More than 800 marketing, advertising and media executives are gathering in Los Angeles for the Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference organized by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). To include ethnic insights into overall (total) marketing strategies is crucial, many marketers noted. Pepsico’s Carlos Saavedra presented Pepsi’s cultural fluency marketing approach.
An overarching theme of Day 1 of the ANA Multicultural Conference taking place yesterday and today in Los Angeles, is that (multi)cultural relevant insights need to lead Corporate America’s marketing strategies. “Our creative begins with a culturally relevant insight”, noted presenter Marlena Peleo-Lazar, Chief Creative Officer of McDonald’s Corporation. Peleo-Lazar highlighted the importance of integrating the main four elements of a marketing plan: Insights, Plan, Creative and Media.
“You can not think about growing the US $2 billion Huggies business without leading with ethnic insights first,” said Lizette Williams, Senior Brand Manager, Kimberley-Clark Corporation. Williams, an AfroLatina, claimed that she has found success in implementing a total market strategy with strong multicultural elements by having CMO level support and elevating the conversation. Elevating the conversation means to transition from a silo-marketing situation in which marketing dollars are fought for, to discussing an overall total market company strategy. Williams added that a strong collaboration between multicultural and general market agencies is a strong prerequisite for a succesful total market strategy.
Jori Hartwig, CMO, Amway North America, noted that 54% of Amway U.S. based members are Hispanics. She stressed that direct sales, which Amway relies on, are not based on a door to door model anymore but a virtual communication network. Hartwig expects that more than half of Amway’s growth over the next decade will come from the Multicultural space.
The former Multicultural team is now the Culture and Music team.
Pepsi calls for a cross cultural mindset
Carlos Saavedra, director of Multicultural Marketing at Pepsi, gave a presentation about Pepsico’s Cross Cultural Marketing journey.
“By 2042 there will be a majority of minorities (Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians etc.) in the U.S. Minorities now account for USv$3.2 trillion dollars in spending power,” Saavedra noted. That is why “brands must rethink the way they connect with consumers. Traditional multicultural marketing is not sustainable in the long-term. Ethnic culture is a part of how consumers identify themselves. A more dynamic cross cultural mindset is called for. It is called Cultural Fluency.”
Cultural Fluency means to market at intersection of interests (e.g. Fashion, Sports etc), rather than to one group in particular. “It is about being inclusive about the entire texture of multicultural consumers.” Pepsi transitioned from having a multicultural team to have multicultural marketing objectives be included in each brand’s goals. “The former Multicultural team is now the Culture and Music team,” Saavedra said. “Brand managers are accountable to connect with the multicultural consumer. They need to know the multicultural consumer as well as general market consumers.”
Saavedra claimed that Hispanic focused executions are not necessarily wrong. But he said that by taking a cross cultural approach , Pepsi discovered that the NFL is attractive to Hispanics. Before, by having an only Hispanic approach, Hispanic campaigns only revolved around soccer,
Critical to the success of Pepsi’s Cultural Fluency project are the “Need to invest to build cross cultural insights and execution infrastructure as well as razor-sharp regional execution.”