In a time filled with so much uncertainty, one thing seems to be a definite: America’s ethnic culture is changing. Naturally, this means that America’s teenagers are changing along with it. With one of the most desirable audiences for marketers becoming more and more ethnically diverse, it’s important to reach out to as many teens as possible. Multicultural marketing is imperative for the current generation. Yet, at the same time, marketers have to be careful when toeing the fine line that is appealing to all people while trying not to fragment groups based on stereotype. Here are a few tips on how to appeal to today’s teen on a multicultural level.
Advertise Multi-culturally through Social Media: Of course, social media is imperative to teen marketing today. (Any marketer who doesn’t know this is in serious trouble!) And what is most interesting about social media is that it appeals to all teen demographics. A recent study by Georgetown University and Ogilvy PR Worldwide found that 30% of African-Americans and 39% of Latinos said that they were “more likely to support a cause or social issue online than offline.” That was compared with 24% of Caucasians who said the same. When Barack Obama was elected in 2008, many praised him for his brilliant use of social media. But what tended to go overlooked was his ability to speak to all cultures in one voice. He managed to be black, white, Hispanic, and Asian – all at the same time.
Be the Video Game Master: Many advertisers have already tried to experiment with reaching out to teens through product placement in video games (especially those revolving around sports). Yet, maybe it’s time to reassess who is playing these video games and, therefore, what we are advertising. According to The Kaiser Family Foundation, African-Americans between the ages of 8 and 18 play video games 30 minutes more per day than Caucasians. The same goes for Latinos, who play an average of 10 minutes more. Also, keep in mind that taking advantage of the video game market does not have to end with product placement. There are plenty of accessories that go with being a gamer, such as “cheat magazines” and video game websites.
Go Where They Go; Eat Where They Eat: It goes without saying that you want to market your product where teens are going. For example, at fast food establishments. Restaurant chains such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell are some of the prime spots to find teenagers just hanging around. The diversity that can be seen at these places is incredible. Of course, it may be a little challenging to advertise within the restaurants themselves, but aiming to market right around them is worthwhile.
Once again, the best thing to do is avoid those stereotypical lines and look at ways to reach a variety of teens as a whole, rather than as separate pieces of a big puzzle. As cultures begin to blur and interact with each other, finding ways to have a conversation with everyone at the same time will become vital.