By Patrick Culhane3/24/2023

Seven marketing habits to drive multicultural marketing growth

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At the most recent ANA Masters of Marketing conference, Marc Pritchard, the chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble Co., presented the seven habits marketers need to adopt to drive business growth — in particular, multicultural market growth.

“We believe it is the most significant opportunity for the industry, for companies like P&G, for our brands, and for our consumers we serve,” he told the audience. “Accelerating market growth requires superior experiences for all consumers — Black, white, Hispanic, Asian Pacific, Native Indigenous, LGBTQ +, people with disabilities, religions, age, and every other multicultural consumer group.” (Watch a video summary of Pritchard’s talk)

Pritchard credited 50% of P&G’s growth to these seven habits. While your brand may not have P&G-sized budgets, you will still benefit from adopting one or more of the habits he shared.

1. Change your mindset

If you are wondering how to get better at multicultural marketing – STOP. Speak to any Gen Z (born 1997-2013) about digital marketing and you’ll sound out of touch because for them everything is digital. In the same way, talking about multicultural marketing as a distinct category doesn’t make sense when 100% of America’s population growth comes from people who identify as minority groups (Brookings Institute, 2021). Changing your mindset means understanding that multicultural marketing is all marketing. Knowing the diversity of your audience in terms of culture, economics, and preference — and the opportunities those insights present — can be your strategic advantage.

2. Conduct inclusive research

Does your research help you see your customers through a generic lens or does it help you get to the nuances of your customers? If your research methodology looks for a national average and reports one set of results, it may lead to average outcomes. You do not want your brand to have average appeal. Consider research methodologies that help you focus and report on the audiences that offer the greatest growth opportunity. Seek results highlighting the differences in brand attitudes and usage, then make these consumer truths your drivers of success.

3. Represent all your customers

Look at your marketing messages holistically. Do you see the makeup of your audience fairly reflected? Think about where you show your messages. Does it reflect the population you’ll find in cities such as Atlanta, San Jose, or San Francisco? When P&G did this exercise, the finding showed the company was underrepresenting Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Indigenous people.

4. Show relevant consumer truths in your marketing

Build marketing messages that matter. There is no such thing as an average customer — and let’s be honest, you don’t want average customers. You want brand fans. Representation is more than ensuring you have the right mix of ethnicities or members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Representation is showing truths that matter to all your audiences. It is about showing that you understand the cues that matter. For example, when Old Spice, a P&G hair and skin care brand, researched why the product wasn’t resonating with Black audiences, the findings showed that their audience wanted Black men represented as positive role models, not frat boy stereotypes.

5. Diversify your media reach

Are you in the right place to reach groups with the greatest source of growth? Incorporating more minority-owned media into your mix can help move you from average reach to 90%+ of specific groups (based on Pritchard’s stated P&G results). Having your brand be a part of outlets such as Univision, Telemundo, and UniMás, or publications such as Latina, goes a long way toward being a ‘brand for me.’

6. Maximize your resonance

Firing on habits three, four, and five by type of audience will provide maximum resonance with your audience. You are now designing work based on what your audience already knows to create a heightened emotional response. Research by the ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing shows that marketing with resonance creates a 17% bump in sales and a 48% increase in brand trust.

7. Accelerate investment

You may not have the budget to fund a new movie or TV series. However, as you lean into habits one to six, the increased sales and budgets create a virtuous cycle and the opportunity to invest more in minority-focused outlets. Over time, this will position your brand as a genuine partner.

Putting diversity marketing into action

In 2020, Brunner started a journey with Goodwill of North Georgia to help the nonprofit organization appeal to a more diverse and younger customer as the next generation of thrift store shoppers. You can see our latest work with GNG.

At Brunner, we believe your organization can see similar growth from adopting the seven habits Pritchard described because they are the same principles we apply through our diversity marketing practice, Outset.

To find out more about Outset, contact Patrick Culhane, director of business strategy and development, at 412.995.9532 or [email protected].

Patrick Culhane, director of business strategy and development and a UK native, has 21 years of agency experience in account management, planning, and development. He has a BA in Marketing and the Psychology of Communication from De Montfort University and a Diploma in Direct Marketing from The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing. Patrick advocates for diversity marketing as a growth source for brands and co-presented at the Atlanta Business Chronicle and Brunner co-sponsored event, “Growth Through Diversity.” He’s a proud juror at the 2023 ANA REGGIE Awards.