As the demographic composition of the U.S. continues to change, marketers and their ad agencies are taking note. With just over 50% of births in the U.S. now taking place in the black, Asian, Hispanic or other minority communities, multiculturalism is a key part of the nation’s identity. To address these consumers, marketers are  using new strategies and media formats.

Nearly all, 87%, marketers responding to the Association of National Advertisers survey, indicate they are allocating more money to reach multicultural audiences. On average, marketers are allocating 9.1% more to new media formats directly targeting multicultural consumers. These funds are being shifted from the marketing budget (56%) or the multicultural budget (22%). Marketers believe that many multicultural consumers are tech savvy and easier to reach through digital channels.  For now, 7.7% of the multicultural media budget goes to platforms such as:

  • Company websites
  • Online ads
  • Email marketing
  • Mobile marketing

In the next year, marketers will emphasize formats like mobile (33%), viral video (29%), social networks (27%) and location-based apps (25%) to broaden their reach to the multicultural demographic. Even as they make this investment, marketers remain concerned about the ROI on these new platforms. Company websites and paid search still get top grades with respect to effectiveness but marketers continue to roll out campaigns in other formats in the hopes that they’ll connect with these important consumers.

The ANA survey also revealed that only about half of marketers have hired multicultural agencies for their creative and media buying needs while the rest rely on general market agencies for this outreach. Bill Duggan, ANA Group Executive Vice President, says “This is likely a result of some clients now ‘marketing to a multicultural nation’ rather than doing ‘multicultural marketing.’”

[Sources: Marczak, Trisha, Birth Rates Show a Growing Multicultural US. Mintpress.net. 18 May 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2012; Marketers Leverage Newer Media Platforms. ANA.net. 4 Oct. 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2012]