Why All Marketing Is Multicultural Marketing

Groups that were once a minority in the U.S. continue to grow as households become more diverse, multicultural and multilingual. Accordingly, the buying power of Hispanic Americans is expected to reach $1.9 trillion by 2023, while Black Americans are on track to reach $1.8 trillion, leading advertisers and brands to target these communities more than ever. Laura Willis, Senior Vice President, Client Director at Canvas Worldwide, recently sat down with MediaVillage for what was akin to a masterclass in "why all marketing … is multicultural marketing."

"There was a movement a few years ago with something called 'total market approach' that … while well-intentioned, was not embraced by the market," Willis recalled. "Instead of looking at inclusivity, agencies were looking for the bare minimum they could do to say they were covering everyone. I've been doing multicultural for a long time and there's always been that 'roller coaster,' as I like to call it, with the census data. Now we're seeing political, social, economic and other factors shifting. It's really exciting."

The one-size-fits-all approach has grown increasingly ineffective in markets and households that grow more complex with each generation. "The most important thing to do is to not paint with too broad of a brushstroke, but really think of who the specific target we can find is and focus on them," Willis explained. "You have to understand and do the research so you know who you're talking to; [then] you can tailor the message accordingly. We see that with meme culture. The more specific the meme, the more universal truth it has."

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