The multicultural mainstream has arrived—why aren’t today’s brands prepared?

by | Oct 24, 2018 | Public Relations

As we know, the nation’s changing demographics are shifting the overall makeup of the population, and of the average consumer. By 2044, the U.S. will be a multicultural majority with 50 percent or more representing Hispanic, African-American or Asian populations—yet brands are not committing enough resources to reach multicultural consumers effectively.

A new report from tech-driven cultural insights agency ThinkNow, a in partnership with The Center for Multicultural Science and MAGNA, finds that brands are underinvesting in digital advertising spend to reach these consumers. The new study, The Multicultural Digital Report 2018, quantifies digital advertising spend by ethnicity and race for the first time.

The multicultural mainstream has arrived—why aren’t today’s brands prepared?

Historically, U.S. digital spend was measured by language for the Latino population, and had never been reported for African-Americans and Asians. Digital ad spend was simply rolled into one overall number—until now. The report suggests that brands will need to invest more in digital and with multicultural consumers to help drive growth.

The multicultural mainstream has arrived—why aren’t today’s brands prepared?

“Brands aren’t keeping pace with the changing multicultural population and its preferences to interact in an authentic and culturally appropriate way,” said Mario X. Carrasco, co-founder and principal at ThinkNow, in a news release. “Companies need to adapt more quickly using new research tools to reach multicultural consumers such as Gen Z who is increasing its purchasing power every year.”

The multicultural mainstream has arrived—why aren’t today’s brands prepared?

Key findings of report include the following:

  • Digital ad sales reached 52 percent of total ad sales in 2018
  • By 2023, digital ad sales are projected to reach almost 70 percent
  • Latinos are 18 percent of the population and received only 14 percent of digital ad spend
  • Non-Hispanic whites are 60 percent of the population and received 65 percent of digital ad spend
  • Projected growth rates of the U.S. population who are two or more races is 11 percent in 2018-23
  • 36 percent of Latinos prefer Netflix to consume TV programming—highest of any group

The multicultural mainstream has arrived—why aren’t today’s brands prepared?

“It is important that advertisers and marketers understand how much of their investments are reaching the new mainstream—Latinos, African-Americans and Asians. The U.S. is and will continue to be more and more multicultural and publishing digital spend by ethnicity and race is hugely important, moving forward,” said Dr. Jake Beniflah, executive director at The Center for Multicultural Science, in the release.

Download the complete report here.

The multicultural mainstream has arrived—why aren’t today’s brands prepared?

The report includes a number of empirical studies supporting in-culture marketing, digital and social media usage for Asian consumers (not measured by ComScore), and new data on digital usage across all consumer groups. Consumer data was collected using ThinkNow ConneKt, an audience planning and segmentation tool for the multicultural market.

The multicultural mainstream has arrived—why aren’t today’s brands prepared?

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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