by Gerri Knilans

Not long ago, prospects and customers were a more homogenous group, often located in the communities and surrounding areas in which they lived and worked. Today, with the advances in technology and the growth of a multicultural population, companies are expanding their marketing outreach dramatically, both in terms of geography and customer profiles (including age, gender, race and socioeconomic background).

Multiculturalism Defined

Multiculturalism is a concept that encourages and embraces multiple ideas, beliefs or people from geographical, social, racial and cultural backgrounds. The good news is that multicultural consumers are rapidly growing in scope and purchasing power. In fact, by 2015, 38% of the population (120 million people) had a multicultural background. The numbers are expected to grow by 2.3 million annually, reaching majority status in the U.S. population by 2044, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s a huge demographic to consider. With diversity increasing, it’s no surprise that companies are embracing multiculturalism as a growth strategy.

Methods for Multicultural Marketing

In marketing, that demographic is defined as the multicultural market, while the majority demographic is considered the general market. While many of your messages and initiatives will resonate with both the general and multicultural markets, it’s essential to identify what the growing multicultural population considers important, which communication methods they utilize and what challenges you can address. Here are some suggestions for bringing multiculturalism to the forefront of your marketing and business practices.

Connecting With Multicultural Audiences

  1. Make multiculturalism part of your mission and brand. An organization’s vision and mission start from the top and need to be embraced throughout the company. Make sure your values, brand, messaging, marketing materials and corporate communications reflect diversity and inclusion.
  2. Create learning opportunities. No matter what the size of your company, it’s likely you have multicultural employees in the office. Utilize the resources close to you and create learning opportunities for your staff to better understand the markets your staff represents. Additionally, tap into knowledge from clients, partners or other industry leaders to keep a thorough understanding of a constantly changing marketplace.
  3. Reach further. Multiculturalism is taking the country by storm as the impact of globalization has decreased the distance between countries. If your product or service meets the needs of international markets, don’t limit yourself to your own borders. The internet and digital communication facilitate a wider outreach.
  4. Be accessible by embracing technology. Multicultural markets are everywhere, but it’s important to identify the communication methods that are prevalent and accessible. The multicultural market is largely tech savvy and uses smartphones and other devices at much higher rates than the general population. Therefore, share relevant content via social media, email and other digital platforms. Optimize content for mobile consumption to ensure you are on your target market’s radar.
  5. Consider youth. Millennials and younger individuals are already over 50% multicultural. They are early adopters of technology who value creativity, variety and collaboration. Consider the needs and challenges of the younger demographic to build long-term customer relationships.
  6. Make a total market approach a priority. While it would seem obvious that the general market as the majority should be your priority, the opposite is true. Experts now say the general market now IS the multicultural market. The best way to ensure that multicultural markets are included in your marketing strategy is to simply remove the concept that the markets are two separate entities. Make inclusion a priority. Over time, your marketing strategy will adjust to a fully inclusive “total market approach.

The Value of Diversity

The marketplace changes every day and learning how to adapt and grow with it is a business reality. Agility and flexibility are key. As the consumer market becomes increasingly diverse, companies need to establish meaningful connections with multicultural audiences to remain relevant in a competitive marketplace. Because multicultural consumers are the fastest growing segment in the United States, taking a multicultural approach is no longer an option, but a necessity. Brands that recognize the value diversity brings to their companies and integrate multicultural strategies into their marketing and culture will continue to grow and influence their industries.

See original article at Trade Press Services