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Marketing in a Country of Cultures

Currently there are 15 states beyond the tipping point and 8 others that are very close. What is “tipping point” you ask? It’s the point where the majority becomes the minority. We are a country that is very diverse culturally and continuing to grow in that direction. Recent Census Bureau projections show that in 2043/44 the US population will be less than 50% non-Hispanic whites. So now days when marketing products or services we need think away from whom we’ve always thought of as our target audience.

At a recent event Hallmark’s Monic Houpe explained their 3-pronged strategy on how they market to different cultures.

  1. Cultural Specificity- Solutions that are targeted to a specific culturally identifiable group. Take a good look at the entire environment and find a connection to the target audience and be authentic when delivering the message. You can’t just cut a white person out of an ad, plug in a Hispanic person and think that you’ve successfully achieved cultural marketing.
  2. Multicultural Relevance- Solutions with heightened relevance to non-white consumers that are driven by ethnic insight, but appeal to the total market. Communicate with individuals in your network of a different culture, see what they think, and ask what they like. Using something that is popular with other cultures may spin off to be the next mega hit. Any one up for a Lime-A-Rita?
  3. New Universal Truth- Solutions based on mainstream principles, thoughts, and traditions that are mostly true for many people. Create a campaign or identity and make it real. Coca Cola does a great job at this. Their “Brotherly Love” campaign tells a brief story about two brother’s relationship. There’s some bullying and conflict but in the end there’s love, a Coke, and a smile.

Leveraging core values is paramount to having success in multicultural marketing campaigns.

  1. Show the target audience views of community and family. Togetherness hits home with everyone.
  2. Provide an optimistic outlook. No body buys a boat because they see how much money and maintenance they require. Purchases are made because boat companies project great times on the water with friends and family.
  3. Empower people: Yes, I can help stop hunger by making this donation!
  4. Represent them: People like to see their culture being integrated in media. Hey that person looks like me, talks like me, and acts like me. If they like it then I should try.

Now that you have the strategy and how to make a cultural marketing campaign successful, here’s the “but wait there’s more”.

  1. Get your leadership behind you and get them to loosen the purse strings. You need to have an adequate budget in order to run an effective campaign.
  2. Be realistic when setting the bar on success. This will help your self-esteem and your relationship with management.
  3. Know where you have a right to be successful. Stay in your sandbox!
  4. Cultivate and maintain a consistent relationship with your consumer. One hit wonders work in radio, not marketing.
  5. Network with cultural experts in other organizations. You may step out of your sandbox for this.
  6. Develop a well-rounded approach from digital media to community the in-store experience. Yes I said digital media; believe it or not people are on the web.
  7. Finally, show your culturally diverse consumers you see and hear them. You care about the things they care about. And that you are stronger with them than without them. Refer back to paragraph one if you think you don’t need other culture’s support.

You’re welcome and good luck!





Why do I work at AWG? “Having grown up locally, my second job as a teenager was actually at Price Chopper on 78th and State Ave., also throughout the years I have known many family and friends that have worked, or are still employed with AWG. Given all my exposure to AWG I have seen a stable, growing, company that cares about it’s employees. The qualities which I hold highest from an employer.” -Bryan