The Pita Group believes in the importance of communicating the right message to the right audience at the right time and the right place. Understanding the cultural communities associated with a brand is critical in communicating the key messages, paying attention to the way they are conveyed and finding the right channels to do so.
The hot topic in all multicultural marketing is the move toward a “Total Market” platform that aims to craft a cross-cultural approach bringing together multiple segments in an overarching strategy. But what is it exactly in practice?
According to Adweek, “multicultural audiences are the fastest growing population segments, wielding increasing power and influence and will have a combined buying power of $3.8 trillion by 2017.”
But in today’s, post-racial, millennial-obsessed, world does culture really matter? We think so. And, we feel it is underleveraged. How? In the sense that it’s an additional path to share a brand’s messaging that resonates with growing audiences. We challenge you to think about culturalizing for future growth and success – to harness the rapidly expanding and shifting multi-hued audiences that are critical to growth in the U.S.
According to PM360 Online, a publication for pharmaceutical marketers, “In the past five years, a pivot has taken place in the world of multicultural marketing, more broadly, to a new lexicon and strategy of integration. The rapid growth of the Hispanic, Asian, African-American and other ethnic populations and the trend toward ethnic ‘minority majorities’ has moved multicultural marketing out of the silos and into the C-suites of many large companies.”
The most successful multicultural campaigns involve delving deeply into the needs of ethnic consumers versus a general-market approach. Even if a general-market strategy leads, cultural nuances must be taken into account. By shifting to a cultural adaptation, for example, Hispanic, and applying it to a second version of a tactic that plays on that culture’s humor can lead to a successful upsell – think Charmin Ultra Strong’s animated beaver who uses too much toilet paper – to communicate the value inherent in the premium–priced product (don’t have to use as many sheets) or Gillette’s campaign to get Latino men to trade up to using a grooming system versus disposable razors.
With statistics dictating that two out of every five U.S. residents will belong to an ethnic minority by 2020, we recommend going beyond peppering diverse images within your advertising. It’s critical to make sure all of your products’ branded materials and content are ready to reach your multicultural audience. Consulting with a general translation firm could be one option but beware of the single stage translation attempts. Expanding your market reach goes beyond literal translation of your brand’s words and needs to integrate the cultural idiosyncrasies that help your target audience feel included. Mishaps have often caused alienation of a particular audience leading to a boycott of an entire brand, not just a specific product offering.
To create a more efficient approach to transforming your marketing material for multilingual audiences, there are several layers of localization to consider. These layers include brand protection; accurate translation and; adaptation of the local voice and conventions.
The bottom line regarding localizing marketing content is that companies can expedite their revenue growth when setting their sights abroad or across cultures. The key is to get past the myth that translation is only about changing words from one language to another and understanding the value cultural competency brings.
Integrating public relations and social media channels into your marketing approach will also point you in the direction of attracting media outlets that target your ethnic audiences in their language. Establishing accounts such as Facebook and Twitter that speak directly to your followers with posts written in Spanish, for example, and accompanying images will encourage likes, shares and result in a lift in organic growth.
It is all part of a strategic approach aimed at inclusivity and a well-thought out plan of execution to increase your brand’s reach. We don’t consider it a “me too” action item on your marketing list but, rather a natural default during a campaign’s planning phase.
Our multicultural team has expertise in language proficiency, cultural competency and travel experiences that lend themselves to successful campaigns that are measurable. If you’re interested in multicultural marketing, connect with us! We’d love to help!