Postponing or avoiding the demographic population shifts that are occurring within consumer markets is a big mistake for corporate marketers who wish to capitalize on the rapidly growing multicultural market segments. Businesses that effectively market to various multicultural demographics will capitalize on the missed opportunities of their counterparts in the competitive economic climate. If your company has not yet assembled a multicultural strategy, or if your current strategy requires a refresh, here are 5 quick tips to consider on how to perform effective multicultural marketing research!
Assemble online focus groupsMulticultural audiences have taken the lead when it comes to adopting social media usage and mobile technology. Connecting with a multicultural demographic online with the use of either real time or bulletin board strategies is most effective when researching product or advertising concepts. However, recent studies showed that consumers are being engaged with as much as 11 points before making a decision to purchase. A company must now educate and engage with a customer all the way through the sales process. Since the sale happens before the sales process, businesses have to become the influence for the buying experience. This can happen by creating a multicultural marketing campaign and knowing what the customers want. Implementing online focus groups is a particularly useful tool for probing more sensitive, personal topics and verifying quantitative surveys. McDonalds is a great demonstration of how online focus groups were used to gather holistic information about the Latino population prior to the launch of their Spanish language advertising campaign. Not ignoring customer communications platforms allow businesses to learn the customer's preferences and behaviors. This can lead to a fuller understanding about the needs and target products for a community.
Partner with a corporate researcher
When businesses are not equipped to conduct extensive multicultural research due to budget or workforce constraints, partnering with a professional whose focus it is to develop and implement multicultural solutions is recommended. Whether the business is interested in geographic targeting or understanding multicultural private marketplaces, structured solutions and platforms exist, designed to direct marketing focus. Finding researchers who love to learn, are good at finding who's written about the topic, and then are able to condense and distill the information is important when looking for a good researcher. These are they people who will not only get you the information you need, but will be able to actually research what is needed and pull all relevant ideas out.
Analyze and apply existing dataWhen businesses experience budgetary concerns that prevent them from implementing effective multicultural marketing research, analyzing existing data is a cost effective method. In today's world, digital data is everywhere. Many times the data is there that is needed is out there in some form. Finding and analyzing this relevant data can give insight into a community's behaviors and thoughts. For example, Pew research shows that African Americans use Twitter more than their white or Hispanic peers. The Nielsen Company conducted a study on multicultural shifts that indicated that between the years of 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic market experienced a 43 percent growth rate. More recently, they have published The Multicultural Edge, which analyzed, in depth, the ways in which multicultural shifts are transforming the mainstream markets. Current data is available on local and global levels, enabling the scaling of marketing plans. Analyzing existing research numbers and creatively applying the research to marketing strategies is an effective and low cost way to launch a multicultural marketing campaign.
Leverage cultural celebrationsUnderstanding the holidays and celebrations of other cultures allows for the "holiday shopping season" to extend year round by appealing to multicultural festivals. Researching diverse holidays and the locations of celebrations will position businesses one step closer to effective marketing strategies. When businesses break from marketing to the mainstream holiday crowds and begin to develop multicultural niches that encompass celebrations such as Brazil's Carnival and the Chinese New Year, marketing opportunity expands significantly. A business asking itself if the marketing campaign minimized or missed out on important the cultural celebrations of the target audience can help create a strategy that speaks to the customer on their terms, not the marketers.
Be authentic in executionWhen implementing multicultural marketing research strategies, it is important to maintain a consistent message throughout. Creating online platforms and content that is produced in Spanish, rather than simply developing Spanish language advertisements that redirect to an English language platform is preferred because it delivers a more authentic message. It also helps create an interactive conversation with the community. This is something that many marketers have not tried before. By creating a platform that is authentic and speaks to the needs and desires of a community, you are bringing forth a conversation that fosters communication and doesn't just push messages out in front of customers. Using information from focus groups and existing research to understand the preferences of each demographic in order to deliver an authentic experience will be the difference between a successful campaign and one with poor results. By understanding the life and culture of the target individuals, businesses can better create a multicultural message that is authentic and receptive.
As 2016 approaches, marketers and brand champions must learn to embrace multicultural shifts through research and the implementation of fresh marketing strategies.
Don't be afraid to try something new — your competition already is!