Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Multicultural Efforts Lack Funding, Internal Support

Of all the people and companies involved in multicultural ethnic marketing only 45% of Marketers Surveyed Are Satisfied With Results

After years of marketing to ethnic minorities, fewer than half of marketers surveyed are happy with their own company's efforts. In a new survey the Association of National Advertisers conducted for its annual Nov. 16-18 multicultural conference, just 45% of respondents said they are satisfied with the results of their companies' multicultural initiatives, and 26% said they are somewhat or very dissatisfied.

And only about three-quarters of marketers, 77%, do multicultural marketing at all, although 66% said their company's efforts have grown in the past few years.

The survey was based on responses from 74 ANA members contacted in August.

Lack of multicultural marketing dollars was the biggest source of frustration for marketers surveyed, a problem that is only likely to get worse as recession-hit companies slash spending next year. More than half of respondents (58%) cited lack of funding as one of their barriers, followed by lack of metrics to measure performance (45%).

One of the biggest problems multicultural marketing execs complain about every year when they gather at the ANA conference is the lack of support from within their own companies, where success depends on having a champion in the C-suite. Almost half (45%) of the marketers surveyed said they don't get enough internal support, and 34% said support from top management is inconsistent. Respondents were also critical of their companies' ability to integrate multicultural marketing into the overall marketing mix.

At many companies, multicultural marketing is synonymous with targeting Hispanics. Ninety-five percent of respondents said they target Hispanics, up from 86% in a previous survey in 2003. Three-quarters (76%) market to African-Americans, up from 60% in 2003. There has been little progress for Asian-Americans, targeted by just 38% of respondents, a small increase from 35% in 2003.

Fifty-five percent of marketers surveyed said they preferred to use a specialized multicultural agency for creative work. Satisfaction scores indicated that they are much happier with their agencies than the one-quarter of respondents who rely on their general-market agency of record for multicultural work.

The best creative and strategy usually comes from agencies that specialize in Hispanic or African-American advertising, although more general-market agencies are rushing to try to develop Hispanic expertise to cash in on that growing market. Marketers like Wal-Mart Stores and Bank of America have found that Hispanics represent a big chunk of their growth, so they try not to slash those budgets.

Larson note: As America diversifies companies will need to look at multicultural marketing more and more. Just look at the Hispanic and Indian groups. Money does talk, make no doubt it. In the short term it might seem like a black hole, but as you focus on the dynamic possibilities of what is possible, you will need to think of it as an investment. The big guys Wal-Mart and Jewel Foods focus locally in there ethnic and cultural marketing and so should you. Heck here in Chicago Jewel Food Stores in Skokie actually set up a kosher section that is closed during the Sabbath. The small delis where outraged but it worked(s). Look at who is in your geographic circle of potential business and find groups that are for the most part being ignored. You might find a diamond in the rough.

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

P.S. Need your brochure translated. Pick your language and if needed pick your country. Yes we do translation work for your sales and marketing pieces.

No comments: