Despite being a “melting pot” of cultures and backgrounds, Americans still hold to a strong second identity comprised of their ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. This group makes up the “visible majority” and marketers have quickly spotted this fact. Think African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic American and even LGBT community (which highlights shifts beyond racial lines). They’re subsequently tweaking their campaigns to cater to specific backgrounds, especially when it comes to holidays. Event marketing is no different.
When it comes to multicultural event marketing (MEM), the key is to be able to cater to diverse groups. Where traditional marketing tactics fail to tap into this group’s $2 trillion buying power, MEM ensures a more crafted experience that creates a positive response. But how you go about setting up your event will depend largely on the type of community you’re catering to. For example, certain groups have a high literacy and adoption rates when it comes to tech. Asian Americans, especially those born abroad, are leading the pack in this area. However, other groups are statistically shown to be tech-shy. Event marketers need to keep these facts in mind when creating and event blue print and appropriate resources.
Event marketers should also hire brand ambassadors who “speak the language” and are influencers in the targeted community. In event marketing, this alone can be a promotional point drawing in a crowd. Invite this individual to be a keynote speaker or a host. Work to also create a subculture or project within a brand. This enables a brand to adapt to a community without compromising its own identity. Another top tip involves experiential marketing, which allows attendees customers to engage and interact in sensory ways.
Coca-Cola’s campaign is a top notch example of multicultural marketing that factors in a specific community, encourages engagement, ignites conversation and finally sums it up with a vivid experiential experience. The company catered to African American college students and kept the mood of the event in keeping up with the younger generation. They weaved in “the historically rich art of percussive dancing with ties that run deep within the African-American community,” by inviting sororities and fraternities to submit video applications that fans were also able to vote online one. The winning team would have a chance to compete for $100K in scholarship money on a larger stage that was already host to the NPHC annual conference – a genius move that reached a larger target audience and ensured visibility.
In order to create the right MEM experience, marketers have to first understand their target group and be in step with the shifting trends and preferences within that community. For instance, Hispanic markets prefer native language content. How to phrase content will depend on what community you’re targeting. Neck in neck with Hispanics, Asians are one of the fastest growing populations in the country that are expanding their consumer reach. While traditionally telecom and financial services were key players in targeting this market, other industries are now realizing the buying power and this lucrative group, including automotive, retail and luxury sectors.
It’s impossible for any single marketer to knows the language of various target groups, which makes it imperative to use the right tools, consultants, agencies and software to help get the job done. One pivotal tool is Digilant’s multicultural segmentation technology for real-time advertising, which factors in semantics and geography to match the audience.
If there’s one take-away tip, it’d be that MEM must understand the consumer’s lifestyle. Beyond that, it’ll take a mixed media approach to reach the audience and an experiential one to really sell to them.
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