Three Aspects of Multicultural and Diversity Marketing You Must Stop Ignoring

Thought Leaders
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The buzz around multicultural and diversity marketing is constantly growing. While anything requires some hype to gain traction and awareness, too much hype and a lack of understanding can be detrimental to the very thing we are attempting to achieve.

Beyond vanity statistics and patting each other on the back, there is a need to understand the nature and impact of multicultural and diversity marketing. Let's take a look at some aspects of multicultural and diversity marketing to keep in mind as we plan for long-term marketing success.

1. There Is No Such Thing as Multicultural or Diversity Marketing

Either your marketing is complete or it isn’t and if you decide to ignore the multicultural and diversity aspect of marketing then you have a strategy that is lacking. You will never get the best out of your marketing if you ignore this issue in a world that is becoming increasingly multicultural and diverse.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly four out of every ten Americans identify as being of a race or ethnicity other than white in 2020, implying that the white population will have decreased for the first time in the nation's history during the 2010-2020 decade. Furthermore, according to a separate U.S. Census Bureau report, minority groups will account for more than half of the American population by 2044.

But that’s not all, at around 82 million people, Gen Z, a generation born between 1997 and 2012, will be the largest and most ethnically diverse generation.

In terms of dollars, Gen Z has $360 billion to spend, and winning over the so-called "elusive generation" is critical for your company's long-term relevance.

Validating your marketing message as compatible with their values that include multicultural relationships and diversity in friend groups is required before they even consider your brand.

So, in short, you are either implementing a complete marketing strategy or an incomplete one because multicultural and diversity marketing is just part of a complete, mainstream marketing machine. But don’t just take it from us, ANA Global CMO Growth Council recognizes that "there is no general marketing. Multicultural marketing is mainstream marketing. If you are not doing multicultural marketing -- you are not marketing."

2. Not Being Diligent About Where You Advertise Your Products Could Cost You

According to a survey by Morning Consult, a little more than half of Americans say they will not buy products promoted by brands on platforms that allow hate speech. In the online survey, 52% of participants said they would not make a purchase from brands that use these platforms for marketing, and the same number said they would feel "very unfavorably" toward such advertisers.

Advertising a brand or product next to "extremist content," "hate speech," "misinformation or conspiracy theories," and "large numbers of bots or fake accounts" generally offended Americans the most.

Source: U.S. Consumers Are Unlikely to Support Brands That Advertise on Twitter in Its Current State

Not that brands don’t take action when it comes to this issue. We can all still remember the 2020 Facebook boycott which saw more than $12 million in ad withdrawals just from Adidas and Reebok.

More recently Twitter has seen advertisers leaving the platform due to similar issues after Elon Musk took over as the new owner of the popular social media platform. Although one can argue that the situation with Twitter is more about free speech and the abuse thereof, it is not knowing where the boundaries are set that worries consumers.

3. You Can't Tell a Multicultural and Diversity Story Without a Diverse Team

Do you have a multicultural and diversity-centric marketing team? Do you have storytellers in your team who have lived the stories that they are telling? If you’re working with a marketing agency do they fit this criterion?

If you don’t, your brand risk is like a ticking bomb, it’s not about if it is going to go "boom!" but about when! Let’s look at some of the deeper symptoms that can help you recognize if your brand is living in peril:

  • While diverse actors appear in advertisements, the agency's creative teams are not.
  • Perhaps you do have members of your team who are diverse but they do not have much say. You thus have diversity but not inclusion.
  • While marketing initiatives are presumably focused on minority communities, they only have a plan for "diverse" holidays.
  • The communications team is having difficulty providing genuine responses to campaign-related inquiries about diversity.
  • Marketing team leaders struggle to effectively convey their thoughts on diversity to internal and external stakeholders.

Getting your diversity efforts in your marketing team will cost you your talent acquisition efforts. Not only will the best marketers refuse to come work with you, but those you have may also decide to leave as well. This is usually the case when your efforts are public-facing only. Imagine putting multicultural and diverse ads out and yet not practicing what you preach with your own team.

"The way one of my mentees and others were treated at one of the world’s largest accounting firms showed that its core values around DEI were public-facing only, with the actual culture being the complete opposite. Employees are now leaving in large numbers to seek an authentic work experience elsewhere, and the firm’s clients are left questioning where all the quality consultants have gone." -- Bronwen Sciortino on Forbes

The good news is that you do not need to reinvent the wheel. You can follow the below steps for a proper audit of your internal diversity efforts.

Source: How to Target Advertisements to Muslims with Impactful Diversity and Inclusion Marketing


Multicultural marketing is not a one size fits all approach. Every project and campaign has to be adaptable and unique to the target audience. It requires you to invest time and preparation in order to build a trusted relationship with your potential customers. For your brand to succeed and stay relevant, now is the time to make the move to a proper multicultural marketing strategy, starting with your team. It is not just a goal, it’s the key to doing good business.

This article was written by Alwi Suleiman, who has been in marketing since 2006 and has helped several businesses build their marketing strategies. He is the Lead Marketer at Muslim Ad Network, co-author of the Muslim Consumer Guide, and the owner of Content Market King. He is passionate about helping small businesses thrive through online marketing strategies.

Posted at MediaVillage through the Thought Leadership self-publishing platform.

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