The (multi)cultural landscape of the United States is one that is constantly in flux. Groups that were once considered minorities are no longer in the minority and their spending power is only growing. In addition to increased affluence, minority groups continue to assimilate to mainstream American culture while remaining strongly tied to their ancestral heritage. Marketing and advertising professionals need to carefully listen and closely observe these demographic and psychographic changes, because they will likely lead to target shifting, strategy retooling, and creative rethinking within brands and agencies to account for this consumer landscape evolution.
Take the Hispanic market for example. Latinos will account for 80% of the growth in population of 18-29 year-olds in the coming few years. In other words, Hispanic millennials will be a very sizeable demographic in the near future. You couple that figure with their growing affluence/spending power and we have not only a sizeable segment of the population, but one with disposable dollars.
Furthermore, research in Advertising Age’s 2014 Hispanic Fact Pact, sets out a number of key trends within the Hispanic population, but there are two worth pointing out. First, Hispanics are a major driving force in digital growth. They spend more time a month on game consoles and stream more video online and on their mobile devices than the rest of the U.S. population. Second, and more interestingly, Hispanic millennials prefer English to Spanish when surfing the web, reading, and watching television. One can extrapolate a number of insights from this data, but one is for sure: Hispanic millennials love their digital channels–in English. Because this complements today’s trends with respect to dominance of digital media, the door to true multicultural marketing is only opening wider. In other words, this ambidextrous quality of Hispanic-American cultures brings marketers closer to the possibility of true bi-cultural messaging.
From a marketing standpoint, as “minority groups” continue to grow and thrive socially and economically, a strategic and tactical shift towards reaching and engaging consumers is imminent. However, while this may sound like a troublesome paradigm shift, that’s not quite the case. The growth and success of multicultural agencies throughout the country has signaled a positive and successful reaction to these consumer trends. More importantly, the continued exponential growth of digital and mobile platforms show now sign of slowing.
Today’s digital channels can be altered and retooled in the blink of an eye. This shift refers to the messaging and not the mediums by which consumers are reached. And to be honest, that’s what makes it even more exciting. We are in a position, now more than ever, to begin to focus on truly multicultural marketing that transcends the differences that distinguish us on the surface and hone in on what binds us together in the multicultural nation we live in.