Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Multicultural marketing and social media: new challenges, opportunities

Multicultural marketing has become more popular in recent years as society has become more diverse. It also has become increasingly profitable, when done properly.
Communities are diverse and “one size fits all” no longer works. All marketing has moved toward greater diversity to the point of customization. And within ethnic communities, such segmentation and specialization continues.

Among Hispanics, for example, not every “Latino” speaks Spanish. Similarly, there are hundreds of stories about mistranslations and the use of the wrong dialect. The need to focus on specific ethnic communities, and subgroups within a particular ethnicity, is greater than ever.

The numbers show that interest in multicultural marketing continues to grow. According to the “DMA Techniques and Best Practices Report,” Latinos will account for all net population growth in the U.S. during the next decade. Currently, one in two marketers market to English- and Spanish-speaking markets; 20.8 percent are English only, while 19 percent have English and Spanish presentations.

Further, 84.5 percent of those who market in Spanish to Hispanics do not create separate versions based on dialect, and two of three marketers do not create separate versions for different U.S. locations. More than 90 percent of companies that market to Hispanics use non-catalog direct mail, and 51.2 percent use telemarketing. Three out of four Hispanic marketers collect data on language preference/proficiency (77.3 percent), age (75.8 percent), and gender (74.2 percent). These numbers continue to increase and the trend line points upward.

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