With the publication of Peter Francese’s white paper, there has been much talk about the 2010 Census and its results affecting the marketing world. Studies indicate that this changing face will morph from “Consumer Joe” to one that is impossible to define as a general market.
Francese’s findings indicate that in the nation’s 10 largest cities, “no racial or ethnic category describes a majority of the population.”
With no majority to pitch a centralized, mainstream campaign to, communications efforts must switch from reaching White America to a more multicultural marketing campaign.
Currently, campaigns establish the general market approach and overlay it with a smaller multicultural twist to satisfy consumer diversity. But what Francese is implying and what the Census 2010 numbers will reflect is that the general market approach will soon become obsolete.
Another point of Francese’s to substantiate this statement is how diversity varies greatly by age, “with the younger population substantially more diverse than the old.” These young, diverse consumers will only gain buying power with time, making it critical to recognize investment in specialized campaigns now.
The question remains exactly how existing agencies will act. There will still be a need for an overarching campaign to encompass all that would be placed on the big channels like NBC, ABC and CBS, but a lot more cultural thought will need to be put into this campaign. The specialized ethnic agencies will need a bigger seat at the table to get such messaging right.
An answer we do know is that ethnic media is on the up and will continue to grow with this growth of a diverse population. Thus, vendors should begin to accept this new age and approach the American audience through targeted in-language and culturally relevant campaigns.
The Obama administration recognizes the need now, and acted on it by investing millions of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding specifically into the 2010 Census hard-to-reach markets such as Arabic, Russian, Polish, Farsi, Ukrainian and Armenian speakers.
Diversity is here to stay, demographics are the future, and we as communicators must embrace it.
Team Lead – Diversity and Outreach