Building A Multicultural Marketing Strategy That Works
Today’s marketers, recognizing that multicultural audiences in the UK represent £300bln opportunity, are seeking new ways to engage and define, understand and target those communities. Historically, clients and their agencies argued for general consumer marketing, which is meant to speak to the total market. On the other hand, with the growth of digital and personalisation that argument is not holding water anymore and therefore the need to target specific groups and interests makes much business sense. which by default has basically become a catchall for non-white audiences.
Marketers know multicultural matters, but budgets don’t yet reflect reality
In our report on Multicultural Britain, the report pointed out that Black, Asian, and Hispanic consumers collectively control £800 Billion in buying power, and that in the coming decades those groups will combine to create a non-white UK majority. Given those broader trends, you have to ask why advertising budgets allocate tiny budgets to multicultural advertising, given the growth in population and purchasing power of those audiences?
There is no doubt that marketing has made baby steps over the past decade toward greater inclusiveness. In fact, many brands do not enjoy significant social media and sentiment lift because they do not cast for diversity.
Marketers should be careful to avoid making the mistake of assuming that diversity in their ads means they can or should shrink their multicultural budgets or do away with them altogether. Such a mistake might look like progress on the surface but could certainly end up being a step in the wrong direction.
Speaking to multicultural audiences means embracing nuance
In marketing circles, multicultural can mean any ethnic or racial group, but within those groups there are intricate levels of nuance.
Digital, however, is a different story. By using the rich data that digital provides, marketers can now tap into something deeper and much more powerful than an ad that’s in Hindi or Polish and includes a diverse face. After all, the music we choose and the media we cherish aren’t just preferences, they’re proven signifiers of identity.
As marketers, we are at a crucial moment in time where we no longer have to adhere to the constructs of a legacy model that divides the population into demographics. Today we have the opportunity to follow the audience data to better understand a culture that reflects the lived reality of the people we want to reach — and when we do, the results will truly be a beautiful mosaic.