Sunday, February 24, 2008

5158: Marketers Clueless On Multiculturalism?


Marketers: We Don’t Get How to Do Diversity
Survey Suggests There’s Still a Good Deal of Confusion About Multicultural Market

By Beth Snyder Bulik

YORK, Pa. -- Marketers are hiring more talent and spending more money than ever to chase multicultural consumers, yet they are divided on how to reach them -- and unsure they’re getting good returns on their investments.

While 84% of the marketers believe multicultural marketing is “critical to my business,” almost 40% said they don’t know the financial value of multicultural groups to their companies, according to a study for executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles by Brandiosity.

They also had a variety of opinions on which agencies to hire to reach the Hispanic, African-American and Asian groups. Of the 60 companies that were surveyed on which shops they use for multicultural-marketing services, 58% said they tap general-market-research firms; 51% said they use multicultural agencies; 42% use general-market agencies; and 35% use multicultural-research firms.

‘Same stuff’ as 20 years ago
In fact the overall picture painted by the survey suggests there’s still a good deal of confusion about the multicultural market. Pepper Miller, president of Miller Hunter Group, a market-research and planning group in Chicago, said marketers really don’t understand it any better than they did 20 years ago. “I entered the business in 1985. The other day I found a paper I wrote back then, and I read it and I thought, ‘Man, this is the same stuff we’re saying now!’”

More than two-thirds of the respondents were chief marketing officers or senior VPs of marketing. Another 14% were VPs, managers or directors. They represented a wide variety of industries including retail, consumer package goods, telecom, financial services, fast food and apparel.

Carla Palazio, partner at Heidrick & Struggles, said the recruiting firm commissioned the study to discover what companies need -- particularly what sort of talent they’re looking for -- to target multicultural segments, specifically through the eyes of the CMO. What it found was a disconnect: Multicultural marketing is perceived as very important -- but there are still a lot of companies that lack a real companywide strategy to address it. “The root of this is the lack of awareness at the organization. While the CMO understands it well, they almost have to evangelize [the value of multicultural marketing] to the rest of the company,” Ms. Palazio said.

Indeed, among the 20 biggest challenges executives expressed, almost half could be categorized as problems proving merit inside the company. They listed roadblocks such as “explaining to management their importance,” “getting buy-in and support from company leadership,” and “getting senior level marketers to understand that the world is changing.”

[Read the full story here.]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Market reserch is very improtant tool in marketing and we have to plan according to market reserch.Most of the customers are interested to do business with good margins but they want to take credit from companies and asks about best price.If the product is good and brand image we are not getting this problem.