Multicultural & Inclusive Marketing:
Why Retailers Must Embrace the Multicultural Majority
America is on a fast march toward a multicultural majority, and businesses are challenged to develop the teams, tools, and strategies to adapt successfully. Derek Chew, CEO of Fullmoon Digital, explains how multicultural and inclusive marketing go hand-in-hand with DEIB to create winning commerce strategies.
2020 marked the official year that the generation of Americans aged 17 and under was a multicultural majority, but the actual shift happened between census years. This means Americans 35 and under reached a multicultural majority in 2023, and by 2028 Americans under 50 will have as well. Retailers now have to reach a more diverse audience more effectively, and accurate data is vital to successful multicultural and inclusive marketing. Derek Chew, CEO of Fullmoon Digital, explains that it is more critical than ever for companies to understand their audience through a multicultural lens.
Chew explains, “We’re a ‘debug’ digital consultancy, which means we figure out what’s wrong and improve it. We’ve always been grounded on the importance — and benefits — of using well-formed first-party data. However, as we accelerate toward a more multicultural and diverse society, a thorough understanding of customers is an integral part of successful commerce strategies.”
Retailers must redefine the “general market” by adjusting data sets to remove outdated biases and to understand audiences more accurately. Sticking to old definitions hurts businesses and consumers. The FDA-approved asthma medication albuterol is a prime example. Children with Puerto Rican or African American backgrounds are less responsive to the drug, which is used in inhalers. However, since the clinical trials lacked diversity, this shortcoming was not revealed until after approval. A lack of diversity in clinical research can have serious repercussions. In marketing, inclusivity and diversity offer invaluable insights that businesses likewise cannot afford to overlook.
There are myriad approaches to diversity, but they are not interchangeable. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) programs can increase market share, drive customer loyalty, and attract top talent. A more diverse workforce will serve a multicultural audience more effectively. However, while CSR and DEIB benefit brands and customers, they are not the same as multicultural and inclusive marketing.
To embrace the new reality, organizations need to evolve their strategy to connect with people of all backgrounds. There are two marketing approaches businesses are utilizing to achieve this. Multicultural marketing involves segmenting an audience based on race, culture, or ethnicity and media planning and buying for that segment.
Inclusive marketing, on the other hand, reaches beyond cultural and racial segments to connect with customers based on transcendent fears, motivations, and desires — executed inclusively, segmenting audiences by factors that unite people rather than divide them. Pulling off effective inclusive marketing and social commerce requires a deeper audience understanding. While first-party data can provide actionable feedback, it lacks context without a diverse team.
Data reveals significant diversity gaps as high as 600% in white-collar jobs across industries. Yet, diverse companies are 35% more likely to perform better, and diverse teams are 87% better at making decisions and 70% more likely to capture new markets. To garner the benefits diversity brings to a business and a team, a corporation’s makeup should reflect the area’s population and the customer base.
A few brands are leading the way as models of successful diverse and inclusive marketing and reaping the benefits of their advanced approach. Nike’s “Until We All Win” is one example. Others include Proctor & Gamble and Progressive, whose ads feature relatable and diverse people. (10)
Fullmoon Digital has long recognized the importance of having a diverse team to serve its clients effectively. Chew explains, “We are expanding, and that reflects how we engage with our clients. The diversity within our teams pushes us all to consider each other more and to consider different viewpoints. So many of our team are world travelers. We speak a lot of languages. Our first-hand experience is diversity drives growth and expands perspectives almost daily.”
About Fullmoon Digital
Fullmoon Digital, founded by Derek Chew, a former early Yahoo! employee, is one of the few 100% independent digital marketing agencies in the United States. The firm is cross-functional, with deep experience in media planning and buying, digital consultancy, SEO, digital strategy, programmatic, analytics, performance marketing, paid media, social advertising, and creative. They push the envelope of what is possible in terms of marketing and technology, all the while providing best-in-class digital marketing service to their “pack” of clients. For more information, please visit www.fullmoondigital.com.