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Outlook for Multicultural Marketing and Diversity in 2022 – Your Multicultural Marketing News December 2021 Newsletter

Wednesday, Dec 15, 2021
Multicultural Marketing News December 2021
Outlook for Multicultural Marketing and Diversity in 2022


  • Squid Game: Diffusion of Culture through Media (Ethnic Technologies)
  • Multicultural Research: A Marathon, Not a Sprint (C+R Research)
  • Outlook for 2022: Gay Pride 2022 Promises to be Like No Other! Plan Now to Show Up (Rivendell Media)
  • Culture is Paramount in 2022 (d expósito & Partners)
  • Can This Democracy Be Saved? The Importance of Engaging Voters of Color (Vision Strategy and Insights)
  • Diversity is America’s Superpower (AAAZA)
  • Avoid Tokenism, Take Real Action and Plan for Long Term (ADMERASIA)
  • Horowitz’ Outlook for 2022: The Year of DEI Accountability (Horowitz Research)
Squid Game: Diffusion of Culture through Media
Who would’ve thought a Korean TV series with 456 adults playing traditional Korean children’s outdoor games would become the most-watched series on Netflix, gaining critical acclaim and international attention? People from all over the world spent 1.65 billion hours watching the show in the first 28 days after being introduced on Netflix. What surprised me the most about this craze is how people are intrigued by the Korean elements that flow throughout the whole series. While there are now locations all around the world where people are lining up and even engaging in fist fights to try these Korean games, I would’ve never in a million years introduced these games to my American friends growing up. Squid Game has provided an opportunity for me to reflect on my life and on my culture. While I always thought “American people” would not be interested in learning about my culture, maybe it was more me holding back on introducing my culture while holding unwarranted prejudice against the general public. Hopefully Squid Game will help many people like me to become more proactive in sharing one’s culture with others. At the same time, as the internet media is now creating cultural trends and triggering a cultural paradigm shift, it has become ever easier for people from different parts of the world to experience different cultures intimately and instantly. The combination of these two factors will only create more business opportunities for both retailers and ecommerce platforms in coming years as proven by Amazon’s top Halloween theme this year being Squid Game. Ethnic Technologies has been a leader in multicultural market research for the past 20 years and continuously improves our name research and intelligence that can help any organization to dive deeper into their clients’ cultural backgrounds and needs. By Bryan Lee, Senior Sales Manager, Ethnic Technologies,
View company profile here.
Multicultural Research: A Marathon, Not a Sprint
Are you a marketing or branding professional? A runner dreaming of your next marathon? Like running a marathon, adopting genuine multicultural marketing takes dedication and constant effort, but the results are more than worth it. From the preliminary census data, the U.S. population is more multicultural than it has ever been. And as a multicultural person and a researcher, I am constantly thinking of ways to help brands fuel their growth by understanding how to reach multicultural consumers. In 2021, companies raced to understand multiculturalism and diverse consumers – due to events like police brutality leading to civil unrest, attacks against Asians, border family separations, and accounts of the genocide of native populations propelled brands toward action. Most did not take the time needed to understand these audiences truly. 
As we look ahead to 2022, here are two key strategies for championing and winning with multicultural audiences:
1.     Amplify internal voices. Give diverse team members a seat at the table and a voice within your organization when developing marketing strategies. 
2.     Invest in researching these audiences to genuinely understand them. Make them a priority in your ongoing marketing strategy because they matter! 
Seize the moment – view these audiences as more than just profits. Engage them with dignity, cultural respect, and authentic empathy that will resonate with them. Like running a marathon, this won’t happen overnight―it takes time, effort, investment, discipline, and commitment. Listen to your inner coach and ask yourself, “if not now, when?” By Jorge Martínez-Bonilla, Vice President, CultureBeat & LatinoEyes,
View company profiles here and here.
