Growing multicultural audiences Aside from the potential media backlash, if you choose to ignore connecting with diverse audiences, you are losing money and missing opportunities to grow your customer base. Here are a few powerful strategies to make sure your work is resonating with customers across populations and groups. When brainstorming about the best ways to connect with their target audience, we start with what individuals in that group have in common, and then explore the nuances that give them different perspectives. Host experiential events where your target audience can experience your product or service and give feedback in real time. Look at companies getting it right While the media enjoys focusing on multicultural marketing gone wrong, a number of companies have executed successful and inclusive campaigns that create value for their target audiences. Diversity is core to her work as she advocates for all LinkedIn members, including the non-paying platform users. “If we don’t represent that diversity and give insights to our product team about all the different ways in which our member base is diverse and ‘here is the way in which that translates into different product needs,’ then our product teams will build something for people who look like them,” Julia says. Invite a fresh set of eyes to review your current campaigns with a view to infusing more authenticity and diversity into your marketing messages. Here’s an excerpt from my talk: Author Sydni Craig-Hart covered multicultural marketing in her Content Marketing World presentation, Profitable Multi-Cultural Marketing – Increase Sales Using Diversified Resources to Infuse Authenticity Into Your Campaigns. Since 2006, her team, having worked with over 8,000 small businesses in 79 different industries, has been helping companies to drive engagement with sought-after, growing market segments.
“We’ve missed the mark! We apologize.”
That’s what you don’t want to have to say because your company inadvertently offended a diverse group of your target audience in your new campaign. But, don’t those sentences sound familiar?
How often have you recently heard about a marketing campaign gone wrong?
Then, there was the “See Detroit Like We Do” debacle.
Growing multicultural audiences
Aside from the potential media backlash, if you choose to ignore connecting with diverse audiences, you are losing money and missing opportunities to grow your customer base. Consider this:
- Women’s buying power and influence drives 70 to 80% of consumer purchases. (Source: Forbes)
- African Americans are 14% of the U.S. population and spend $1.2 trillion annually. Further, consumers of color show outsized influence in several key consumer categories and increasingly demand businesses do and be better. (Source: Nielsen)
- Minority consumer markets have grown faster than the buying power of whites since 2000, with the biggest increase from Asian Americans ($986 billion in 2017). (Source: University of Georgia)
When a multicultural campaign is executed correctly, it can result in great success and unite people. The real question is not whether to do it, but how do you design a winning multicultural marketing campaign?
The better you get to know your target audience as individuals and really understand what they think about, what they need, and how they tick, the better you can serve them. As a result, your campaigns will have an empathetic, authentic tone that draws your audience organically to your brand.
Here are a few powerful strategies to make sure your work is resonating with customers across populations and groups.
Remember real people are behind demographics
Even when targeting an audience, such as small-business owners or B2B professionals, it’s imperative to remember that the group is made of people – people with different backgrounds, experiences, and levels of familiarity, and who come with their own stories.
How do you create content that truly connects with and builds a community with a diverse audience, especially in a niche market?
You do this by exploring what makes everyone human, the core desires and needs everybody has. Your audience wants to be heard. Your audience wants to be understood. Big or small, they want to be supported.
For example, we typically work with enterprise companies marketing to small-business owners, particularly minorities and women. Yet most of these marketers have never owned a small business, which comes with its own set of challenges that an enterprise company employee hasn’t faced.
When brainstorming about the best ways to connect with their target audience, we start with what individuals in that group have in common, and then explore the nuances that give them different perspectives.
“The more you engage with customers, the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.” – John Russell, former managing director, Harley-Davidson
Meet your target audiences where they are
Members of your target audience are not all coming from the same place in how they think about your product or service. Getting inside the minds of your ideal customers is critical to your success as a marketer.
Talk to your customers regularly. Invite them into your office. Have conversations with a variety of people in your target audience and learn how your products and services fit into their lives. Pay close attention to:
- What prompts them to go looking for what you sell
- What problems they want to solve
- How they think about your type of business
Discover their language and use it to connect in a relatable way. Think past the product or service you sell and focus on the impact you want to have on them. That’s when you can become an advocate for your audience and a trusted resource to whom they will remain loyal.
Understand that the decision-maker role in one culture may not be the decision-maker in another. Also, different demographics have different viewpoints that influence how they make buying decisions. Men and women make buying decisions differently. People of color and non-minorities view the world differently. Novice users and people with more experience have different levels of comfort and familiarity.
Take your market research to the next level by focusing on the why behind your target customers’ desires. Gather data that gives insight into their feelings and wants. Answer these targeted questions:
- What are the audience members’ fears?
- What holds them back?
- What challenges are they struggling with?
- What keeps them up at night?
- What is their biggest motivator (i.e., their why)?
- What emotional triggers motivate them to look for the product or service you sell?
The better you understand the individuals you want to serve, the easier it will be to speak to what they have in common and address the variances.
As Adele Revella, author of Buyer Personas: How to Gain Insight Into Your Customer’s Expectations, says, “The climate of…