Multicultural marketing (also known as ethnic marketing or cross-cultural marketing) is the practice of marketing to one or more audiences of a specific ethnicity—typically an ethnicity outside of a country’s majority culture, which is sometimes called the “general market.” Typically, multicultural marketing takes advantage of the ethnic group’s different cultural referents— such as language, traditions, celebrations, religion and any other concepts— to communicate to and persuade that audience.
Tips for Building a Successful Marketing Approach to the Multicultural B2B Segment
Track all relevant and impactful metrics by ethnicity (even if by proxy) to monitor performance of marketing efforts. If all you can track is store level, DMA level or “general market” numbers, it will be difficult to assess the impact of targeted marketing efforts.
Quantify the size of the opportunity (by proxy if necessary). This is essential to prioritizing organizational resources when hard budget choices have to be made.
Identify a strong partner agency to aid in the effort. The roles of your strategic agency partner will be to “translate” your company’s strategy into actionable tactics that are relevant and effective against your B2B segment.
Gain internal stakeholder alignment to the business case for inclusion of a multicultural B2B segment focused strategy. One of the leading causes of failed multicultural or Hispanic focused efforts is a lack of internal understanding of the strategy. One person or group will have a difficult time driving a multifunctional, multicultural strategy that requires sales, advertising, pricing, research, finance, and other departmental commitments. There must be ownership with each of the marketing disciplines to ensure proper execution.
Ensure the customer experience for the segment (particularly if the target B2B segment speaks a foreign language) is consistent from marketing to sale. If you choose to market to customers in language, you should also be prepared to service/answer the (potential) client call and the customer in language if that is what the customer prefers. Use of language or interpreter lines is not recommended as a go forward strategy as the customer experience is very rarely optimal when engaging a 3rd party translator in the sales discussion.
Join your local Hispanic, African American, Asian American Chambers of Commerce.
Do your research. As with any successful consumer marketing strategy, segment research on the size of your B2B segment prize, relevant insights for the industry or the business owner, knowledge of the most effective marketing tactics, and other key strategic decisions about how best to convert these prospects to customers is key, and it is not all the job of the sales group!
Local SBA or other small business associations hold networking events weekly in most cities. These forums, while grassroots-oriented in nature, provide a good, casual environment for introductions and integration into these business/social circles.
Ensure a good understanding of the multicultural segment before evaluation of marketing creative and tactics target to that group. A Hispanic (for example) subject matter expert (either internal or external) is recommended here. Simply “being Latino” is not a sufficient qualifier to expertly assess the quality and holistic readiness of a strategically and tactically sound business/marketing plan or approach.
Source: Multicultural Marketing Resources, Inc.