As a reflection of the changing dynamic of American consumers, marketers are making greater efforts to reach multicultural consumers, particularly through the use of digital and mobile media.
According to a new survey from the Association of National Advertisers, 87% of marketers are either increasing or maintaining their spending levels on multicultural media compared with last year. At the same time, these marketers are increasing their multicultural dollars on newer media platforms such as Web sites, online ads and search engine marketing.
On average, budgets for multicultural marketing across these so-called “newer media” will increase 9% in 2012, according to the ANA. More than half of the marketers (56%) said they would achieve this growth by reallocating funds from their general market budgets, while 22% said they’re transferring money from the broader multicultural budget into these newer media.
At the same time, there has been little change among the platforms that have been used to reach multicultural consumers. The most popular platform, cited by three-quarters of marketers, is a corporate Web site, followed closely by online ads on third-party Web sites and search engine marketing (both paid and organic). However, platforms such as mobile, viral video, blogs and social networks are among the fastest growing platforms.
As with traditional marketing, multicultural marketers are still concerned with the ROI they’re receiving from these newer media. Only five of the 18 platforms (corporate Web sites, paid search, mobile, email and organic search) were perceived as highly effective by more than half of the marketers surveyed.
Nearly 70% of the marketers surveyed said they have a dedicated internal team to handle multicultural initiatives. More than half (52%) said they use an external multicultural marketing agency, while 40% said they rely on a general market agency for their multicultural initiatives.
“To me, the implication is that although I do believe more marketers could take advantage of multicultural marketing specialists, as the multicultural market morphs into the general market, as is happening more and more, more general marketing agencies will be handling multicultural marketing,” Bill Duggan, ANA group executive vice president, tells Marketing Daily. “[Similarly], more and more multicultural agencies are doing general market work.”