I was fortunate to have attended the 2019 Madison Region Economic Development and Diversity Summit held in Madisoni n May. Organized annually by the Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP) and the Urban League of Greater Madison, the conference brings together professionals at the intersection of diversity & inclusion efforts and the burgeoning regional economy. The conference features nationally known speakers, breakout sessions and conversation that seeks to engage, educate, and empower attendees on issues of economic, workforce, and community development.
A keynote speaker was Paulita David, director of multicultural strategies at McPherson and former head of US Multicultural at Google. At Google, she is credited with changing the company’s approach to multicultural consumers, helping to effectively cater to the African American, Asian American and LGBTQ+ communities.
David shared her deep knowledge of multicultural marketing, describing the dramatic demographic shifts occurring in this country. For example, 40% of the U.S. population is multicultural, and within the next 15 – 20 years, that number will grow to 60%. The shift is even more dramatic when you consider change among demographic groups by age. For example, the millennial population is already 50% multicultural. All this occurs within the context that by 2044, the majority of the population will be “minority”.
Her call to action for successful companies is that each must acknowledge the diversity of the new American consumer audience. Marketers worth their salt must promote their products to this changing population and acknowledge diversity in advertising strategy. According to David, companies that don’t understand the multicultural nature of their customers risk losing their relevance and market share.
What do these individual markets represent nationwide as consumers? David’s presentation discussed each. Twelve key facts are described below.
The Latino Effect – 1) Latinos have the highest entrepreneurship rates of any US ethnic group. 2) The median Latino is twenty-nine, compared to thirty-eight for the overall population. 3) The value of the Latino population to the US economy is $700 Billion.
The Asian American Effect – 1) This population has grown 45% in the past 10 years compared to 8% of the total US population. 2) Asian American households are 17% larger, with more children and with more generations living together. 3) The value of this group to the US economy is $1 Trillion and growing.
The LGBTQ+ Effect – 1) 20% of US millennials identify as LGBTQ+, representing 4.5% of the US population 2) 70% say a brand’s LGBTQ friendly reputation influences their purchasing decisions. 3) LGBTQ+ individuals contribute $965 Billion in spending power.
The African American Effect – 1) A 108% increase in buying power between 2000 and 2017 has occurred among African Americans. 2) They are big consumers of social media, apps and Internet. (Black Twitter has a big effect on cultural change). 3) They offer have $1.3 Trillion in spending power.
With the growing economic power of Latinos, Asian Americans, LGBTQ+, and African Americans, every healthcare marketer must dedicate promotional dollars to these groups on an individual basis.
Those who don’t understand the multicultural nature of their audience are at risk of losing generations of customers.
James Shulkin is the Internal Communication Manager at Quartz Health Solutions, Inc., and a member of WHPRMS since 1999. If you would like to contact him, write to firstname.lastname@example.org