Multicultural Marketing in 2020: Strategy, Best Practices, Campaigns, & Examples (2023)

Are you ready to deep-dive into granular consumer segments and outline an effective multicultural marketing strategy? In this article, we discuss:

  • What is multicultural marketing
  • Five best practices for success in this space
  • Examples of 2019’s best multicultural marketing campaigns

Multicultural marketing opens new roads for brands to engage with their consumers outside the “majority audience.” It targets specific consumer segments based on ethnic and socio-cultural patterns, building a deeper emotional connection that increases the chance of a conversion.

Studies suggest that there is an immense possibility for multicultural marketing this year. A 2019 report by ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM)Opens a new window found that multicultural consumers make up nearly 40% of the U.S. population. Yet, only 5.2% of the total advertising and marketing spends is directed toward them.

So how can you get started with a multicultural marketing strategy in 2020? Before we delve deeper, let’s quickly look at what this term means.

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What Is Multicultural Marketing? A Quick Definition

Wikipedia calls it “the practice of marketing to one or more audiences of a specific ethnicity – typically an ethnicity outside of a country’s majority culture, which is sometimes called the general market.” Adding to this definition, multicultural marketing urges brands to look deeper into their target consumer demographic and outline specific motivations, aspirations, and purchase drivers.

Marketers need to stay away from stereotypes Opens a new window when outlining a multicultural campaign. Your strategy should display a genuine understanding of consumer needs and their roots in their cultural/socio-economic background.

(Video) Understanding Best Practices in Multicultural Marketing

In fact, the best multicultural marketing campaigns aim to build empathy (as we’ll soon see) – without directly pushing a product or a service.

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5 Best Practices for Creating a Multicultural Marketing Strategy

For global brands, multicultural campaigns are an excellent way to build relationships with localized audiences. Even smaller companies can benefit by strengthening their value proposition with the unique knowledge they have about different cultural groups.

Here are a few best practices to keep in mind when launching a multicultural campaign:

1.Analyze data pouring in from your CRM and DMP platforms

Your customer relationship management (CRM)Opens a new window solutions and data management platforms (DMPs)Opens a new window will have a vast repository of data in different consumer segments. By combining this data with advanced analytics, you can not only identify targetable segments but also go one step further. Are there correlations between a specific CRM channel and a cultural group? Is there a preferred time of day for engagement? Is one key product trait responsible for repeated conversions?

CRM and DMP data will answer all of these questions and more. This lays the foundation for an informed multicultural marketing strategy.

2.Bolster your data insights with third-party research and focus groups

Internal CRM and DMPs are limited to a closed picture of consumer sentiment and preferences. In other words, it cannot highlight opportunities outside your existing customer base. Therefore you need third-party research, as well as A/B experiments with focus groups.

Look for customer insights across different cities and regions relevant to your targeted cultural group. Next, conduct A/B testsOpens a new window to figure out which messaging, product traits, and visual elements resonate with this group.

(Video) Multicultural Marketing Strategies

This best practice will bolster your data with the all-important human perspective.

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3.Plan your channel selection and activation calendar carefully

The success of your multicultural marketing strategy depends on the channel you choose. For instance, print media might be better for a campaign directed towards consumers in the 60-75 years age bracket. On the other hand, interactive platforms like Snapchat or TikTok are better suited to Gen Z.

Again, your channel selection should be guided by research. For example, in 2019, Neilsen found Opens a new window that African American consumers aged 35+ “surpass the total population in their age group by 2% for smartphone ownership,” – indicating that mobile campaigns would probably be more effective for this group.

The activation calendar must factor in engagement timelines, preferred day of the week, and engagement frequency for your targeted consumer.

4.Ensure diversity and inclusion in the decision-making process

This is a critical best practice to remember when launching a multicultural campaign. A message directed towards one consumer group shouldn’t be perceived as offensive to another. The decision-making team requires contributions from multiple voices across gender, age, economic, cultural, and locational divides.

In case the existing decision-makers are not adequately diverse, we recommend partnering with an agency that could provide an objective bird’s eye view. This will ensure your content isn’t close to any kind of stereotype or cultural prejudice.

(Video) Tackling Multicultural Marketing Like a Pro Webinar

5.Analyze constantly and re-launch at the right moment

Multicultural marketing shouldn’t be a one-off strategy. A focus on specific cultural groups and their needs can be a consistent theme across your brand’s identity, reinforcing recall for every audience segment.

Analyze campaign performance in different locations and varying languages to pinpoint problem areas. Don’t be afraid to tweak the message slightly and relaunch when the opportunity presents itself. It is advisable to embed analytics across the entire omnichannel landscape to analyze performance in near real-time. This will give you accurate and actionable reports.

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Take Inspiration from Some of the Best Multicultural Marketing Campaigns of 2019

Over the years, every leading brand from Coca-Cola to Unilever, have launched multicultural campaigns. We looked at some of the most impressive examples of multicultural marketing to bring you the top campaigns.

Here are three award-winning campaigns from 2019 that struck a chord:

1.Nike’s Dream Crazy

At ANA’s Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference 2019, Nike’s two-minute video featuring 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other athletes, such as LeBron James and Serena Williams, won the “Best in Show” awardOpens a new window . It encourages viewers to pursue their dreams against all odds. Take a look at the impact it made:

Coverage of the Dream Crazy Campaign

2.Chevrolet’s “Discover the Unexpected”

Chevrolet partnered with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) to portray how students from the African American community could find meaningful careers in the field of journalism. NNPA selected six students for scholarships; each student got access to a Chevrolet vehicle to find new stories and capture their experience for social media sharing.

(Video) Multicultural Marketing & Advertising

The campaignOpens a new window was named the Multicultural Online/Interactive Campaign Mosaic Award Winner in 2019.

Six Students “Find New Roads” and Explore Career Pathways in the 2019 Chevy Blazer

3.SunRice’s “The Rice Breaker”

Australian FMCG company, SunRice, created this award-winning campaign for the 2019 Chinese New Year. It depicted a Sino-Australian family sharing a meal with their Australian neighbors, finding common ground over a bowl of rice. The campaign was named the “Campaign of the Year – Business”Opens a new window at the NSW Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards.

Example of Fostering a Sense of Inclusivity and Breaking Cultural Barriers Over a Meal

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Closing Thoughts: What Lies Ahead in 2020?

These examples of multicultural marketing indicate the vast possibilities in this space. In 2020, brands can deep-dive into their existing consumer segments and find more meaningful ways to strengthen these relationships. For marketers interested in this space, the ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference is scheduled for November of 2020, in Orlando, Florida.

Another event to watch out for is the upcoming multicultural popup by HBO, TNT, and TBS at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24-26, 2020.

With multicultural audiences projected to grow by 6.3% this yearOpens a new window (paywall), it’s an excellent time for brands to invest in culture-specific campaigns and strategies. By keeping these five best practices in mind and taking inspiration from the best multicultural marketing campaigns out there, brands can pave the way for success in 2020.

(Video) Exploring the World of Multicultural Marketing with HBO

Do you have a useful tip to share on multicultural marketing? Tell us on LinkedInOpens a new window , FacebookOpens a new window , or TwitterOpens a new window .


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