Ethnic Marketing: A Strategy for Marketing Programs to Diverse Audiences Dallas L. Holmes EdD, USU Extension Adapted from an article by Lisa A. Guion, Heather Kent, and David C. Diehl, Florida State University Cooperative Extension, 2010.
Ethnic Marketing • Marketing means publicizing your name, program and services to your target audience. • Ethnic marketing uses personal marketing strategies that best reflect the values, biases and beliefs of the ethnic audience you are targeting.
America:Melting Pot or Tossed Salad Diverse mix of individuals and cultures Homogenous mass of acclimatized people
Ethnic Marketing Strategy • Because America is a “tossed salad” society, it is important to tailor your marketing strategies to match the norms, values and traditions of the group you are targeting. • Three Steps for developing an effective marketing strategy: • Consider ethnic diversity. • Determine the level of ethnicity • Develop and implement your ethnic marketing campaign.
Step 1: Consider Ethnic Diversity • TO AVOID: • Lumping all the members of your target audience into an unidentifiable mass (Melting pot mentality). • Addressing all members of the target audience with a general marketing approach. • TO DO: • Value the cultural uniqueness of your target group. • Value cooperation and bridge-building with community leaders and other organizations working within the community.
Step 1: Consider Ethnic Diversity • TO AVOID: • Considering diversity as a matter of image building—token minorities in your marketing campaigns. • Interpreting diversity as a matter of altruism (charity for “those poor people”) • TO DO: • Value the cultural beliefs, symbols and practices of your target group. • Value linguistic differences, as well as accents, practices and social conduct. • Value word-of-mouth & interpersonal communication to spread your message.
Step 2: Determining the Level of Ethnicity of your Target Group • Depends on: • Environmental conditions (family upbringing, neighborhood ethnicity) • Economic conditions (education, income) • Social conditions (place of birth, length of stay in U.S.)
Step 2: Determining the Level of Ethnicity of your Target Group • People with a high degree of ethnicity are possibly: • First generation immigrants • Grew up outside of America • Not fluent in English, speak mostly native language • Speak with a heavy accent • Live in high-density ethnic areas • Higher level of ethnicity=Higher degree of ethnic marketing
Step 2: Determining the Level of Ethnicity of your Target Group • People with a medium degree of ethnicity are possibly: • Second generation or acculturated first generation • Spent ¼ to ½ of their lives in America • Are proficient in English and their native language • Speak with a light accent • Live in moderate ethnic-dense areas
Step 2: Determining the Level of Ethnicity of your Target Group • People with a low degree of ethnicity are possibly: • Second generation and onwards • Born and raised in America • Are bilingual, but prefer English • Speak with a neutral accent • Live in low ethnic-dense areas.
The group’s level of self-identified ethnicity determines how much ethnic marketing strategy should be used. • With lower levels of ethnicity, use more mainstream marketing strategies. • With higher levels of ethnicity, use more ethnic marketing strategies.
Step 3: Launching Ethnic Marketing • Of course, we should tailor our marketing approach to the target audience, but HOW do we know what they will respond to? • Use the Three “I”s to plan your marketing strategy. • Identify the communities • Identify the values and beliefs • Identify personal marketing strategies
Step 3: Launching Ethnic MarketingThe Three “I”s • Identify the communities the target group comprises. • Identify the values and beliefs of the community/communities. • Identify personal marketing strategies that match the values and beliefs of the community/communities you will be addressing.
Step 3: Launching Ethnic MarketingThe Three “I”s Example: • Identify group: African Americans.
Step 3: Launching Ethnic MarketingThe Three “I”s • Identify Values: • Similar to contiguous African cultures. Thus, African American communities differ from mainstream American culture. • Value qualities like “telling it like it is,” “seeing the good as well as the bad”, assertiveness and speaking up. • Give importance to orally transmitted information. • Like to be represented. • Receptive to organizations that “give something back to the community”. • Like to see a positive image of their culture. • View the world from an Afrocentric standpoint
Step 3: Launching Ethnic MarketingThe Three “I”s • Identify Personal Marketing Strategies • Do not be pretentious. • Be sensitive about the authenticity of your message. Have facts ready and be able to back them up. • Have African American representatives present your message. • Encourage your African American audiences to ask questions about your programs. Do not mistake their assertiveness for aggression. Let them discuss their doubts, they will tell you whether they like or do not like something.
Ethnic Marketing to Asian Americans • Identify group: Asian Americans.
