Is there any difference with just traditional marketing?

By Alexandra Rossi

I remember when, in the early 90s, an advertising campaign only included ads on TV, print, outdoor, point of purchase (POP), radio and direct mail. Segmenting was easy. You reached people of certain age, genre, location, socio-economic status and lifestyle.

Little did we know back then that a few years later, our campaigns were going to target people from other countries, ethnicities, religions, traditions, and languages. Never we imagined that in a matter of a few years, thanks to the Internet, we were going to witness a boom of so many platforms, including millions of websites, social media, YouTube, videogames, virtual reality, WhatsApp, Message and much more, erasing the frontiers between cultures, countries, traditions and communities and making what was before local information accessible to anyone in the world.

Getting the word out about your business is now a little more complex than before because you need to understand who you are talking to.

A pioneer on Multicultural marketing in the 80s was United Color of Benetton, with ads featuring photos of several young people of different races and religions. Benetton envisioned the future and sent the message bold and clear: We are all equal.

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So what is multicultural marketing? Actually, there is not really much difference between it and the traditional one. We all like great messages, creative stories, and products and services that enhance our quality of life. Our values might be different, and our traditions too. Dinner might include Latin arepas or Middle East samosas, or American chicken pie. But deep inside, we all are the same. We like touching messages that talk to our emotions, we like clear information about what we need to buy, and, most of all, we are all human beings with the same needs.

The only big difference, however, is how you communicate all those messages and information. Will an American mom choose to buy an SUV for different reasons than a Hispanic mom? They both want safety, comfort, and beauty, don’t they? But for an American mom it might be more appealing if we show her that the SUV has a big trunk where she can fit her children’s lacrosse equipment and a third row of seats for the team players, while for a Hispanic mom we might want to show that the SUV can fit her whole family, including her husband, children, mom, grandma and dog. Each culture has their own priorities. Talk to your target audience. That’s how a multicultural marketing campaign differs from a traditional one. You need to understand each culture and talk in their emotional language. Because after all, we all want the same things, but not for the same reasons.

Take a look at our multicultural agency here