Trumped? How the Election Could Impact Multicultural Marketing

Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election has come as a surprise to many. His stances on immigration and trade with Mexico (Televisa’s stock was down 8% this morning) have many multicultural media and marketing executives thinking (and possibly worrying?). Just this morning, WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell admitted surprise after the “second Brexit: Donald Trump’s U.S. election-win.”  Other executives contacted by Portada acknowledged to be “speechless.” In any case, what does Trump’s victory say about multicultural marketing and its future?

5 Thoughts…

1. Does It Still Make Sense to Implement National Campaigns with a Multicultural Focus?

A key question to be resolved by brand marketers and agency executives is how national marketing campaigns — particularly those that rely heavily on diverse constituents but that are inclusive of all constituencies — can be effficiently implemented in a country with citizens and consumers as divided as they currently are in the United States. Will the pendulum swing back to Hispanic-specific campaigns?

2. Substantial Increase in Uncertainty Regarding Immigration

The Hispanic population is far from homogeneous, and Trump’s victory may not impact Hispanics that are U.S. citizens. However, those that are not citizens, particularly the undocumented segment of the Hispanic population, will be under pressure. Obama’s executive order in November 2014 gave protection to approximately 5 million Hispanics — of which almost 50% live in California, Texas and Florida —  that are undocumented. A new president, Donald Trump, can reverse this executive order. Uncertainty for this portion of the Hispanic population will likely mean lower consumption rates.

3. Obamacare: Healthcare Marketing Looking Gloomy

Approximately 20 million Americans, of which 4 million are Hispanics, are now health-insured as a result of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which jump-started Hispanic health insurance marketing in a substantial way. During the final week of his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump vowed to repeal the 2010 health-care law so quickly that he might summon Congress into a special session to accomplish the task.   The impact on healthcare insurance marketing may be substantial, both from a regulatory and target-audience perspective.

4. Big Media Mergers Are Less Likely

Donald Trump’s upset victory in the presidential race has raised new questions about whether AT&T ‘s pending $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner will secure approval from federal regulators. A wave of populism that put Trump over the top on Election Day has cast a shadow on the potential for other big deals involving media and entertainment assets. Trump’s campaign was hostile to the mainstream media establishment, particularly in its final months. In addition, Trump showed opposition to excessive media concentration.

5.The Polling/Data Modeling Industry Disaster May Bring Back the “Art” of Marketing

Trump’s victory was a huge surprise. In the age of real-time data input and massive analysis of data sets and surveys, the polling industry got it all wrong. This is a reminder that “art” is as essential to communications and marketing as is “science.”

…and 3 Facts.

1. Hispanics Were Not a Deciding Factor, or at Least Not in the Way Anti-Trump Pundits Expected

descarga-5According to CNN’s exit polls, about 27% of Latinos voted for Trump. Exit polls from The New York Times put the figure at 29%. This means that Trump did better with Hispanics than Bob Dole in 1996 (21%), and wound up comparable to Mitt Romney in 2012 (27%). But, this is a reminder that Latino voters aren’t monolithic, one-dimensional, or single-issue oriented. As Mike Gonzalez wrote in the Daily Signal, Mexican-Americans punished Trump for saying that Mexico sends us “rapists”: “But most of that took place in states out West, where Hillary Clinton won overwhelmingly. In Florida, people of Mexican origin comprised only 15% of the ‘Hispanic’ population as of the last Census.” In Florida, Cuban-Americans punished Clinton for supporting President Barack Obama’s diplomatic opening to the Castro dictatorship.

2. Urban-Multicultural Areas Voted Overwhelmingly for Clinton

The majority of the Northeast and the Western states, where a majority of the Hispanic population lives (particularly those with a Mexican origin), voted for Clinton. In many cases, overwhelmingly so. This was not the case with Texas. But even in Florida — which Trump won — the Miami urban areas, where Hispanics and multicultural consumers are a significant part of the population, the majority of the vote went to the Democratic candidate.

3. “Whitelash”: A Tale of Two Countries

Trump directed his campaign to whites who felt alienated by the influx of Hispanic and other immigrants. The white, mostly male, working-class vote (not millennials!) propelled Trump to victory, in stark contrast with the millennial and multicultural vote, which was essential to Obama during the last two presidential election cycles.