All businesses need to know who their consumer is, and in today’s world, it is likely that consumer is multicultural. Spending time and money to reach and understand multicultural consumers is not only a necessary business practice, but a smart one. First, consider how important the multicultural consumer really is.
The Importance of the Multicultural Consumer
Multicultural consumers account for more than 120 million people collectively and, in 2018, had a spending power of $4.1 trillion dollars. [source] Out of this impressive number, the buying power of the U.S. Hispanic population was $1.539 trillion, while African and Asian Americans spent $1.3 and $1.013 trillion respectively. [source] Over the past decade, multicultural shoppers drove 75% of expenditures growth. [source]
Successful brands know that building strong connections with any of their customers is imperative, but it’s especially important to connect with diverse populations. Multicultural marketing can help you increase sales with these populations and obtain what every brand ultimately wants: long-term loyalty.
So what are some ways that you can reach today’s multicultural consumers?
- Respect Their Cultural Identity
Develop a genuine interest in diverse cultures and take the time to form meaningful connections with them. Approximately 75% of African Americans are more likely to consider a brand that reflects their culture positively, and 43% of Hispanic millennials favor brands that include Hispanic culture in advertising [Source: Ipsos Media CT/Google, US, "Hispanic Millennial Study" (2017)]. According to a study by Magna Global, 84% of bilingual Hispanics and 79% of second-generation Hispanics say that their culture impacts who they are today.
Represent diversity in your ads and use your brand to share your customers’ stories and traditions. If your business doesn’t make the effort to connect with multicultural consumers, you are just not relevant to them.
The marketing messages you convey to all customers, but especially those in multicultural communities, should give them a feeling of empowerment. It’s important to include these communities in your marketing messages to provide them with representation. To do this, make sure that your marketing budget includes the necessary funds and initiatives specifically for multicultural marketing.
- Consider Your Message from All Perspectives
Researching your target consumer is just as important as creating content for your website or designing an advertising campaign. In fact, this research should be at the forefront of your business, even before any other task. Especially when it comes to multicultural communities, it’s imperative that you conduct this research objectively and sensitively, without making any assumptions that could have harmful long-term effects. Always try to look at how your business comes across from different perspectives. For example, one of your potential customers who is young and multicultural may see your message differently than one from a previous generation, who might have struggled to adapt culturally when they immigrated to the United States.
In addition, be cognizant of cultural misunderstandings that may inadvertently cause offense or language barriers within your message. You may even consider translating/localizing your copy into languages other than English.
- Understand How Multicultural Consumers Use Search
Knowing what multicultural customers value is a powerful way to understand their cultural identity. For example, mobile searches for food in the Spanish language grew 26% year over year because food, traditions, and family are important in the Hispanic culture. Understand what your customer is searching for and find ways you can influence them in the process. [Source: Google Internal Data March 2019, Nielsen Report, Hispanic Millennial and Groceries] For many of these consumers, ads in Spanish are preferred and usually improve search results. (Google Consumer Surveys, 2017) About 43% of Hispanics either look for information in the Spanish language or for an option to switch to it. [Source: Google/Ipsos. Hispanic Micro-moments 2016,] Discover the Reasoning Behind the Data
When you’re marketing to multicultural communities, it’s important to understand the reasoning behind the data. An example of this is knowing why Asian Americans are 22% more likely than the general population to make an online purchase [source]. The main reason returns to the importance of cultural connections: Shopping online allows them to access products from Asia that may be difficult to find in the United States.[source]. Understand reasoning like this, and your brand can find ways to market to and gain relevance with multicultural communities.
- Be Inclusive on YouTube
Forty-one percent of monthly YouTube users are multicultural, and 44% feel that it is the platform that most represents them culturally (Nielsen/YouTube July 2017). Multicultural audiences expect to see representative and inclusive content. According to Think with Google, “YouTube’s users want to see storylines that reflect their daily experiences and that address issues important to their communities.”
By being thoughtful in your multicultural marketing, the main message you put out to the world will be inclusive of all cultures to ensure that no person feels excluded from your brand. Your customers will feel that they are represented and recognized, which will help your business be relevant to everyone.