Special Report on Multicultural Marketing:
7. Tailor Your Creative. Utilize appropriate imagery—particularly African American models—and color schemes. Make sure your overall creative is appealing and well suited for your market to increase the likelihood of them identifying with your message.
In one of KLS Media Group’s direct mail packages for a heating company, for example, he showed an upscale African American male reading Black Enterprise magazine. “The fact that he was reading a Black Enterprise magazine related to the audience, so we try to do things that hit home to the consumers,” says Stanley.
In a campaign for Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, KLS Media Group used images of soul food, while another campaign for Kentucky Fried Chicken showed images of a family gathered at a reunion—both demonstrating an understanding for the market’s values and lifestyle.
“The vibrancy of colors seems to be important to the African American market in particular,” says Rossi. “We’re thinking in terms of color and creative, and … there is a certain amount of consideration for vibrant, eye-catching colors that pop, as opposed to cool shades of color that have less of a visual impact.”
8. Incorporate It in Your Initial Strategy. Factor multicultural marketing into your overall marketing strategy, rather than fitting it into a general market approach. “We spend a lot of time evangelizing our clients about the importance of factoring it into their initial strategy and not making it an afterthought,” says Rossi. “Commit the necessary resources in terms of budget, in terms of personnel.”
Don’t Make Assumptions. Since the common language spoken by the target audience is English, marketers often have assumed African Americans would be receptive to messages targeted to the general market. “At one point, [marketers] weren’t marketing specifically to African Americans, thinking that African Americans who speak English are being marketed to in their [companies’] general market promotions,” says Blume. “And they’re right in some respects, but the only problem was that [African Americans] weren’t responding so well because these mailings were not targeted to them specifically—their culture, their relevance. When [companies] started to specifically target African Americans, they were responding in great numbers—much higher response rates than [companies] were getting normally.”