Spotlight on Multicultural Marketing: Part I

Times are changing! As we watch the final episodes of Mad Men, AMC’s popular period drama, over the next few weeks, we are reminded of how current events and changes in the population influence advertising and marketing. Just as the 1960s and 1970s ushered in waves of change, we are encounter changes due to shifts in the population. There’s plenty of data showing the trends for the U.S. market now and in the future. AdAge has covered this extensively in their report, “Your Guide to the Multicultural Mainstream.” In 30 years or less, predictions by the US Census Bureau show that non-Hispanic whites will no longer account for more than 50% of the population. This inspired us to take a closer look! The culture is changing: how will you adapt?

Multicultural marketing is the key. It’s all about balance. We know that marketers want to evoke emotion. This is achieved through understanding of the different types of consumers, their habits. There are several ways to do this:

 1. Language

Immigration has brought a steady flow of people into this country for generations. The percentage of English speakers grows as people assimilate. However, it is important to note that a lot of groups still speak a language other than English at home. There is a comfort level with their native language. In marketing, like other forms of content, it is important to convey information to consumers in ways that they best understand.

2. Culture

Assimilation to the dominant culture happens over generations, but whatd oesn’t go away is the desire to maintain some elements of native culture and identity. Marketers should embrace traditions and cultural values and incorporate these into marketing campaigns.

3. Media Channels

English-language media outlets are, of course, the most standard ways to reach consumers. But, don’t forget about marketing on additional language and culture media outlets of your target demographic.  Think about television networks, radio stations, and print and online news outlets. Ethnic groups often use these media outlets to keep in touch and stay connected with current events here and abroad.

4. Getting social

Social media usage is growing exponentially across the world. Products and services are promoted through social media. Get savvy with your social media marketing. Find out where your target demographic is hanging out. There are US-based outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but what about Weibo (China) or VK (Russia)?

5. Going mobile

Smartphone ownership and mobile usage is rising. People are using their phones to access the Internet, make purchases, listen to music, watch news, and engage with social media. The largest groups of users are millenials! Where will you by ad space? How will you reach these consumers? There are streaming sites such as Spotify, Pandora, and iHeart Radio which offer advertising opportunities. Also, look at Smartphone ownership and mobile usage is rising. People are using their phones to access the Internet, make purchases, listen to music, watch news, and engage with social media. The largest groups of users are millenials! Where will you by ad space? How will you reach these consumers? There are streaming sites such as Spotify, Pandora, and iHeart Radio which offer advertising opportunities. Also, look at mobile apps such as Snapchat as a way to engage. Think about video marketing! The point is – if you’re not mobile, you are missing out.

In later posts, we will focus on specific groups and how to best market to these key demographics. We hope to fill in some of the blanks. Stay tuned!

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