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It’s tough to ignore the multicultural consumers anymore

Jaya Smitha Menon
Friday, June 3, 2011
Jaya Smitha Menon
Multicultural marketing has always been a debated and doubted proposition. But if you are a Corporate addressing consumers beyond native boundaries, and still ignoring the multicultutal population, it is time to rethink. So, what is cooking in the melting pot? Nothing, but a paradigm shift in the demographic pattern. The immigrant groups which include Hispanics, Blacks, Asians amongst others were once considered a minority population and are slowly outpacing the native population. This demographic shift seriously indicate that companies who ignore these multicultural segments in their 2011 budgets will be at a disadvantage. Incidentally, many businesses have been caught unaware by the resulting major shifts taking place in the American marketplace today, as minority groups increase in size on their way to becoming the majority of the population. Indeed, these companies are missing out on huge untapped markets emerging within U.S. because they are not adequately targeting the multicultural populations of the twenty-first century. In today's marketplace, selling effectively to this new America is key to the long-term survival and success of any company. Research still says that only 20 percent companies are seriously engaging and attracting the multicultural customers. For most, the era of the multicultural is yet to enter into a serious dimension. But facts points to a different proposition.

What statistics say
The latest census figures of 2011 speak volumes of the fact that this diverse market needs to be addressed and can not be ignored. According to the data reported from 27 states (or a little more than half of the state-level data at the time of reporting), Asian population is already seeing significant growth that far outpaces the total United States population by huge margins.

All 27 states showed double or even triple-digit growth in their Asian populations. The top five states with the highest increases in the Asian population compared to ten years ago are: Nevada, up by 116 percent; North Carolina, up by 85 percent; Delaware up by 78 percent; Arkansas, up by 77 percent; and Indiana up by 74 percent. In some of the larger states like California, Texas, New Jersey and Illinois, the Asian population growth is outpacing the much celebrated Hispanic growth. The same trend is being observed in most of the key counties in the Los Angeles and San Francisco DMAs (Designated Market Area). Asians accounted for 72 percent of the growth in New Jersey's population and 47 percent of the growth in Illinois' population. California saw a staggering increase of more than 1.4 million Asians, and Texas, an increase of nearly half-a-million Asians.

According to a survey by The Nielsen Company in 2009, in the U.S. alone, more than half of all families with children will be multicultural by 2025 and as this population grows; it will gain an economic advantage. Between 2009 and 2012, the buying power of Hispanic and Asian Americans is predicted to increase 40 percent, reaching more than $2 trillion. “The decision to market to the burgeoning Asian American population, is no longer a question of if, but rather a question of when”, says Saul Gitlin, Executive Vice President – Strategic Services/New Business Kang & Lee Advertising.

A Powerful consumer segment

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Reader's comments(1)
1:This is a good article with several good points and interesting statistics. Enterprising firms realize that in-depth research is required to understand ethnic groups. With the increasing power of these multicultural communities, it is essential for businesses to understand their culture and buying habits.

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Posted by: TranslateMedia Michael - 06th Jun 2011
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