Deepak Goel
Guest Article

the 3R's of multicultural marketing: Authentic representation, tailored relevance, and cultural resonance

Our guest author engages in a profound exploration into the worldwide demand and imperative for brands to authentically embrace diversity.

In today's interconnected world, diversity and inclusion are not just buzzwords; they are essential elements for business success. As marketers, our role in shaping brand perceptions and growth is closely tied to how we embrace diversity.

To connect with consumers worldwide, we must use cultural insights and learnings on multicultural consumers including their attitudes towards media buying and marketing practices.

With this blog, I want to explore the power of diversity for marketers—a universal strategy to uncover new opportunities, build strong brand loyalty, and spur business growth.

Imagine you're marketing a skincare product. If your campaign only features one type of skin tone, you're missing out on connecting with potential customers who come from various racial backgrounds. 

Do people featured in your advertising and brand content reflect the diverse population you serve? To determine this, conduct an assessment of the representation of individuals in your advertising from the past year. In a recent evaluation of brands, it was revealed that there seems a complete absence of multicultural representation.

Additionally, only a few ads include individuals who do not identify with broader, overarching audience categories with respect to gender, physical ability and more.

This assessment highlights the need for improvement. It should prompt us to adopt a new practice of ensuring comprehensive, diverse, and inclusive representation of the individuals we serve in all our advertisements and content, striving for a much more proportional representation of socio-cultural groups.

The three R’s: Representation, Relevance, Resonance

1. Representation

This is not a checkbox. It’s about authenticity. Your marketing materials must reflect the diversity of your target audience. Start by ensuring your visuals, messaging, and overall brand identity authentically represent and include all shapes, sizes and colours.

2. Relevance

Representation without relevance is meaningless at best. It is crucial that your audience is accurately represented and portrayed – no stereotypes, no objectification, no diminishing. 

Suppose you're a global fitness app. Your content needs to address different cultural preferences in exercise, nutrition, and wellness to widen the appeal of your app. Tactics like offering workout plans inspired by various cultures or providing recipes that cater to different dietary traditions can make your app feel more relevant to varied groups of audiences. 

3. Resonance

Representation with relevance needs to resonate with your audience with the help of the right programming media. It's time to shift from our approach of trying to resonate with multicultural consumers with programming designed for a broad, national audience.

Your business needs to partner with networks and media channels that cater to specific cultural communities for a stronger resonance and connection.

For instance, if you are a music streaming service, you can curate playlists that celebrate diverse musical genres from around the world by collaborating with local artists, making your platform a global hub for music enthusiasts of all backgrounds.

I firmly believe that by letting go of old habits, we can adopt a mindset where multicultural marketing becomes an integral part of mainstream marketing. This involves a shift towards inclusive research practices and the pursuit of genuinely diverse media outreach for each demographic group.

Cultivating these new habits will empower us to expand our horizons and open up greater opportunities for multicultural growth.

Diversity unleashes global potential

Diversity transcends borders and cultural barriers. It is not limited to a specific region or country but is a universal phenomenon that touches every market.

For instance, research shows that as of 2020, the Asian population in the United States jumped 81% between 2000 and 2019, signalling a significant demographic shift. This trend is mirrored in many other regions worldwide, presenting marketers with a vast and diverse audience to engage with.

The profound impact of authentic support

Consumers worldwide are discerning and demand authenticity from brands. When brands genuinely support and invest in diverse communities, the impact is profound.

A staggering 8 out of 10 diverse consumers feel more positively about brands that live up to their promises of support, while nearly 8 out of 10 feel negatively about brands that fail to do so. This highlights the global importance of demonstrating real and consistent support for diverse audiences.

Inclusive media investment: A global success story

The power of investing in diverse media properties is not limited to a specific market. Close to 8 in 10 diverse consumers globally feel more positively about brands that advertise in targeted media.

Moreover, 4 out of 10 consumers notice ads more when they appear on targeted media channels, signalling the effectiveness of this approach in capturing the attention of diverse audiences worldwide.

Diverse communities: Vocal advocates with global influence

Multicultural consumers are vocal advocates for brands that support their communities, regardless of their location. This advocacy goes beyond borders and manifests through word-of-mouth recommendations and social media endorsements.

Globally, over 80% of LGBTQIA+ consumers express a higher inclination to purchase from brands that advertise within targeted content, while over 50% of AAPI respondents share such efforts with friends and family.

The global economic clout of diversity

Marketers worldwide must recognise the immense economic clout of diverse communities. For instance, the Black American buying power is projected to reach a staggering $1.8 trillion by 2024, underscoring the significance of engaging with diverse audiences.

It is evident that embracing diversity is not just a social responsibility but a lucrative business decision that can unlock untapped market potential.

Building inclusive global brands

Inclusion is a holistic endeavour that must extend throughout a brand's operations. By promoting diverse leadership, creating culturally sensitive workplaces, and forging partnerships with businesses that share similar values, marketers can create truly inclusive global brands.

As marketers, we have a unique opportunity to lead the charge in embracing diversity as a global imperative. By tapping into the insights and statistics from diverse audiences worldwide, we can create impactful strategies that resonate with consumers across borders.

Embracing diversity is not just an option; it is an essential aspect of driving business success.

(Our guest author is Deepak Goel, Founder and CEO at Drizzlin Media)

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