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Multi-Ethnic Marketing Notes (Local Trends)

Michele Kriegman
2003, 'Multi-Ethnic Marketing Notes: Local Trends,' Introduction to Seminar on Multi-Ethnic Marketing,  Morris County Chamber of Commerce, Morristown, New Jersey, October 30, 2003.

Multi-Ethnic Marketing Notes

There’s three things that may help frame a general understanding of the multi-ethnic marketing opportunities awaiting us.

I.                     Some exciting regional trends can create new sales channels for your business.


a.      New Jersey, as one of our most cosmopolitan states, leads the United States in indicators of diversity. One number that has become especially noteworthy is that of households where a language other than English is spoken at home. For the United States overall, this represents 17.9% of households; in New Jersey one in four homes, or 25.5%, speaks a language other than English, according to recent Census data.


b.      Other numbers hint at the size of the communities our distinguished panelists represent. One of the fastest-growing groups is that of Asians, who make up 3.6% of the total US population and 5.7% of the population of New Jersey. Here in Morris County, Asians represent over 6% of the population.


c.      The African-American community is 12.3% of the total US population and 13.6% of the population of New Jersey. This community is almost 3% of the population of Morris County.


d.      The Hispanic community, which is drawn from 20 countries, is 12.5% of the total US population and 13.3% of the population of New Jersey. Here in Morris County, the Hispanic community represents almost 8% of our population.


II.                   There are differences within ethnic groups that determine needs and opportunities.

Many of us intuitively know from our own experience about the generation gap between the immigrant generation and their Americanized children; between the generation that grew up on the farm or in the tenement and the generation that lives in a middle class suburb.


So too are there almost two different tiers to ethnic marketing, that may use very different services. The distinctions are somewhat arbitrary and there is plenty of overlap, but they are worth thinking about:


a.      Temporary visitors who live with us: the German or Japanese business community who only plan to live here with their families for a few years. Many often come here through official educational or employer channels. Here’s five examples of opportunities to reach them:

                                                              i.      Area Orientation or Relocation Services. (Realtors, Attorneys)

                                                            ii.      Bilingual professionals (doctors, dentists, paralegals)

                                                          iii.      Welcome Wagon-type services (Financial services)

                                                           iv.      Travel and Telecommunications (Maintaining ties overseas)

                                                             v.      Bilingual services through B2B (Language lessons, translation services, cross-cultural training—HR, personnel)


b.      There’s a second-tier: People who come here for the long-haul. This group may need all of the above services, but many may rightly want to be considered part of “us.” This includes groups who may only speak English and whose ancestors even built this country.


III.                  You already have resources for approaching a new ethnic market.


a.      In addition to the product or service you sell, you yourself may be a welcome asset because of the mainstream information you provide. In some cases, your familiarity with what you may have assumed was “common knowledge” makes you a valuable resource because it may not be “common knowledge” to every ethnic minority. You can be invaluable in explaining the way things are done in your field in the United States. In fact, we have provided seven do-it-yourself tips to multi-ethnic marketing to take home with you in the packet you received today.


b.      In some cases you may need to take a few extra steps in approaching a particular segment of the multi-ethnic marketplace. One of those steps might include something from this list of five:

                                 i.      Finding a different approach to media buying and new advertising channels.

                                 ii.      Using professionally-run focus groups to learn ethnic preferences and surprise reactions to your product or service.

                                 iii.      Purchasing or commissioning ethnographic market research and information on demographic trends.

                                iv.      Segmenting your marketing, PR and advertising materials for new languages, color schemes, and lay-outs.

                                 v.      Hiring seasoned professionals who are experts on your market audience. Fortunately, we have some as panelists, assembled here to educate us today about marketing to the Hispanic, African-American and South Asian communities.


IV. I’d like to welcome and introduce each one briefly now. Later I will be introducing them in more detail before their individual presentations. We will have two separate Question and Answer periods after each set of three speakers, with a ten-minute break between the first and second set of guest speakers.

*View Multi-Ethnic Marketing II,  seven do-it-yourself tips to multi-cultural marketing.



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