Changing Demographics And The New Marketing Reality
Written by Ken Gaebler
With minorities now comprising more than half of all U.S. births, businesses need to be more proactive about incorporating multiculturalism into their marketing strategies.
New census figures show that minorities represent more than half of all births in the U.S. But what the numbers don't show is how changing demographics are also changing the way businesses market products and services to consumers.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that as of the year ending July 31, 2011, African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities account for 50.4% of births -- a dramatic increase from the 37 percent reported in 1990.
Hispanics are the fastest growing demographic in the nation. Supported by a population of 50 million U.S. Hispanics, the Spanish language programmer, Univision, is reporting viewership numbers that approach or even surpass the viewership of broadcasting giants like NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox.
The takeaway for U.S. businesses is obvious: either adapt your marketing strategies to account for current demographic trends or risk falling behind in the nation's increasingly multicultural marketplace.
Multicultural Marketing Tips
Marketing to shifting demographic segments begins with understanding the unique requirements of each multicultural market segment. For example, marketing aimed at Hispanics should be more personal than marketing strategies that target the general marketplace.
Regardless of the size of the business, there are several things that owners and marketers can do to make their marketing strategies more relevant to multicultural audiences.
- Research. Since good marketing always begins with solid research, marketers need to leverage a combination of primary and secondary research (e.g. focus groups, syndicated research, etc.) to identify the needs of preferences of multicultural consumers.
- Tailored Products and Services. Using insights gained from research, businesses can begin to customize their products and services to targeted demographic market segments.
- Multicultural Engagement. Early in the process, businesses must identify and engage with multicultural customers. By actively listening to customers' comments and questions, marketers gain the ability to craft messages that are highly relevant to new audiences.
- Translations. Experienced multicultural marketers know that it pays to invest in quality translations. Mistranslated words and phrases can be disastrous, severely damaging the trust between brands and multicultural consumers.
- Consultants. Consultants often play an important role in closing the gaps between businesses and multicultural customers. If you decide to hire a consultant, ask around and make sure the firm you hire has experience in your industry as well as your desired market segment.
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