Marketers Wising up to the Potential ROI from Multicultural Ad Spend

Oct 22, 2012

By: Laura Morales, Hispanic Media Relations and Business Writer

Just when it looks like the marketing universe has been dangling its toes in the waters of digital multicultural outreach for too long, there’s an intriguing sign that a deeper dive may be in the works.

If the buzz permeating the recent Advertising Week conference in New York is anything to go by, the confluence we’ve seen over the past few years of booming consumer adoption of digital – and more significantly, mobile – communications devices (feature phones, smartphones, tablets) and rapid growth in the buying power of America’s ethnic and racial minority groups is showing some hard evidence of progress.

Everyone in our industry knows digital and mobile technology is the future for delivering timely and relevant marketing content to consumers. Advertisers are also catching on to the opportunities available in precision-targeting a rising multicultural consumer segment that’s particularly fond of living its digital life on-the-go.

That must be why plenty of industry shakers and decision-makers in attendance at AdWeek said they’re looking to recruit talented employees who combine skills such as mobile Web and native app development with a first-hand understanding of the multicultural dynamics helping to shape today’s mainstream consumer culture.

According to AdWeek, big brands such as Coke and Wal-Mart are building internal teams of racially- and ethnically-diverse creators of digital marketing content that speaks to as wide a spectrum of potential customers as possible.

The talent is out there: a few months ago I wrote a post about how under-represented Latinos (and African-Americans, as opposed to Asian-Americans and Caucasians) are among tech start-up founders receiving venture capital investments – and how the group Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) has launched its own tech conference to help boost our profile in the industry.

And if the crowd at SXSW 2012’s Blacks in Technology meetup is anything to go by, that group is also mobilizing to increase its tech influence.

These must be among the reasons why, according to MediaPost’s Marketing Daily, a recent survey by the Association of National Advertisers showed that 87% of marketers are either maintaining or increasing their multicultural outreach budgets this year as compared to 2011 and will spend 9 percent more on multicultural marketing on “newer media”  – Web sites, online ads and search engines.

Multicultural marketing across platforms such as mobile, viral video, blogs and social networks is growing fast, the survey also found.

Looks like marketers are wising up to the fact that ignoring demographic groups which are on track to make up, in combination, over half of the country’s population by 2050 may not make much business sense.

¡Ya era hora, gente!

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