A Year of Multicultural Marketing: 365 Days to Capitalize

Once upon a time, multicultural marketing seemed relegated to “special observances” and holidays. “Those days are long gone – and they should be,” says Pam Jones, president and lead strategist for Culturally Connected Communications. “After all, it seems to tokenize multicultural holidays and, in effect, multicultural consumers when marketing efforts and messaging designed to resonate with them is only emphasized during these select times.” When companies and businesses relegate multicultural marketing efforts to only certain times of the year, they leave Hispanic and African-American customers – two of three rising groups of super consumers according to a recent Nielsen report – underserved and untapped. Here’s why organizations should capitalize on multicultural messaging every day and how they can best connect with their ethnic consumers.

African-Americans have incredible buying power and seek authentic content. Businesses should develop messaging accordingly and bear in mind that African-American consumers want to connect with brands that represent them – not just pay them lip service. African-Americans are also highly engaged with digital content and the mobile platform. Businesses can best connect with this demographic by carefully monitoring consumer behavior, adapting to digital marketing trends, and seeking new, creative methods to tap into African-American consumerism.

Also considered ‘super consumers, 66% of U.S. Hispanics say they pay attention to online ads – almost 20 percentage points more than the general online population. Even more compelling for businesses is the fact that more than half of U.S. Hispanic consumers who use online sources are using their smartphones specifically to gather information before making a purchase. And, 83% use their mobile devices to search online and help guide an in-store purchase in real time. But what do these statistics mean for businesses? Simply put, these numbers provide companies and businesses with an opportunity to connect with Hispanic consumers and provide them with the information they need to purchase their specific brand of goods/services online or in-store.

Online sources and ads influence U.S. Hispanic consumer behavior more than TV, radio, or family. Sixty-six percent of Hispanics online say they pay attention to internet ads and of those who recall seeing these ads, 93% take action on them. Businesses should recognize this high level of engagement as a prime opportunity to capitalize on messaging with specific calls to action and ads designed for multiple platforms and devices.

When brands consider how to engage U.S. Hispanics in a meaningful way, they must first and foremost remember that cultural relevance drives engagement and influence. Not unlike African-American consumers, U.S. Hispanic customers want to feel like a brand seeks to represent them rather than merely acknowledging them. Seventy percent of Hispanic consumers surveyed felt that it’s important for a company’s online content to be culturally relevant when they’re gathering information about a purchase. Furthermore, when an advertisement includes aspects of Hispanic culture, regardless of language, 88% pay attention, and 41% feel more favorable about a brand that strives to be culturally relevant.

Companies should consider the following to make their content more culturally relevant:

  • Entertainment, especially culturally relevant music and video content, is a key way to engage U.S. Hispanics.
  • While not as important as culture, language still plays a vital role in connecting with consumers. Bilingual content is still a key way to engage with target multicultural demographics.
  • Create relevant topics and product features online that are unique to the Hispanic experience. Speak to their cultural sensibilities.
  • Consumers want to see themselves reflected in creative concepts that include the things they care about.
  • Celebrities, TV personalities, and other influencers are a great way to engage U.S. Hispanic consumers.

The bottom line: Organizations shouldn’t gloss over holidays, awareness months, and other special celebrations that have been and remain relevant to multicultural demographics. However, the sooner businesses view every day as an opportunity to market to multicultural consumers, the sooner they will see their profit margins benefit. Furthermore, considering their high levels of engagement, businesses would be wise to tailor their messaging to African-American and U.S. Hispanic consumers via digital marketing. After all, their ‘everyday’ customers are multicultural consumers who want more than just a product – they’re shopping for cultural relevance.

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