Outlook for 2022: Gay Pride 2022 Promises to be Like No Other! Plan Now to Show Up
Gay Pride 2022 promises to be like no other! Sure, we’ve had our 25th and even our 50th anniversary celebrations of Stonewall. But never have we gone not one but TWO years without physically celebrating Gay Pride. Everyone knows that the LGBTQ community not only puts on a good party, but likes to celebrate in general — which is why Halloween, Mardi Gras, Southern Decadence and Gay/LGBTQ parties are so much more fun than their straight counterparts. Gay Pride does win the prize though, because it is uniquely our own. And with the pent-up energy of these past two years, I predict Gay Pride 2022 will be, well, FABULOUS! Looking back at our 42-year history, much of our business was done in June. So much so that we used to call it Gay Christmas and everyone in the business got the Monday after Gay Pride off from work. It was just one of those unique things. Times have changed though, and now a good part of our business is year-round. But Gay Pride, even during COVID, is still our busiest time. Things usually pick up at the end of March and into April, but so much still comes in May, as clients ask their ad agencies, “What can we do or are we doing for Gay Pride?” Every year, a major client comes in at the very last minute and I always feel sorry for the media planners and advertising teams who are late and miss the very best opportunities. But still, we are grateful for the business and do our best to help them succeed. Last minute success, however, is not the same as the success that comes with a well-thought-out media campaign. As we enter the holiday season now, I say give the gift of planning. We already have most of our Gay Pride information together, so companies big and small can already understand the cost of being present and seen in the media our community depends on. One great thing about mainstream companies coming out for Gay Pride is that by doing so, they are supporting LGBTQ owned-and-operated businesses, which almost all LGBTQ media outlets are. Additionally, advertising your support of Gay Pride extends your reach because many people can’t travel to the actual Gay Pride events — but everyone who is interested in those companies that do support the community will certainly be looking to see just who shows up in our media. And showing up is always the first step. By Todd Evans, President and CEO, Rivendell Media,
View company profile here.
Culture is Paramount in 2022
Over the past two years, much of the conversation in marketing and advertising has underscored the importance of ethnic diversity and the need to engage with consumers in an authentic way. Yet when looking at Hispanic-targeted media, one sees more campaigns designed for a diverse, mass U.S. audience, with a growing number of executions being totally in English. These trends are contrary to the industry dialogue and totally go against what Hispanic consumers have shared in research. A May 2021 study by the Pew Research Center showed that 71% of all Hispanics feel a strong connection to their culture, with 54% saying it is central to their identity. A report by Nielsen shows 60% of Hispanics say they are more likely to watch content that features aspects of their culture, and they spend 36% more time streaming video precisely because of the increased options for culturally relevant and in-language content. These insights hold true for Gen Z and Millennial Latinos, as the Hispanic Marketing Council research found 80% choose to watch Spanish-language TV and 40% stream video on-demand in Spanish. The use of more generic advertising creative could be excusable if we weren’t talking about 62 million consumers that account for 20% of the U.S. population. Marketers need to do better than that and tap Hispanic-specialist agencies with the deep expertise required to connect with their culture and identity. It’s the only way to win when Hispanic consumers are demanding to be seen and valued. By Louis Maldonado, Partner, Managing Director, d expósito & Partners,
View company profile here.
Can This Democracy Be Saved? The Importance of Engaging Voters of Color
Every election cycle, the pundits and pollsters proclaim that the upcoming Presidential, midterm or special election is the “most important election of our time.”  The truth is, every election is crucial, and the full participation of all eligible voters is essential for the continuation of our democratic system.  Now, as we consider the 2022 midterm elections, we face an electorate who has been physically and economically battered by the COVID pandemic, bombarded with disinformation about election integrity, and undermined by voter suppression efforts. As a multicultural research and strategy firm, we interact with voters on a regular basis.  Black voters, Hispanic/Latino voters, Asian American/Pacific Islander and Indigenous voters to be sure, but also young voters, newly registered voters, rural voters, undecided voters, immigrant voters, voters who have different political positions than their parents, and voters who are more comfortable in a language other than English.  Each of these groups of voters has different concerns, a distinct understanding of the issues based on their lived experiences, and a wide variety of informational and motivational needs. We must also consider the non-voters, the more than three in ten African Americans and nearly four in ten Asian Americans and Hispanic/Latinos in the US who, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, are of voting age but not yet registered to vote.   These potential voters are particularly frustrated with the uneven economic recovery, the failed promise of police and other social reforms and the viral spread of voting rights restrictions. From their perspective, neither party seems to be looking out for their interests, giving them very little reason to feel anything but apathetic about voting. Campaigns and political parties must move beyond a one-size-fits-all strategy for voters of color and gain a deeper and more nuanced understanding  of both base voters and opportunity segments. This requires a significant investment in talking (and listening) to multiple voter segments and sub-segments and not just quantifying them. These would include not only traditional base, swing and low-propensity voters, but also new voters, voters whose districts have changed, and voters in districts with ethnically diverse populations whose activation could be the margin of victory.  These voter blocs are often demographically intersectional, as described in the 2021 Pew Political Typology Report. A clearer definition of their specific needs should lead to early, sustained, and hyper-targeted messaging that will resonate with voters because it speaks to issues of importance to them from their unique perspective. Voters of color – with all their complexities – continue to be a growing force in the American electorate.  We at Vision Strategy and Insights will continue to raise the voices of these voters and ensure that campaigns hear them more clearly. After all, the 2022 midterms will be the most important election of our time. By Michele Cordoba, Founding Director, Vision Strategy and Insights,
View company profile here.
