Put Your Money Where the Growth Is
America's mainstream is changing, marketers take note.
Many political conversations today focus on the rapid, immense multicultural population growth in America. However, what about the business implications? How much does an increasingly diverse America effect direct marketers? Quite a bit, actually, according to a recent report from Geoscape.
Geoscape, a business information and services company, found that 88% of America's population growth is composed of African American, Asian, and Hispanic consumers; particularly Hispanics, who comprise about 18% of the total U.S. population. Hispanics are the fastest growing segment, having grown 11% since the 2010 census to more than 56 million. Multicultural groups now account for 35% of the American population.
“Some companies just aren't bringing this growth into focus,” says Geoscape CEO César Melgoza. “Companies that aren't prioritizing this growth are essentially investing is flat or shrinking markets. That's probably not acceptable to their constituents,” he says. This leaves marketers with an interesting challenge, or rather, opportunity; one that has little to do with political correctness and everything to do with furthering business growth.
Many businesses struggle with prioritizing or realizing a multicultural marketing strategy. Here, Melgoza offers seven tips that will help keep marketers and their organizations remain relevant to the ever changing face of their target consumers.
1. Understand the level of urgency.
“Understand that business is about growth and growth is multicultural. If you invest heavily in general markets, then that may not be the best use of budget.”
2. Measure everything.
“Start with a benchmark. Identify your penetration into a segment now, monitor that penetration, and use that data to improve it.
3. Build a robust business case.
“Link this growth with what the company is doing now to differentiate itself and use it to plan how the company will continue to differentiate itself in the future.”
4. Develop a sound strategy.
“Walmart is an example of a company that absolutely cannot ignore multicultural marketing. They know their growth is coming from these segments and they've positioned their company and products around this.”
5. Address all touchpoints in the operation.
“It's not just about marketing communication, or having cool ads. Develop all channels. How is the call center experience and does it direct consumers to where they need to go? Does the in-store experience match what's been advertised? Does the product itself match what's been advertised?”
6. Scale these efforts according to the opportunity.
“Sure, your multicultural efforts are great in Austin, but what about everywhere else? Businesses like Kroger are scaling multicultural marketing across their retail network because they've seen how successful it is.”
7. Evangelize the organization.
“A lot of the people resistant to this type of change are middle management. The executives get it, the stockholders get it. Some people may think this is a political or ‘do-good' issue. They may not understand that their growth hangs on this. You need to grow, and growth is multicultural.”