*When 11:24 Design started, we initially envisioned a niche-marketing agency that would merge the traditional consumer base with the rapidly evolving multicultural population. But instead of bringing this diverse marketplace to the mainstream, we’ve managed to build an impressive roster of client partners by moving middle America to where the growth is. We understand and believe that ALL brands who want to remain relevant should also understand that it has become a business imperative to seek a relationship with multicultural audiences.
*When you really think about it, it’s impossible for any brand that wants to be successful to ignore the influence, impact and importance of multicultural people. Brands need to tap into that culture as a part of their marketing efforts. That’s where the growth is, so that’s where the opportunity is.
*Multicultural consumers, especially African Americans, have tremendous influence on the masses. While the African American segment is the smallest in terms of population and buying power, they are in fact the most influential in terms of their propensity to create and embrace trends, brands and products that ultimately appeal to the masses. Of the three, the African American segment is the only segment that deeply and consistently influences the other two (Hispanic and general market). Technology and social media in particular have changed the influence game and further amplified the ability of multicultural consumers to impact the opinions, behaviors and buying habits of the general population.
What once would take months, if not years, to move from the arbiters of urban cool to the masses can now be accomplished in weeks, days and sometimes even hours. Brands that are true thought leaders are not only embracing the importance of making their relationship with multicultural consumers a priority, they are leveraging the impact and influence of these consumers to shape and drive their broader general market efforts.
*A 2012 report from the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics states that less than 1 percent of those working as advertising managers are African American and 9.6 percent are Hispanic.
Leaders are grown, not magically created. To recruit and maintain talent in leadership roles, agencies must invest in recruiting, developing and retaining young, talented multicultural marketers. The current lack of diversity in the industry is an unfortunate reality that absolutely has an adverse impact on the ability of many agencies to provide their clients with a truly diverse lens into today’s marketplace. For the issue to truly be addressed, client and agencies must understand that diversity is an intelligent business practice that will positively impact the bottom line, not something that is “nice to do.”
diversity allows an agency to bring a diverse perspective to their clients’ business challenges. Not just ethnic diversity, but diversity of experience, culture and perspective. The cumulative impact of this diversity is an agency that can bring a differentiated contemporary point of view to their clients’ business challenges. It allows agencies to approach their clients’ business challenges based on what is best for their business versus the agency’s homogenous lens to the world.
Brands can no longer treat multicultural marketing as an afterthought and expect to be successful. Those that do will face significant challenges and decreasing revenues in the coming years.