Because consumers are paying closer attention than ever to how brands embrace diversity and inclusion, it can feel overwhelming to create a new way for your marketing and customer communication campaigns.
As you aim to connect with your audience with multicultural marketing, make sure you don’t overthink it.
At the end of the day, multicultural marketing is marketing.
Your audience is more diverse than it’s ever been, so your outreach needs to reflect that. And that’s what multicultural marketing really is.
Buyers Are Becoming More Diverse
Gone are the days of homogeneous marketing messages and imagery that no longer speak to the consumer market at large.
In fact, multicultural consumers make up 40% of the total population in the U.S.
However, studies continue to show that corporations are not committing sufficient resources to reach this audience. Out of the total advertising and marketing spending, investments in multicultural media make up only 5.2%.
This is a huge oversight on the part of so-called “customer-centric” brands because now, consumers who are ethnic and cultural minorities have a buying power of $3.9 trillion. That means large companies, including yours, could be missing out on the opportunity to connect with thousands, if not millions, of potential customers.
Take note, 34% of respondents in an Adobe survey have stopped buying from brands if their advertising didn’t represent the respondent’s identity. On the contrary, 64% of multicultural consumers took some sort of action after seeing an ad that they felt was diverse or inclusive.
It makes sense that your team revamp their marketing strategy and messaging to consider these diverse groups.
Demystifying Multicultural Marketing
Multicultural marketing is a marketing strategy that connects to one or more specific ethnic and cultural groups. It involves acknowledging the differences in culture and ethnicity within a target market and developing a campaign that will resonate with those groups.
This means that marketers who want to reach diverse groups must really understand the targeted group. It’s not just about checking off the right boxes or dropping in some stock photos. If there’s any angst or disconnect, work through that by inviting diverse perspectives to the table to bridge the gap.
Create an internal or external focus group composed of people from a multicultural background and test your messaging or marketing visuals on them.
Tap into your UX or CX teams to provide critical input about where users/customers are dropping off in the sales funnel and why. Host a client appreciation event and solicit direct feedback from your customers. Most importantly, stay focused on standing up for your customers, what they want, and what they need.
Create a Message that Resonates
Successful multicultural marketing is all about creating a message that resonates with people belonging to different cultural and ethnic backgrounds within your target audience.
While perfection isn’t always possible to achieve, consistency and genuine effort go a long way toward creating compelling campaigns that resonate with your audience. Here’s what you can do to get started with multicultural marketing:
Start with Persona Creation
Multicultural marketing starts with persona creation, just as you would with any smart marketing strategy.
- The first step is to take a closer look at the data that you already have on hand to learn more about your customers. You can get this data from your customer relationship and data management platforms. Use this to uncover details like age, location, interests, spending power, and shopping patterns, which will help you to identify targetable segments as well as customer preferences.
- To paint a more comprehensive picture, supplement the existing data with information from outside sources. Interviews and focus group experiments are usually the best way to do this as they allow you to hear directly from the audience. So you’re no longer going by gut instinct or assumptions. Third-party research is also essential to bolster your existing data.
- Here’s where it gets a little different from conventional marketing — make sure you involve a diverse group in your interview/focus group experiments and strategic planning. To create accurate buyer personas in multicultural marketing, you need to get buy-in and approval from that diverse group.
Research the Best Channels
Your choice of channel plays a vital role in your multicultural marketing strategy. It doesn’t matter how inclusive your message is if you don’t deliver it through the channels that matter.
For instance, audio streaming is very popular among Black Americans. Nielsen found that Black Americans spend more time per week than the total U.S population streaming audio. So a campaign involving radio or podcasts could be a great way to reach this group.
But will the same campaign be effective in reaching people from other racial backgrounds? Conduct research to inform your channel selection and make sure you’re choosing the content formats that your target audience prefers.
Create a Powerful Message
Now, we’re getting to one of the most critical steps – crafting your marketing message. As I mentioned earlier, you’ll need to create a message that will resonate with the personas you want to reach.
Be careful, though — something that you intended to be inclusive could end up being stereotypical or prejudicial toward a certain culture. This is why it’s so important to consider diverse opinions throughout the process and prior to launch.
Assign a team with various backgrounds and experiences to develop your marketing message, for starters. And make sure you involve a diverse group of key decision-makers. Testing the message on a diverse focus group will help you experiment and refine the message.
Analyze the Results
Multicultural marketing should be at the core of all your marketing strategies going forward; not just a one-off effort. Take the time to analyze how your first campaign performs and use those insights to inform and improve your strategy going forward.
You can use this analysis to identify any problem ideas that need addressing. This will reveal opportunities to tweak your current message or craft more compelling content in the future.
Remember: It’s Not All About Race
Diversity is not just about race. It also includes traits that are based on location, age, gender, academic or income level, varying abilities, background, experiences, and more. Understanding what moves, motivates, and pains your audience is important to truly connect with a demographic or cultural group.
Ultimately, you want to embrace multicultural marketing, operating from a place of wanting to advocate for your customers and what matters to them.
If your current team doesn’t include individuals with the skills and experience needed to connect with your target audience, bringing in a team that genuinely understands diversity and inclusion can help. With more than 15 years of guiding businesses of all sizes in diversity and inclusion, Smart Simple Marketing can help you increase market share, deepen engagement, and inspire loyalty among your customers. Contact us at 510.601.0470 for a consultation today.