Multicultural marketing is a critical new mandate for brands and organizations to connect with a growing number of diverse groups in authentic and inclusive ways. A recent study conducted by Zeno Group and Egami Group, surveying over 6,000 Americans, has uncovered that companies must embrace the complexity of these groups to forge deeper connections with them. The study, “The New Multicultural Mandate 2023,” reveals that one size does not fit all when it comes to engaging with these audiences.
The research comes after P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard declared “Multicultural marketing is mainstream marketing,” during his ANA Masters of Marketing presentation. In it, he challenged marketers to go from rep-based research to multicultural-based research. This a step that Zeno Group and Egami Group, which counts P&G among its clients, have undertaken as their teams have increased focus and priority on diversity, equity and inclusion, personal identity and self-expression.
One of the most significant findings of the study is the emergence of a new group called “Generation Self-Defined,” representing 10 percent of the population, who identify as two or more ethnicities. According to the study, marketers and communicators have historically left out multiethnic and multiracial groups from multicultural segmented communications, but they can no longer afford to do so.
The research suggests brands and employers are still using too general of an approach, and ultimately talking to a group that doesn’t exist anymore. Companies must embrace culture, celebrate individualism, listen to social voices, and create space for new thinking. Gen Z is “identity nomads” who routinely experiment with different modes of self-expression and ways of defining themselves. Therefore, companies must connect with them through authentic acknowledgment, respect, and engagement through legacy and new cultural traditions.
The agencies’ report also found that companies must develop platforms that provide diverse cultural expressions to celebrate individualism, understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all definition of identity. The study suggests that true innovation and progress will only be achieved through a diversity of thought and new ideas, which requires creating space for new thinking.
Teneshia Jackson Warner, Egami Group CEO, emphasizes that multicultural competency must be at the top of the list for marketers and communicators. Companies must listen to social voices to understand how social issues impact the lives of various segments of the population to provide relevant solutions. By doing so, companies can no longer afford to leave behind these influential communities.
Ultimately, companies must think differently about how they engage with the growing number of multicultural groups. “The New Multicultural Mandate 2023,” requires companies to embrace culture, celebrate individualism, listen to social voices, and create space for new thinking. By doing so, it should be no surprise that companies can forge deeper connections with these highly influential and globally-minded individuals, creating a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable future for all.