Let’s Call it What it Is: Multicultural Marketing not Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

This article is part of a larger series that focuses on diversity and equity in marketing through the amplification of Black and racially diverse authors. As a company, we are committed to identifying actions we can take in the fight against racism and injustice, and elevating BBIPOC voices is paramount to inspiring change. Follow along and read other posts in this series here.


This post is authored by Juanita Velez, Multicultural Marketing Expert and Founder of HYPE.

2020. What a year.

In less than nine months, you’ve brought to light the important issues that have been swept under the rug of many brands and pressured them to share actionable next steps on how to address them. As conscious consumers, our thumbs have eagerly been scrolling through Instagram carousels, reading brand statements, or black squares shared in hopes to find one that supports our values.

While the discussion around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) has been the focal point of our attention; all too often we’ve forgotten, dismissed, and maybe even replaced the effort of teams responsible for researching, learning and ultimately building a business case for marketing to diverse audiences.

Let’s define the terms.

You may have heard of the party analogy when defining DEI:

Let’s imagine that we are on the planning committee for this party with an overall goal to increase ticket sales. Think about some of the questions you may have had to work through as a committee before sending the invitations out. Perhaps the below come to mind:

  • What is the objective of this event? Why are we having it?
  • What is the desired outcome of the event?
  • Should the event have a theme? If so, what kind UK WhatsApp Number List of themes should be considered that will be of interest to everyone we invite?
  • Why should people want to come to the event? Are there different motivators for different attendees? (What’s in it for them? WIFM)
  • Who do we want at the event that represents our company’s culture and fulfills our objective?
  • Should we have more than one event for different audiences?
  • Who do we need represented to ensure the playlist is diverse and caters to all of our invitees?
  • How should we promote our event? What channels do we need to activate on to promote this event and target the invitees where they consume content?
  • Lastly, the biggest question of the committee: how can we increase sales among the communities that reflect our company’s values, that we want to show up?

The questions you just reviewed are the foundational elements that make up a marketing brief.

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So what’s the connection between DEI and Marketing?

While DEI looks to shape corporate cultures to be more diverse, equitable and just; inclusive multicultural marketing aims at growing the business by investing in research and strategic initiatives to authentically market to multicultural audiences.

After years of research and building business cases for multicultural marketing initiatives within Fortune 50 brands, I define Multicultural Marketing as a niche within marketing growing a brand’s marketing goals within a clearly defined ethnic/race-specific audience such as Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, LGBTQ+ or perhaps BIPOC and non-multicultural segments as well. This automatically forces this team to be intentional about learning this target audience’s motivations, aspirations and purchase drivers for the brand’s product or service.

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