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Top Tips for Multicultural Marketing

by Darren Megarry  |  
September 22, 2011

In this article, you'll learn...

  • Why it's important to be culturally sensitive when marketing
  • How to preserve your brand when marketing to a multicultural audience

Are your campaigns reaching the intended audiences? That's a key question facing marketing professionals, as the combined wave of technology, communication access, and spending power continues to extend across the globe.

Those trends are putting an increasing number of international customers within reach of your products and services, and they're also raising important implications for marketing to growing ethnic groups here in the US.

Here are some tips to keep in mind for reaching your intended audience.

1. Moving Beyond Translation: Know the Intent of Your Efforts

To be successful, marketers must embrace the nuances of their intended audience's culture. Whether that means paying closer attention to culturally sensitive imagery, employing appropriate communications media, or incorporating popular jargon or slang, the most successful marketers demonstrate a deep understanding of—and respect for—different cultures throughout their communications initiatives.

If you translate information without adapting your message, you're branding your appeal ineffectively.

The three largest ethnic groups in the US are Hispanics, African Americans, and Asian Americans. Though many organizations may already be reaching those markets to a limited extent, doing so is often a low priority; and the ethnic groups they do reach have had to cross the cultural barrier themselves to get the message.

Moreover, each culture in and of itself has diversity. Consider the US Hispanic population, for example:

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Darren Megarry is VP of corporate sales at VIA, which delivers multilingual business solutions, including online translation, marketing localization, and global e-learning. He has more than 15 years of international sales and management experience in the software, electronics components, translation, and e-learning markets.

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