Marketing in the United States is a tricky thing. By and large, if you’re using English to communicate with an audience there will be no issues—there are no legal or linguistic roadblocks disallowing targeting your audience based on culture. However, as the country becomes more diverse there is a growing understanding among marketers that their campaigns must now take into account cultural differences in order to be effective. In fact, across US counties, consumers differ verbally, visually, and culturally.
Reaching today’s consumers requires coordinated messaging that resonates with each market and culture. Few brands have the internal resources to manage this type of diverse communication. They need an agency or partner that understands the local nuances, behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs of consumers within their brand’s diverse audiences—all while maintaining group identity and incorporating multicultural marketing strategies.
Multicultural marketing is the process of creating content, products, services, advertising, campaigns, and other related materials that effectively address the concerns of customers in a multicultural society. Multicultural marketing requires marketers to be both inclusive and respectful of their multicultural audiences. Inclusiveness means creating communications that are free from bias that would be offensive to certain cultural groups. Respectfulness means recognizing and celebrating unique cultural differences while promoting a common culture with shared values.
Here are four reasons why multicultural marketing has become increasingly important.
- Changing Demographics and the Boom in Multicultural Populations
In 2018, Clarita reported that 133 million multicultural Americans were living in the United States, making up around 37.5 percent of the total United States population. As the United States becomes more and more ethnically diverse, it’s important that we understand and anticipate how their growing consumerism will impact the evolution of business on both a local and national scale. Given the increased cultural diversity in all shapes and sizes, businesses that are able to appeal to the multicultural demographic could stand to experience a variety of benefits―including, but not limited to, higher revenues.
In fact, the role of multicultural consumers has been growing at a massive rate in the United States and it plays a significant role in the way multicultural consumers are attracted to brands and businesses. In a CMO Council study, 88 percent of multicultural millennials said that “representation of various types of people” was their top brand consideration and 72 percent said it was important for brands to have diverse representation behind the scenes. Representation matters! It’s this simple.
- Enormous Opportunities in Untapped Market Segments
With a population that is made up of different ethnicities and cultures, it makes sense that businesses would want to market to the multicultural segment. Yet, when it comes to multicultural marketing, many business owners are not educated. Businesses often do not understand what the market is looking for or what works in multicultural marketing. As a result, they stop marketing to their multicultural audience altogether. However, it doesn't have to be this way.
In today’s society there is plenty of competition for consumer loyalty, and to capture the hearts and minds of customers you need to consider how people from various cultural backgrounds view your product range and adopt a marketing campaign that addresses all these issues. Think about the social, cultural, and ethnic mosaic of your marketplace. Each segment is unique in its values, aspirations, and motivations. The secret to creating a successful marketing campaign is adapting your message to the beliefs and values of each segment.
- Growing Purchasing Power of Multi-ethnic and Multicultural Groups
Multicultural marketing is a great way to boost revenue. In fact, multicultural consumers are far more likely to purchase products as well as invest in brands or companies that provide services that reinforce their cultural roots. Multicultural marketing is an important aspect of modern marketing because the “new” consumer tends to be resistant to traditional advertising and marketing tactics. If you’re looking to expand your business or gain a larger market share, then you should consider multicultural marketing.
Brands that fail at multicultural marketing fail to understand the mindsets of different cultures. They aren’t able to figure out that a customer’s culture affects their purchase behavior. They don’t even try to learn these cultural patterns. Research shows that the best brands tend to mingle their cultures and customers with less distinction than others do. Relatively, multicultural marketing is more than translating your copy to Spanish or Mandarin. It’s giving customers the opportunity to see themselves in your brand and leaving cultural barriers at the door.
- High ROI Associated With Multicultural Campaigns
Multicultural marketing involves strategies that encompass understanding a culture's values, traditions, celebrations, customs, and languages in order to market a product or service to them. The diversity of the population has challenged the marketing and advertising community to consider marketing that includes all types of communities such as African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, etc. There are no shortcuts. If you want your multicultural marketing strategy to be effective, you need to put in the legwork. This will not happen overnight and will often require a dedicated team of people. Nevertheless, it is vital that your company knows its customer base inside out.
There are numerous campaigns you can create to target a diverse audience. One such tactic is to run ads targeting the Spanish-speaking audience during Hispanic Heritage Month. Another is to allocate a portion of your budget towards partnering with multicultural publications and digital platforms that will enhance your brand's global recognition and visibility. As a result, you can market more effectively to diverse consumers, ultimately developing a deep connection that leads to long-term customer loyalty.