The results of the 2010 census is important not just for politicians, but also for advertisers. The results of the study shows that America is more ethnically diverse than ever before, and that has consequences for how advertising campaign are done.

The impact this will have on marketing is more complicated, writes Ola Mobolade. To say that the widely accepted multicultural marketing paradigm is outdated would be an understatement. In many cases, marketers are still employing the same ethnic strategies as the very first multicultural campaigns of the 1950s and 1960s — step 1: identify the largest ethnic segment(s); step 2: assume that they engage with your category/brand differently than whites do; step 3: use a multicultural specialist to convey a targeted message relying heavily on in-culture casting and language, with a sprinkling of cultural nuances and passion points; step 4: be disappointed by (lackluster) return on (minimal) investment.

Certain agencies have specialized in multicultural elements, and this might be a good sign for them in the short term as more top-level companies look to them. However, general-market agencies might align themselves as more “cross-cultural” as time goes on, and their resources might end up pushing more specialized agencies out of the market.

So, will traditional multicultural marketing eventually go extinct Probably, muses Mobolade. But it’s very likely that it will be replaced by a new multicultural marketing paradigm that’s even more relevant to contemporary consumer culture than today’s ‘general marketing.’ So the question should be, ‘Is the traditional ‘general-market’ paradigm dying ‘ I’ve got my money on yes.

Source: Ad Age