Multicultural Marketing is alive and well and thriving at IMAGES USA. Multicultural Marketing is alive and well and thriving at IMAGES USA. In response to the recent article that appeared in Advertising Age entitled “As Sun Sets on Multi-cultural Space, Execs Must Adapt,” I can only say that the writers don’t have a clear understanding of how to deliver business results through multicultural marketing. For all of you skeptics out there, listen up! Multicultural marketing is a science. There are right and wrong answers, and there are tools that work and tools that don’t work. If you employ the right tools with the right audience at the right time in the right way, you get the results that move the business ahead. However getting that formula wrong could be the source of your problem.
Multicultural consumers demand truth, honesty and integrity from brands, just as they demand from anything else they encounter. They demand a sincere understanding of their cultural, bicultural and multicultural nuances and can easily see through brands that don’t make a genuine effort to connect with them. Multicultural consumers also demand attention in all aspects of their lives. They don’t consume one media vehicle in a vacuum. Gone are the days when the family would sit around one television set to watch one set of programs without changing channels. Now if a multicultural family even watches television together, there is male domination of the remote control device, which results in frenetic channel changing to locate every sports game on at the moment. The mom and kids are most likely telewebbing on their mobile devices, laptops, or iPads. The few things that may bring this group together in front of the televisions are Hispanic novellas or re-runs of The Cosby Show. Multicultural marketing has to go beyond media; the messaging must be relevant enough to spur word of mouth recommendations. And most importantly, the brand must drive an emotional connection with sincere community engagement. If multicultural consumers don’t see consistent, genuine outreach, the game is over.
At IMAGES, we call it cultural disruption. We look at how brands are marketing to general marketing consumers and then ask and answer the questions, “What’s Black About It?, What’s Hispanic About it?, What’s LGBT About It?, What’s Asian About It?” We define a multi-cultural brand promise that we use to connect with consumers via provocative messaging, relevant media and programming, and a genuine and sincere community engagement. We intervene into the lives of our multicultural consumers to pull on their heartstrings to connect with brands.
Research validates what we practice. Millward Brown published a study in November 2010 that demonstrated that targeted advertising incorporating both African American casting AND culturally relevant content is more effective in believability, understanding, relevance, brand appeal, and most importantly, persuasion. In a study from ad-mkt-review.com, it was identified that 38% of Hispanics surveyed found English language ads less effective than Spanish ads in terms of recall and 70% less effective than Spanish ads in terms of persuasion. And 56% of Hispanic adults respond best to advertising when it is presented in Spanish. They also validated our premise that results-driven multi-cultural marketing goes beyond just advertising, “Closing the sale with Hispanics is best achieved with a total communication story: the combination of direct mail, broadcast, and print and events/community engagement.”
We know that our formula works. Our science is proven in business results for our clients. If you believe that multicultural marketing is dead, you are probably not doing it the right way. Call us.