Reaching Multicultural Audiences

By:
Cristy Clavijo-Kish

Multicultural audiences are continuing to grow in size and influence. For example, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 46.9 million Hispanics in the United States, which represents approximately one in six Americans. Further, a 2008 Pew Hispanic Center report said Hispanics have accounted for more than half of the overall population growth in the United States in the current decade, a significant pattern for the nation’s largest minority group, which currently comprises 15 percent of the total U.S. citizenry.  And The Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia projects that U.S. Hispanic purchasing power will reach $1.2 trillion by 2012, nearly three times the growth of the overall national rate.

Clearly, it is becoming increasingly important to target multicultural communities. So as communicators – how are we going to speak with these audiences? How are your messages going to be adjusted to really resonate in the daily lives of multicultural consumers? Some companies are well grounded on this highway and have understood the importance of adjusting their messaging for years. Examples include P&G, General Mills, McDonalds and Verizon. But are most marketers really ready?

The investment in multicultural marketing and campaigns should not solely focus on special times of the year such as Black History and Hispanic Heritage months, but should be year-long, ongoing programs that address a community’s needs. We have said- “dedicate dollars to these communities and the return will come with strong brand awareness and support.” Now it seems that if marketers don’t see that the mainstream is multicultural- your messages will fall short.

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