Multicultural Market Segments Will Drive Growth in 2019 and Beyond

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Recently I had the pleasure of attending the 20th annual Multicultural Marketing and Diversity conference of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) in Miami, FL. Over the many years I’ve attended this conference, it’s been a pleasure to see how multicultural marketing has been gaining industry-wide prominence and visibility as a conference topic.

This year, I was delighted to see that multicultural marketing and diversity were top-of-mind among the many marketing executives in attendance. This was music to my ears. Not only because multicultural is my passion and a topic that our leadership at Captura Group has been blogging about for over a decade and a half, but also because it is a recognition of the demographic, social, and economic reality all around us. As PRNewswire reported a mere few weeks before the ANA conference, Multicultural is the mainstream, and it is where brands need to be investing. Here I’d like to share five key takeaways from the conference and what they mean for us as marketers.

1. Growth cannot happen without multicultural
Diverse and inclusive marketing practices have been officially recognized as an imperative for growth, with many stating the majority of all of their future brand growth will come from multicultural segments.

The trendlines are clear: multicultural segments are growing. By 2060, Hispanics will represent almost 30% of the U.S. population. With 72% recent growth, Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing segment. At $1.8 trillion in purchasing power, African-Americans are the trendsetting segment among young consumers. And if projections that go 20+ years out are not enough to motivate marketers to invest today (after all, many of us plan to hopefully be retired by then), consider the fact that as early as 2014, the multicultural future has already arrived in many states and major metropolitan areas. The multicultural population is currently over 50% in Hawaii, District of Columbia, California, New Mexico and Texas, with Nevada, Maryland, Georgia, Arizona, Florida and New York approaching majority multicultural status. Nearly all 25 of the most populated counties in major DMAs like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Miami are already a multicultural majority. Because these geographies tend to be imperative for helping a brand achieve its overall growth objectives, a multicultural marketing strategy that covers these areas – whether through a national or localized level – also becomes imperative.

2. Multicultural needs to be fully integrated at all levels
Multicultural insights and strategy should be integrated into core strategy from inception to execution to measurement. Briefing MC agency partners months after the general market brief has been created will not produce effective results.

The operative word here is “integration” – of all stakeholders from the beginning. Multicultural insights and expertise need to be baked in to any strategy, rather than added post-strategy lest multicultural be relegated to tactical and ineffective executions that jeopardize growth.

3. Advertisers must right-size their investments
Multicultural segments represent close to 40% of the U.S population, yet, 50-60% of advertisers spend less than 1% of their ad budgets to target multicultural audiences.

There needs to be parity between your organization’s multicultural audience and its investment, if you wish to attain any growth. This is where the rubber meets the road!

4. Diversity inside and out
Effective multicultural marketing goes beyond the campaign. It’s about leveraging internal and external experts who also reflect the communities being targeted and who can uniquely identify the best influencers, platforms, etc. for engagement.

Simply developing in-language or in culture advertising campaigns is not enough. Leverage the depth and breadth of what your entire multicultural ecosystem has to offer: build the right team, reach out to the right influencers, leverage the audience-appropriate tools, etc. It’s about leaning into diverse human capital for competitive advantage.

5. Multicultural engagement comes from human interactions
The best multicultural marketing is about humanizing the brand for growth, taking into account deep empathetic and emotional needs of our consumers in order to drive brand relevance and business impact.

This is all about human and emotional connections. While demographics, online platforms and other tricks in your toolbox will help you reach multicultural segments, “reaching” does not automatically mean “connecting”. Your brand will only engage through authentic, human, shared values.

We hope you can use these five takeaways to drive your 2019 growth plans and incorporate them into your strategies starting today.

Happy holidays from everyone at Captura Group!

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