic trends I predict are important for companies to adapt to and put at the forefront of marketing. The current ‘cancel culture’ and social justice movement has impacted today’s woke and demanding consumers, including the emergence of equality as the #1 consumer value. This coupled with a heightened distrust of organizations due to Covid and politics, already higher among Multiculturals, means they will favor companies who stand for something, share their values, and work harder to earn their trust. This requires brands to realign themes, have a more human, customer-centered marketing and service approach, and make social impact and community engagement a priority. The Digital transformation will accelerate even more. Multiculturals, already higher Mobile, gaming and tech users, will continue their high internet connectivity while increasing their use of connected TVs, Virtual events, VR/AR, E-Sports, social platforms, and paid video streaming subscriptions, aside from in-car voice assistants, and digital wallets, education, DIY and healthcare. Multiculturals lag only in online buying, but ‘Shopstreaming’ and better relevant buyflows will fix that. In 2021, all consumers will be redefining success to what Multiculturals already know to be a focus on taking care of family needs and desires, personal growth and development and sharing it all. This means gravitating to intimacy, connections and shared experiences through must-see TV, Houseparty app, or friends-and-family video chats. Personalized marketing will be more important than ever with increased video marketing, email, direct mail, and hyper-focused social engagement. Instagram and YouTube will continue hot for Multiculturals, Facebook is still #1, Twitter matters especially to Blacks, and leave TikTok off the mix. Well-matched ethnic brand celebrities and influencers will continue to drive brand saliency, unlike the GM where celebrity and influencer cynicism is through the roof. There will be a renewed ‘Be local’ focus, beyond mom-and-pop bodegas or farm-to-table. This  ‘zoomed in’ life approach is that focus on what truly matters, incorporating virtual or in-person intimate dialogues, sharing facts and reactions to what’s happening within our ‘local’ environment, whether geographic, cultural, community, familial, passion-point or personal worlds. There will be a higher value placed on the ‘real’ and purging the fake, and brands with integrity that speak in a real, authentic voice, which drives trust and 5x better results among Multiculturals. Multiculturals will be increasingly discerning in their purchases, especially being disproportionately impacted by Covid in health, jobs and finances. The lower-income will cut non-essential discretionary spending, higher-income will weigh purchases more carefully on what’s the best use of their money, while the affluent will constrain spend due to a sense of guilt. They will also seek higher quality products and cause-driven brands. Covid taught us to slow down, that we don’t need that much, and ‘Less is more’ so the fewer things bought will matter more. Brands need to address this in their value propositions, as well as reassess the channels and formats used, screen their brand content and storytelling with both cultural and empathy filters, and revalidate the buyer’s journey and needs. There will also be a smarter blending of the real and virtual worlds. Virtual experiences and events, accelerated by Covid, will progress to match the value of in-person events, which will also cause a reversal of urbanization, as you can do it and get talent from anywhere. And we will start to see advanced AI-curated and AI-guided virtual experiences that adapt to personal preferences. Speaking of virtual experiences, all our agency’s Hispanics and African-American productions have been virtual, and for Charter Communications, we produced a Spectrum-branded virtual Ozuna concert, and just won a Cynopsis Model D Award for the Best use of Augmented Reality/IMR Technology. As marketers, we must always stay ahead of trends and evolve to align with customers’ habits and needs to give them an experience that helps solve their problems and makes their lives easier and better, especially during these challenging times. Brands that empower learning, entertainment, joy and genuine connections, relieve stress, provide time affluence, safe solutions and meaningful personalized experiences will win now more than ever. And this includes telecom brands that enable connectivity, restaurants with efficient delivery, soft toilet paper, and stylish air filter masks. By Liz Castells-Heard, CEO & Chief Strategy Officer, INFUSION, 213-688-7217, 213-305-4129,

    View full company profile here.

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    Next Issues:

    January 2021 Newsletter
    Outlook for Multicultural Marketing in 2021 issue 2

    Deadline for reservations: Jan 5th

    February 2021 Newsletter

    Issue 1 Topic: Black History Month
                Asian Lunar New Year – Year of the Ox begins Feb 12

    Deadline for reservations: Jan 15th

    Issue 2 Topic: Post Game Multicultural Commentary on Super Bowl TV Spots

    Deadline for reservations: Feb 1st

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