The Changing Face of Multicultural Marketing

Multicultural marketing

If you’re in the business of marketing to different cultures – and, in a way, aren’t we all? – when was the last time you took a look at how your marketing is focused?

For instance, with the continued rise in use of social networks, are you using this medium or are you still in the “scared of social media” camp?

If it’s the latter, where else are you spending your time and energy? Perhaps it’s time to revisit your plan and see how it shapes up next to the latests figures released about multicultural marketing.

The Medium is Still the Message

Perhaps one of the more interesting results is that SEO – search engine optimization – is the #1 platform for targeting multiple cultures. Then again, maybe not – since the “SEO is dead” mantra usually comes from digital or social media specialists with an agenda to sell their services.

But, as you can see from the image below, it’s still the leading choice for multicultural marketing, and it’s still a growing choice as well – up 6% from two short years ago.

ANA Growing Platforms for Reaching Multiculturals
(click image to expand)

As expected, social media comes in at a string second, as the “fad platform” becomes further entrenched in more business tactics and strategies. Mobile is also a strong player which, given that the Latin American phone market, for example, is the third largest in the world.

However, take a look at the biggest growth areas since 2010 – Twitter, webinars, blogs, wikis and location based apps (think Foursquare and Gowalla).

Twitter, perhaps, makes a lot of sense, since its mobile usage makes it more attractive as a target for multicultural marketing campaigns. And you’ll get no argument from me on the strength of blogs as a marketing tool, no matter what market or niche you’re going after.

But the others – especially the wiki approach and webinars – shows that there’s a very different marketplace in front of us than there were in 2010. So what does this mean for your business, if your audience is multicultural?

Choose Your Markets Wisely

If you’re marketing currently doesn’t include most of the options above, you’re already behind. As social and mobile continues to play a huge part of the overall marketing mix, your business needs to be on the platforms your audience prefers.

This is nothing new, of course – even back in the day, you’d choose your markets wisely, from the type of newspaper your advertised in to the radio show you’d buy ad space on.

The difference now is that your audience is more fractured; wants information sooner; and wants it on their terms.

  • If you’re planning any kind of mobile campaign, make sure your target destination is mobile-optimized or, at the very least, mobile-friendly. Otherwise you’re wasting your money and your customers’ time.
  • Webinars are inexpensive, can share a lot of information at once, and offer the perfect opportunity to gather emails for list building and future campaigns. Use them, and benefit from them.
  • Consider creating a wiki on your own website, with the most common questions; solutions to common issues; shared resources, and more. The more information a customer has on your product, the more they’re likely to try.
  • Be smart with location based marketing. Don’t just reward Mayors for checking in – create loyalty programs and time-sensitive offers. Also, cross-sell with other locations if you have multiple stores in the same city. Buy jeans at location A and get a matching top for 50% off if you also check in at location B.

As the ANA report shows, customer mindsets have changed drastically in just two short years. Now the question is, has your business mindset?

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  1. says

    I’m working on a double secret app project that I may one day want to market all over the world…or to people who know me and will download it out of guilt. Either way, there is a lot I need to know about SEO. I’ve long suspected that it is helpful and I should be doing it with my blog. I’ve not tried because I tend to live in fear of things I don’t understand.
    I did make my living in Second Life for a couple of years and was surprised it was on the list. This brings me to my question, is Second Life really being used for marketing?  I was there during the early boom years, but haven’t been back since the golden age. Do you know anyone involved in Second Life?

  2. says

    “Your audience is more fractured; wants information sooner; and wants it on their terms.”
    This is a great description of the way the customer has changed into the social customer.  Even in b2b marketing (my field), this applies.  Everyone is on the go and checking this or that on their smartphone — the question is WHAT are they checking?  Twitter?  Blogs?  E-mail?  All of the above — or maybe something else entirely?  You’re completely right — we need to KNOW (not assume) what types of social our target audience prefers, and then find a way to meet them there (this usually requires additional hiring to do it well).

    • says

      jpalomino I love the fact you picked up on the smartphone question, mate. Like you say, it doesn’t really matter what they’re checking on there; it’s the fact they are checking something. So when a company says mobile doesn’t matter… yeah, right! 😉