CEOs and CMOs differ on need to focus on multicultural marketing
1, 2015) Multicultural marketing strategies have become increasingly
important to brands looking to engage in a more culturally relevant and
personalized manner. But despite rapid population growth and strong
support for initiatives within marketing circles, CEO and board support
falls far short, failing to assist marketer's ability to prioritize and
fully fund their efforts.
A new poll from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and Geoscape
-- entitled "Activating the New American Mainstream" -- reveals that
half of the 150 North America-based senior marketing executives surveyed
feel there is some level of support for multicultural engagement
strategies from the senior levels of the organization. While 67 percent
admit that the CMO has a high level of buy-in and support for
multicultural efforts, 55 percent admit that the CEO does not share that
opinion, failing to fully support initiatives.
According to Geoscape, the leader in business intelligence across the
multicultural market, groups including
African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Hispanics will grow to nearly 130 million by the
year 2020. Furthermore, the non-Hispanic white population will become
the minority, dropping below 50 percent of the population by 2042.
This lack of top-level support translates into a de-prioritization of
multicultural engagement programs as more than half (51 percent) of
marketers admit that there are simply too many competing priorities. In
fact, when asked to rate commitment levels, only 20 percent of marketers
felt that multicultural strategies were mandatory and unanimously
embraced across the organization, and just over one in four believed
that the multicultural market was mission critical for the organization.
Specific to investments into multicultural programs, marketers indicate
- Twenty (20) percent invest in excess of 15 percent of overall
marketing budgets to engaging with multicultural markets; 28 percent
spend less than 5 percent.
- Fifty-three (53) percent of marketers believe their investment into
the multicultural market will increase going forward; 15 percent believe
this increase will be significant; only 2 percent anticipate a decrease
For those marketers who have deployed multicultural marketing
strategies, the operational approach is one that fails to separate
initiatives into significant segments.
- Only 16 percent of marketers are separating marketing initiatives for
specific ethnic groups, a practice which would allow for a deeper level
of engagement thanks to relevant communications based on cultural
behavioral patterns and insights.
"Multicultural marketing strategies must move away from the niche
campaign mindset and become an engrained part of any personalized
customer experience strategy," noted Liz Miller, Senior Vice President
of Marketing with the CMO Council. "This is no longer a scenario of
replacing images or localizing content into a different language. This
is about truly understanding the nuances of the customer, including any
culturally distinct behaviors and buying patterns that can and must
alter the way our brands reach and engage."
Without doubt, the multicultural market in the United States is an
increasingly powerful consumer. According to Geoscape research,
Hispanics currently represent 18 percent of American households but were
responsible for nearly half of the growth in consumer spending from 2013
to 2014. Between Asian-American and Hispanic markets, the groups
accounted for two-thirds of the total economic spending growth.
"By understanding cultural nuances and marketing in a proactive and
data-driven manner, marketers are positioned to grow ROI...however, none
of this happens overnight," added Cesar M. Melgoza, Founder and CEO of
Geoscape. "Targeting consumers without understanding their unique
cultural behaviors and preferences risks growth optimization among the
consumer groups that quarterly and annual budgets and success can
Key findings from the 10-question online poll of 150 senior marketing
executives are included in a 12-page complimentary white paper, now
available for download from the CMO Council. Some 36 percent of
respondents hail from B2B organizations, 29 percent are from strictly
B2C organization, and 36 percent are from hybrid organizations.
Forty-three (43) percent hail from organizations with revenues in excess
of $1 billion USD.
The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is the only global network of
executives specifically dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange,
thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior
corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide
range of global industries. The CMO Council's 9,000 members control more
than $450 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run
complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide.
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