As the consumer marketplace becomes more and more diverse, marketing to underserved segments is no longer an option but a necessity.
by Carly Reeves
Multicultural markets continue to grow in population size and in wealth. However, these consumer segments are misunderstood by corporate America, and opportunities are missed to leverage their buying power. With such a large opportunity present, why are so many brands missing the boat when it comes to successfully marketing to underserved consumer demographics?
The problem is that corporate America is not investing the time and resources needed to understand cultural nuances. Brands are using a cookie cutter approach when creating campaigns while missing the vast majority of potential customers. While there is a larger movement toward sensitivity and authenticity in marketing and advertising, there is still a big learning curve. As the consumer marketplace becomes more and more diverse, marketing to underserved segments is no longer an option but a necessity.
Here are some ways your firm can leverage these underserved markets and avoid getting left behind.
Build a diverse marketing team. Build a firm that represents who you are trying to reach. Ethnically diverse firms are 35% more likely to outperform those who are not diverse (McKinsey). This will go a long way in terms of authenticity in your marketing message and campaign storyboards.
Representation matters. When creating advertisements or collateral, consider the diversity represented in the photos. Does it reflect the market that you are trying to connect with? Creating collateral in which members of a community are portrayed positively and as providers for themselves or family is important in building trust for your brand.
Build strong relationships and show up in the community. Meet community leaders and support local nonprofit organizations. Understand the needs and the desires of the community, and where your brand fits in. Show up to events in the community, meet people and have real conversations about what they want for themselves, what they expect from your brand, and even what they don’t like about current solutions available to them.
Translate marketing campaigns and materials. Hiring a native speaker or someone fluent in the language of your market is important. Understanding language differences and nuances will help get your message across more effectively, and build longer lasting brand loyalty. If you’re advertising in languages other than English, be sure to have this language supported in the services you provide. Language demonstrates a value for culture: 42% of Hispanics reported they are more loyal to companies who advertise in Spanish (AdAge).
Understanding that multicultural is the new norm will help you in creating effective campaigns in underserved markets. Focus on people and their communities, and your brand will find success in leveraging multicultural marketing.
Carly Reeves is the vice president for digital advertising agency 2930 Creative. Based in Dallas, the agency
specializes in creating insightful content aimed at millennials and underserved markets.