Why brands still don’t have a multicultural marketing strategy?
You must have read the numerous articles and studies highlighting the ethnic spending power. Marketers are especially excited about the incredible growth of young demographics, amplified spending power and the superior consumption of mobile and digital amongst the diverse market. However, despite the fact that the multicultural community are the largest growing in terms of numbers and wealth accumulation, they are massively underserved and in cases ignored by brands despite the fact they make up 15-33% of companies growth and rising exponentially in the next decade.
Having worked in multicultural marketing for more than two decades, I have heard over and over again from marketers words and lip service about the importance of this growing consumer group but they still don not feature on their 2016 strategic plans in any meaningful way (this also includes the much hyped government communications too who tend to continue to tick boxes rather than address and communicate with these audiences effectively)
Some brands still believe that one universal message will communicate to all segments and address all niches and there is no requirement for any distinct strategy or separate creative approach to communicate with the digital natives especially those who are born in the UK, yet at the same time they contradict themselves when they run a personalised creative campaign online addressing different audiences.
These efficiencies, however inherently ignore an important fact: ethnic population are greatly influenced by strong and distinct cultural values that guide their thoughts, actions and ultimately, motivations. Implementing a generic approach may save some money, but often leads to a less engaged audience, asking, “This is not aimed at me”.
The recent news about the inability of the Army and other Armed Forces in attracting ethnic recruits is nothing new ad have heard these statements more than 10 years ago and we are still at square one again. This is mainly to the lack of understanding of ad agencies to grasp the differences that exists and government short term vision to tick boxes and do patch up work which is wasting tax payers money on ineffective marketing tactics if any.
Another example is the government strategy failure in engaging with the Muslim population, which had lead to a disconnect and led some Muslim youth born and educated in the UK to abandon their home country and go to Syria to join people and groups they knew nothing about. Extremist Muslim groups seem to have managed to use social media and craft messages that leveraged better cultural understanding to influence people and their families to travel thousands of miles and risk their lives.