Diversity is America’s Superpower
Diversity IS the backbone of America. When we think about American culture it has been influenced by ethnic food, music and heritage since the beginning. Consumers are diverse and want to see that reflected in the world around them. DEI is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Diversity and Inclusion is unavoidable, necessary and inevitable. But when it comes to Equity brands are failing. Rather than truly investing in diversity and inclusion brands often just check off the diversity box. To demonstrate equity, you need to have a diversity specialist at the table when making decisions. And it is important to invest in research to gather insights to truly understand the needs of diverse segments. General Market agencies are often unable to support diversity well as they are not as immersed in the community. Segments such as AAPI can be very complex to dissect without multicultural experts. Because of this complexity, brands either drop diversity from their marketing or only allocate a small portion of their budgets. What makes America powerful is its diversity. Brands need to invest in multicultural agencies in order to give Equity to smaller, specialized agencies and grow together as partners. Otherwise, It’s like going to a general practitioner to operate on your kidney and avoiding kidney specialists. You would never do that so why would you do it for your brand? By Jay Kim, President of AAAZA,
View company profile here.
Avoid Tokenism, Take Real Action and Plan for Long Term
According to the latest data from the 2020 U.S. Census, the total American population growth slowed over the past decade, but that growth — an increase of 23 million — was made up entirely of multicultural populations. America’s younger generations are substantially more diverse compared to a decade ago. These facts decidedly reassure the strategic importance of multicultural audiences to a brand’s business success and growth potential. In 2021, each multicultural group has experienced unique obstacles and challenges driven primarily by systematic bias, disparities and inequities, or COVID hate. It was brutal. We’ve seen efforts from various brands to address the situations for certain groups, typically with social posting, issuing a PR statement, making a donation, or hosting celebratory events in the Heritage Months. However, these efforts are often perceived as “additional works” out of the normal works that build a brand. On the receiving end, multicultural audiences applaud support and advocacy from brands but expect them to “walk the walk” by taking real action, spending time listening to the stories and needs of multicultural audiences, and reflecting that understanding in their campaign engagements, services, or product development. Not a one-off showcase but build a long-term plan. If this doesn’t happen, tokenism and performative activism can easily receive backlash and disappoint this growing and awakening audience group. Moving into 2022, brands must acknowledge this reality and recalibrate the business and marketing strategy. By Selina Guo, Strategy Director, ADMERASIA,
View company profile here.
Horowitz’ Outlook for 2022: The Year of DEI Accountability
Now, more than ever, companies are being mandated to step up to the plate when it comes to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, not just in terms of their hiring practices and corporate cultures, but in terms of how well their brand’s positioning, advertising, and marketing resonate with Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian, LGBTQIA+, and other diverse audiences. And consumers will no longer tolerate lip service: Our research finds that 4 in 10 consumers have recently noticed companies that they feel are “insincere in their efforts towards diversity, equity, and inclusion because they just want to get more business.” At Horowitz, we have been hard at work this year helping our clients who are sincere in their efforts towards DEI to develop benchmarks and provide a roadmap for success to deliver on their commitment to DEI. Among other tools, we have devised proprietary methodologies such as our DREAM Score™, which gives brands an action plan for improving their DEI based on the diversity attributes that matter most to consumers, and our DDJ™ methodology, for news organizations who are committed to doing a better job representing the communities they serve. As 2022 approaches, we look forward to bringing our thought leadership to the table for brands who are ready to move beyond lip service and towards accountability when it comes to serving multicultural America. By Adriana Waterston, Chief Revenue Officer and Insights & Strategy Lead, Horowitz Research,
View company profile here.

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