Industry Survey Results 2014

Executive Summary

Joinville created the multicultural marketing industry’s first survey on trends and demographics on the marketers moving this industry forward. 234 respondents were collected from multicultural marketing professionals in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific inside the global multicultural marketing industry. Media buying trends include social media advertising (Facebook/Twitter) targeting multicultural audiences – the majority of the marketers plan to increase the digital spend 2014 (68%) followed by an increase in ethnic event marketing activities (40%). Marketers have very different views on TV advertising and its impact on multicultural marketing campaign performance – it’s close to a 50/50 split between marketers considering TV the most important vehicle and the ones who do not consider it that important for successful multicultural campaigns.

Part 1: Demographics

What is your current country of residency?

With the survey language being English, it’s not that surprising that the overwhelming majority of respondents are from the US 54.14%), Canada (24.06%) and UK (7.52%) followed by Australia and France.

What is your gender?

More than 63% of the respondents were men, 36% women.

What is your age?

Age intervals were 18-65 (and older) with age ranges divided into 5 groups in between the extremes. The largest age group was 35-44 year-olds followed by 45-54 year-olds. The smallest age group was 18-25 year-olds (if we don’t take into account people aged 65 years and older but since many people retire before this age is considered out-of-scope for this survey).

What is your education level?

Multicultural marketers have high academic degrees – 35% have a post-graduate degree and 34% have a graduate degree of at least 5 years.

What is the type of organization / company you work for?

Being asked what type of organization they worked for, over 58% are multicultural Agency people, followed by people working for Brands (10%) and Multicultural Publishers (6%). Other answers included Consultancy firms, Insurance Services and Research companies.

What is the level of your current position?

Multicultural marketing executives mostly hold a mid-senior level position (24%) or higher. 34% are Directors.

How many years of experience do you have working with multicultural marketing?

The majority of the respondents have worked with multicultural marketing more than 10 years (52%) or 5-10 years (30%).


  • Male, around 40 years old, most probably resides in US
  • Works with multicultural marketing full time in an agency
  • Mid-to senior level executive
  • Received at least a graduate degree and has about 10 years of experience

Part 2: Industry Trends

Which ethnic audiences does your company try to reach using multicultural marketing tools?

Top 5 most attractive ethnic audiences are:

  • Hispanic (32%)
  • South Asian (25%)
  • Asian (18%)
  • African American (12%)
  • Arabic (4%)

How much of the annual media budget does your company spend on multicultural marketing?

24% of the companies spend between 80-100% of the media budget on multicultural marketing, 9.5% spend 60-80%. Worth noticing is that 22% of the companies only spend between 0-20%!!!

Brands are spending the least – 47% only spend between 0-20% of their media budget on the multicultural segment. Agencies spend 36% of their media budget on multicultural media (the answers do not reveal if this is agency money or client money).

What is the most important focus when you work on multicultural marketing campaigns?

Sales Performance came in as the top focus for multicultural marketing campaigns (49%) while Brand awareness came in at 35%.

What kind of marketing will you increase in 2014?

The marketing activities with the highest budget increase in 2014 will be the following:

  • Digital (68%)
  • Event Marketing (40%)
  • Sponsorships (28%)

Please evaluate from 1 to 7, to what extent do you agree with the given statements?

When asked with if they agree with the statement that “TV commercials are the most important vehicle for multicultural marketing.” there was a spread between the answers and an even split between marketers agreeing and others not agreeing (average rating was 3.87 where 7 was full agreement and 1 no agreement at all). When asked about the statement “Only large brands benefit from multicultural marketing.” The average rating was 1.79 out of 7 and multicultural marketers clearly think all types of brands benefit from multicultural marketing.

Interesting thoughts by our respondents

“A person being called upon either by another person or a brand would like to hear or rather would respond (emotionally) better if addressed in their ethnic language…”

“Multicultural marketing may be integrated in regular marketing activities based on different ethnicity scenario in different countries. Integration than isolation.”

“Multicultural is very important since it truly is about speaking to the audience with their cultural fluency. However, in the US alone we are slowly turning into a fully integrated society where there are pockets of cultures that need to be spoken to and such messaging is going to flip. Meaning the general market will be the minority sooner then we believe.”

“It amazes me how companies completely ignore the Multicultural market even they are seeing the growth and the potential. It is not politically correct to do it is a business decision that will bring benefits in the near future.”

“In the future, when diversity becomes inclusion, multicultural marketing will disappear...”

Part 3: Multicultural Media

What are the most important metrics to evaluate performance?

The most important multicultural marketing metrics are Return-on-Investment (ROI) at 63%, Brand Awareness (58%) and Conversions (Sales/Signups) at 57.6%.

Do you buy digital/online (display, social, video, search, mobile, etc.) media?

Over 70% of multicultural marketers buy online media vs. 29% that don’t.

What kind of digital/online media do you buy?

Social media buys are the most common media buy for multicultural marketers (80%) followed by Display (74%) and Search (62%). The least common is Email at 40%.

Which social media channels do you use for multicultural marketing purposes?

Top of the social media list is, not surprisingly, Facebook (84%) and Twitter (54%) and last on the lists is Pinterest at 17%. Other social media networks include Weibo, WeChat and QQ (Chinese), Youtube and Vine.

How much of the annual multicultural marketing budget is spent online?

Online seems so far to be the cheapest media option as 27% said 0-20% is being spent there, 23% said 20-40% is spent and 17% said 40-60% of the budget is spent there. If we drill down and look at differences between the company types, we see that Agencies and multicultural Publishers spend the least amount of media budget online – 20% of Publishers spend 0-20% of the budget online while 19.1% for agencies. Multicultural brands have an unclear picture on online spend and 17.6% did not know about their multicultural budget for online spend %.

What (other than digital/online) kind of media do you buy?

When asked about non-digital media buys, it was a very close race between Print (62.6%), Event Marketing (61.9%), Sponsorships (61.2%), TV (57%) and Radio (57%).


#1. As expected, the leading multicultural marketing audience is the Hispanic group (due to the considerable opportunity and US purchasing power), followed by South Asian, East Asian, African American and Arabic audiences. These results are valid across North America and Europe mostly. We were surprised that Hispanic targeting was not higher than 32% of the respondents and that Asian American was number 2 on the top audiences targeted.

#2. While importance of a focused multicultural marketing targeting ethnic niched audience is traditionally strongly recognized in the industry, it’s becoming more and more viewed as an integral part of a company’s marketing activities inside a Total Marketing framework in the US. This discussion is not yet present in countries like Canada, Australia or UK but will most likely emerge the years to come.

Moreover, multicultural marketing isn’t viewed anymore as beneficial to large brands only. Very often specific, narrow niche products and brands are successfully promoted using multicultural marketing tools and techniques.

#3. Despite TV commercials importance in the advertising industry, its significance is subject to a fierce discussion among multicultural practitioners. Digital channels are viewed as the future of multicultural advertising with Digital leading the way with 68% of the multicultural marketers increasing spend in 2014. 2/3 of the respondents are confident in a spend increase in digital advertising in the following year budget, which is mostly display and social advertising, such as Facebook, but also Twitter and LinkedIn.

#4. Although most of the respondents believe brands benefit from multicultural marketing, the results show that most brands spend less than 20% of their budget on multicultural marketing.

According to the study results, US, Canada and UK share a similar multicultural marketing landscape where 1/3 participants spend less than 40% budget on multicultural marketing and 2/3 spend more than 40% of the budget.