For the third year in a row, Google has opened the doors of its New York office for its annual Multicultural Marketing Forum. Since its inaugural year, Google has expanded the focus of the then-U.S. Hispanic Marketing Forum to include African-American, Asian, and LGBTQ audiences. While the forum now covers more verticals, this event is still a game changer for Hispanic market researchers.
This year’s theme, “Marketing in a Multicultural World,” doubles down on the shifting demographic reality in the United States, informing attendees — primarily marketers and researchers — that multicultural marketing does not operate in a silo. It is a larger paradigm shift that all brands should acknowledge, especially when looking at younger generations such as cross-cultural Gen Z.
Presenting a fusion of proprietary Google research and client case studies, The Google 2017 Multicultural Marketing Forum (#MMF17) was a who’s who of multicultural thought leaders and practitioners.
Margie Bravo, the senior marketing manager at Nestle USA, revealed the secrets of how to get senior-level executives at large organizations to buy into the importance of multicultural audiences for topline growth. To make her case, she spoke from the perspective of the lonely internal champion and provided real-world methods for getting the c-suite to listen and take action.
Nikki Newsome, group director at OMD USA, walked through a compelling case study on how State Farm connects with Hispanics by understanding their audience and being intentional about engaging with them in ways culturally meaningful to them. Actionable research was the foundation of their strategy, and those insights were carried all the way through execution and measurement.
Google also debuted ground-breaking research on Hispanic search trends. They partnered with us to track a representative sample of U.S. Hispanics and non-Hispanics via a passive tracking app on their mobile and PCs. The goal was to understand how U.S. Hispanic search behavior compared to General Market search behavior. One of the key takeaways from the research was that bilingual Hispanic millennials are search superstars compared to other cohorts.
As both an attendee and research presenter, I thought the Google Multicultural Marketing Forum was a big win. By mixing real-world case studies with cutting-edge proprietary research, we were all treated to insights and conversations that reminded us that the multicultural universe is expanding and a reactive approach to those changes results in dated campaigns that fall flat.
Investing in new mindsets and methodologies like those discussed at the forum tests the boundaries of the Hispanic research conversation, and pushes you past them. And that’s what we need to ensure that our industry does not fuel dated methodologies and multicultural marketing models that produce marketing campaigns so out of touch, and most assuredly out of favor, with Hispanic consumers.