Multicultural Marketing – Online Course for 2016

Having successfully navigated the last year, marketers have plenty to be optimistic about in the new year. Digital advertising spend is certain to rise, buoyed by new technologies and an ever-evolving audience. Global brands will continue to court English-speaking audiences, while emerging markets seek to woo consumers through content in local languages.

But while the landscape may look positive, the truth is we’re still very much in the midst of a marketing crisis. After rising for a while last year, social media’s growth rate recently slowed.

Why? People are listening to music and audio content less and less, preferring to consume content through text and images. Younger generations are even eschewing social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, in favour of closed-circuit TV platforms, such as YouTube and Netflix.

If we want to avoid further marketing crises, we must become much more “multicultural” – marketing to and engaging with audiences across cultural divides. The good news is we have the means to facilitate change. Thanks to technology and the widespread adaptability of the internet.

What is multicultural marketing?

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes for a moment. Would you consider yourself to be a “multicultural” person?

If so, congratulations! You’re in the right place. We’re going to teach you all you need to know about marketing to and interacting with multicultural audiences.

To ensure you get the most out of this course, we’re going to introduce you to a slightly altered person. Say hello to James. He’s an ethnically ambiguous, linguistically diverse, globally-minded individual, who possesses a distinctive accent and likes to keep his hair very stylishly long.

James’ situation is typical of many millennials. Born and raised in the UK, he now calls London home, but considers himself more of a citizen of the world. Work has taken him to various places around the globe, including Malaysia, where he established a rapport with a Malaysian marketer in this course, which they’ve since developed into a successful cross-cultural business partnership. But James doesn’t just work in corporate life. He’s also an active member of the LGBTQ community, who uses his podcast, The Diversity In Marketing Summit, to shine a light on issues that affect the community, such as homophobia and transphobia.

Cross-Cultural Awareness And Adaptability

One of the major benefits of the internet is its ability to connect people regardless of geography or culture. Thanks to tools such as Google Translate, WhatsApp and Skype, individuals can now connect with people from all over the world and gain valuable business insights from an international perspective.

These same technologies can also be used to cross-culturally adapt marketing materials and campaigns. Thanks to a combination of cultural awareness training and a bit of creative writing, an English-speaking marketer in Turkey could effectively sell German products to Arabic speakers. Or a marketer in Mexico could target Spanish-speaking audiences with content in Spanish, leveraging the immense reach of podcasts and YouTube videos.

These examples demonstrate just how powerful the internet can be when used correctly. Thanks to the widespread adaptability of the internet’s underlying protocols, it’s now possible to digitally market to and engage with diverse groups of people, regardless of geography or cultural differences.

Traditional Markets Are Still Important

While the internet allows for unprecedented cross-cultural adaptation, that doesn’t mean traditional markets can’t be important. In fact, it’s essential that multinational brands, operating in varied cultural environments, continue to invest in traditional channels, such as radio and TV advertising.

Despite the efforts of marketers to reach out to diverse demographics, many businesses still rely heavily on older generations for their revenue. If a company wants to expand its customer base, it often has to look towards less-sophisticated markets for support.

Marketers must continue to devise creative strategies to reach out to culturally disparate groups, while also remaining cognizant of those groups’ mores and taboos. In an ideal world, we’d all live in a digital sphere where marketing is predominantly conducted through social media. But until then, marketers must continue to find ways to connect with consumers where they are.

Why should you learn about multicultural marketing?

If we’re to avoid future marketing crises, marketers must accept the fact that many of our customers and potential customers come from culturally different backgrounds. They may speak different languages, have different aesthetics and habits, and may even consume products and services in a completely different way.

This multicultural reality presents unique marketing challenges, requiring marketers to adapt their approach and mode of communication. With the right tools and a little bit of imagination, however, marketers can tailor their strategy and outreach efforts to engage with culturally diverse groups of people. Thanks to digital marketing’s global reach and its ability to adapt to and understand new markets, marketers can finally begin to devise more effective strategies to reach out to and engage with consumers whose worlds might intersect with a hamburger or movie.