BrandsD&IMarketers aim to retire the G-word, at multicultural conference

Marcom Weekly StaffNovember 15, 20221

The 24th Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference of the industry’s leading decision-makers, strategists, and entrepreneurs in marketing to Hispanic, Asian, Black, indigenous and all people of color was anything but business as usual as most return post-pandemic. It’s here where lively discussions and debates take place both on- and off-stage, in Hollywood, Fla., between global advertisers, their agency partners and the entrepreneurial companies and organizations that keep their businesses moving forward.

Speakers included a dynamic duo of conference co-chairs, Gilbert Dávila, president and CEO, Dávila Multicultural Insights, and Karla Davis, vice president of integrated marketing and media, Ulta Beauty; Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer, Procter & Gamble; Ying McGuire, CEO and president, National Minority Supplier Development Council; Maurice Cooper, senior vice president, brand and category marketing, Target, and dozens more.

The biggest growth opportunity brands have in front of them is multicultural marketing, Pritchard said as he began his presentation. Half of Procter & Gamble’s sales in the U.S. consistently come from Black; Asian; Pacific Islander; Hispanic; Native; multiracial; and multiethnic consumers—a five trillion dollar buying market. Closing the brand market share gap among that market would represent $500MM in sales for the world’s biggest advertiser. Getting there is going to require a change of mindset.

Pritchard laid out seven habits for multicultural market growth. “Retire the archaic term ‘general market,’” he said. “All it does is have us marketing to the averages. There is no general or average consumer. This new habit builds multicultural marketing and precisely to each consumer group.” He adds, that marketers must go from rep-based to multicultural-based research; maximize diverse media reach to each multicultural group; reflect diverse people in ads that their brand is serving; present accurate portrayals in ads; and accelerate investment in multicultural-owned and operated media.

Target marketing executive Cooper revealed the company’s strategy is designed to attract new guests, deepen engagement with new and existing guests and build brand preference. In other words, “more guests, more often, more love,” Cooper stated. “We’re deepening our connections with Latino guests, Black, Asian, LGBTQ, pet parents, and religious.”

Creating authentic long-lasting relationships is at the heart of Cooper’s message to marketers. “Our efforts can neither be small, siloed, or transactional – they must be transformational. That mandate can never be realized unless multicultural marketing is powered by a full enterprise commitment.”

He shared how Target was able to rally the full resources of its enterprise to make a true, positive difference for consumers and their businesses. “It starts by caring for and investing in our team. The most important investment we make is in the 400,000 team members at Target and their holistic well-being. There’s an expectation that our leaders know their team members as human beings and invest in their growth and mobility.”

The company increased promotions of people of color by 62 percent and boasts that one in three of its senior leaders is a person of color. In addition, Cooper noted that all team members are trained in anti-racism, and turnover amongst people of color is reduced by more than 33 percent. “When we increase represent in our workforce and ensure our team feels seen and supported, they create an experience for our guests in-store, online and through our marketing that is frankly unmatched.”

These changes have extended into the communities Target serves. In addition to their pledge to spend $2 billion with Black-owned businesses between now and 2025, the company and its Foundation announced a $100 million commitment to fuel economic prosperity in Black and Brown communities across the country.

Representing the longest operating business growth engine for the broadest group of systemically excluded communities of color, NMSDC created the gold standard for minority business certification which McGuire says has been emulated by other organizations. She says the problem today is there is a 70 percent increase in the racial wealth gap since 2020. She questioned whether the movement towards economic parity for all is enough. She adds, “And if we have, then why are white households eight times wealthier than Black households, and five times wealthier than Hispanic households?”

McGuire announced the Council’s goal to reach one trillion in annual revenue for NMSDC-certified MBEs and her challenge wasn’t limited to just the companies in the room. “This morning, I was on a webinar with Allstate and they committed to double their spend by 2025, and I challenged their senior vice president, ‘then you should double it again from 2025 to 2030, and you can help us get to a trillion.’”

Her message was clear, don’t let the conversation about supplier diversity and business diversity end here, and she encouraged marketing executives to take this back to their organizations. “It is going to take everyone – CEOs, CMOs, CIOs, CFOs, CPOs – everyone that makes purchasing decisions needs to be behind it in order for us to get to a trillion. Trillions only get us to the launch pad.”


Photo by ANA.

Marcom Weekly Staff

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