The Challenges and opportunities of marketing to ethnic communities

Most mainstream agencies do not like to tackle ethnic communications. These types of campaigns can generate huge backlash and can be sensitive. What mainstream agencies and most brands do not see, is that marketing to ethnic communities can also become a tremendous long term competitive advantage.

Unsolicited consumers represent an opportunity for more brand love.

Ethnic communities are a niche market and can be harder to capture. For most chief marketers or brand managers, it is not the priority target for a mainstream consumer brand name. The longer I work in marketing, the longer I wonder why brand managers and marketers alike keep focusing on the larger, more competitive target. A target which has now become more and more saturated. Cost per clicks and Cost per Acquisition are higher than ever. It is time for mainstream brands to tackle the “long tail” consumers, the underrepresented communities who also have diverse and complex lives as consumers. These consumers do not often see themselves in ads because they are not the main source of revenue for brands. Brands need to stop thinking of consumers as revenue stream. Instead, they need to think in terms of “brand love” opportunities and how to trigger interest within the diverse yet growing ethnic communities in the US. When an ethnic community notices that a brand is paying special attention to them… They remember and they too, start to pay more attention to this brand. Isn’t it what a brand manager would want?

Illustrating diversity within mainstream culture

Effective ethnic marketing strategies focus on showing the importance of each facet of diversity within mainstream culture. They succeed in portraying diversity as richer rather than different.

Ethnic marketing recognizes the importance that each individual ethnic group represents for brands. Ethnic minorities want to be catered to not as minorities but as mainstream consumers while maintaining their own identity.

Have you ever seen a professional dancer dance?

We have all seen a professional athlete performing: he or she always makes it look easy, almost like anyone could do it. This is the most beautiful compliment anyone can have after years of hard work. One could say, it is the same with good ethnic marketing campaigns. Effective ethnic communications make it look like the brand is not even trying.

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