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Marketers Advised To Target Ethnic Preferences

At the risk of stereotyping, new research is emerging to help brands make the most of their multicultural marketing efforts.

Online content preferences for each ethnicity are closely tied to the major drivers of their ethnic identity, according to a new report from Yahoo and Mindshare in participation with Added Value.

Indeed, seven in 10 ethnic minorities say that ethnicity remains a significant part of their identity, the study found.

Among the most important drivers are music for African-Americans; political beliefs for Hispanics; and eating habits for Asians. For some categories, ethnicity does not seem to factor as prominently. Automotive, pharmaceuticals, and travel were three prime examples.

However, there are other categories where it’s critical for brands to speak directly to specific ethnic groups.

Sixty-two percent of African-Americans want health and beauty products marketed specifically to them; Hispanics -- 53% -- feel ethnicity matters when it comes to CPG, entertainment and clothing, while 50% of Asian respondents said that ethnicity was important in entertainment marketing.

Ethnic minorities now represent $2.5 trillion in buying power, while that continues to grow on pace with rising populations. In particular, domestic Hispanic and Asian populations have experienced a 43% increase since 2000. The researchers focused on four key major ethnic groups, including Caucasians, African-Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders and Hispanics.

For those brands that are still uncertain of their multicultural approaches, Yahoo and Mindshare suggest gaining a “true understanding” of the ethnic groups they want to connect with. “Understand what defines them; be in the content they visit; think about the categories that matter to them ethnically,” they propose.

In addition, they advise two ways for marketers to speak to ethnicity in their advertising: “Feature diversity in your ads,” and “Target specific ethnicities in the categories that matter to them. Avoid stereotypes … Be authentic.”


Gavin O'Malley, MediaPost News. November 29, 2011

Copyright © 2011 MediaPost Communications. All rights reserved.