Ethnic Marketing to Asian Americans Identify Values of Asian Americans that may impact marketing: • High-context culture where non-verbal communication (body language, use of silence) is very significant. • Have a high level of education in some subgroups, like Japanese, East Indians and Chinese. • Consider family very important. • Believe in subordination of younger to elder; hierarchical family structure • Value word-of-mouth messages from friends and relations. • Are uneasy with strangers. • Give importance to the quality of a product first, followed by price, service and convenience.
Identify personal Strategies developing marketing materials for Asian Americans: • Be subtle and polite when you try to send a message across. • Please all the family members. • Remember that the oldest male member of the family has the decision-making power. Also, give respect to the elders by being courteous. • Have your message carried by the members of the community. • Avoid those numbers and colors that are considered to bring ill luck (for example, the number 4 and the color black signify death in Chinese culture). • Make multiple visits to build a better rapport. Be formal until you win the confidence of your audiences. • Make sure to offer quality programs that will do good to the community.
Ethnic Marketing to Hispanics/Latinos • Identify group: Hispanic/Latinos
Ethnic Marketing to Hispanics/Latinos Identify Values of the Hispanic community that may impact marketing: • According to the U.S. Census (2000), Hispanics/Latinos are predominantly younger, with a median age of 24 (Tharp, 2001). • Identify themselves in both individual and situational context; for instance, at work, Hispanics may act more like mainstream Americans. • Retained Spanish language. Spanish is a high-context, indirect language, with a lot of importance given to nonverbal communication. Choice of pronouns depends on the formality of a relationship. • Give importance to family and the church (mostly Roman Catholic Church) • Men and women play traditional roles in the family, with the husband enjoying the decision-making power. • Value children and extended family (Zuniga, 2001). • Prefer to be informed by friends or Hispanic/Latino associations. • Are brand-loyal. If satisfied, Hispanics/Latinos stick to a particular brand of product or program forever (Rossman, 1999, Tharp, 2001). • Are optimistic. One buzzword is “simpotia,” which means “keep everyone happy.”
Identify Personal Strategies, for developing marketing materials for the American Hispanics/Latinos • Use informal Spanish. Give detailed information and use visual images. Please note: just as not all English-speaking people have high literacy levels, not all Hispanics/Latinos have high Spanish literacy levels. • Depending on the place or situation, speak in either English or Spanish or in both English and Spanish. Have a neutral accent and appearance. • Be aware of the fact that Spanish is a high-context language. Be indirect and careful while using pronouns. Use humor and vignettes with Hispanic/Latino characters in them. • Take your marketing to churches or family gatherings. • Please the family. Remember that the man of the family is the key decision-maker. Also, have a marketing campaign that includes benefits for the entire family. • Use testimonials from other Hispanics/Latinos who have benefited from your program. • Apply extensive relationship marketing. Show how your program will make their lives even better.
Ethnic Marketing to Native Americans • Identify group: Native Americans
Ethnic Marketing to Native Americans Identify Values of Native American that may impact marketing: • Identity: label themselves in terms of the group (tribe). • Spirituality: provides consciousness, meaning and wholeness (Yellow Bird, 2001) • Accept the group (tribal) leaders as the key decision makers. • Sharing and cooperation: family and the group take precedence over the individual (Sue & Sue, 1990). • Harmony with nature, accept the environment and nature (Sue & Sue, 1990). • Like visuals and oral communication. • Think storytelling is an important tool to pass on information. • Give importance to credibility and honesty. • Want to get rid of stereotyped images of their culture. • Like to be heard. Native Americans like to be given an opportunity to talk about their experiences, problems and suggestions.
Identify Personal Strategies for developing marketing materials for Native Americans • Identify the group (tribal) leader and seek his guidance. • Please the group (tribe) by addressing and satisfying all the members of the group (tribe). • Use bright and colorful visual images. • Use stories/testimonials to drive home the point you want to make with your Native American audiences. For example, tell stories of how your program has helped other Native Americans. • Provide facts to show how your program will benefit the community. Establish your credibility with facts and figures (Cultural Relevance and Diversity, 2001). • Balance modern images with traditional images to avoid stereotyping. • Ask for their participation. “Ask what they want, rather than being told what they need” (Cultural Relevance and Diversity, 2001).
References • Guion, L.A., Goddard, H.W., Broadwater, G., Chattaraj, S., & Sullivan-Lytle, S. (2003). Strengthening programs to reach diverse audiences. Gainesville, FL: Florida Cooperative Extension, University of Florida. • Tharp, M.C. (2001). Marketing and consumer identity in multicultural America. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications • Strengthening Programs to Reach Diverse Audiences – A Six Part Curriculum to work Effectively with Ethically Diverse Audiences, Univ. Florida IFAS