Hundreds of different colored skulls made of paper collaged together on a black background - Multicultural Marketing concept
PHOTO: Adobe

The world is becoming increasingly globalized and multicultural, and using the same tone of voice with different audiences won't likely get businesses the result they are looking for. Research by Iterable shows that 75% of consumers agreed they're more likely to purchase from a brand when people who look like them are represented in their ads.

Multicultural marketing is all about tailoring your message to the people you are marketing to. Long gone are the days when a single message worked for every demographic. These days, to succeed at creating a marketing campaign, you need to take not only ethnicity but also trends and pop culture references into account.

As the global population becomes more diverse, multicultural marketing will grow in importance. In 2022, you'll need to find ways to reach new customers and retain old ones with different cultural backgrounds than your own. To help you build a solid multicultural marketing strategy, we asked marketing experts across the globe.

What Is Multicultural Marketing?

From a business point of view, connecting with every customer is fundamental. The best way to connect with a customer is by creating content that resonates with them. For example, suppose a brand sells a particular product that a community section cannot use for cultural or religious reasons. In that case, the brand can also run campaigns about alternative products that could be attractive for that section of the population.

Multicultural marketing uses marketing campaigns specific to an ethnic or cultural group to market products or services. In our increasingly globalized world, this type of marketing is gaining popularity over the years to prevent unconscious bias and potential discrimination in marketing campaigns. This could give brands and businesses more reach and develop awareness among all communities to build inclusive marketing campaigns.

Why Does Your Business Need Multicultural Marketing?

Multicultural marketing is important because it recognizes the importance of the differences in your audience and welcomes them. With multicultural marketing, brands can appeal to different subgroups directly and influence them to engage in the brand. It's a way to reach a wider audience while making a better impression on them.

When asked about the importance of creating a multicultural marketing strategy, Aaron Agius, Co-Founder at Singapore-based Louder Online, replied that "most marketing strategies try to appeal to everyone in the audience, but this approach lacks the necessary engagement for certain groups. With multicultural marketing, brands can appeal to different subgroups directly and influence them to engage in the brand. It's a way to reach a wider audience while making a better impression on them."

Creating a multicultural marketing strategy creates a conversation that's relevant to your target audience's culture. In this day and age, becoming a multicultural company is not only respected but also absolutely necessary.

So, how can you ensure you get multicultural marketing right? Here are some tips.

Don't Go Overboard

In many cases less is more but what is critical is to not go too far. "There's no need to go overboard on emphasizing the different groups," said Agius. "In my experience, the best approach to multicultural marketing is to simply show the variety of your audience and highlight their experiences with your brand. Find those diverse people in your audience and ask them about their experience with your product or service. Individual influencers will play a crucial role in multicultural marketing in 2022 and beyond."

Avoid Tokenization

Make sure to personalize rather than generalize, and find a consensus on the marketing strategy for a certain region, rather than overly relying on the advice or expertise of one individual. Also, consider partnering with an influencer from the specific culture you are looking to market to, which can help you avoid stereotyping or cultural appropriation.

Do Your Homework

This means, ensuring that you understand the different and diverse backgrounds of your consumers, including their traditions, languages, customs, beliefs, and experiences. Having a deeper understanding of different cultures will help when crafting messages to the consumer and creating consumer content.

Try To Represent Every Voice

"Oftentimes agencies are structured without diversity in mind for their clients, but also in the makeup of their own team structure," said Robyn Streisand, CEO at New York, NY-based The Mixx. "Ideas are brought forth to brands that have not been thoroughly vetted from a diverse audience perspective. Take Dove Beauty, Heineken and more who have missed the mark over the past few years," continued Streisand.

Leverage Localization

Localizing content for audiences in different regions speaking the same language is fundamental for a multicultural marketing strategy. "Use customers' words, stories, images, etc. as your marketing campaign, not just "in" your marketing campaigns. Localize stories to the region, industry, and audience you are going after, and you will be acting with authenticity," suggested Cynthia Gumbert, CMO at Somerville, MA-based SmartBear

Final Thoughts

Consumers crave authenticity and humanity from their vendors, now more than ever. Being authentic leads to trust, common goals, and a level of comfort that you, as a vendor, empathize with them and understand who they are.

Marketing campaigns of today cross borders and boundaries and will continue to do so in 2022. It's not enough to create content with a single audience in mind. Failure to do so will likely reduce your sales and risk losing credibility or face potential damage to your brand's reputation.