In a time where diverse populations of travelers intersect and converge on race, ethnicity, culture, sexual preferences, gender identity and ability, savvy destination marketers are recognizing the paradigm shift we must adopt to continue to effectively reach, and meaningfully connect, with travelers.
Consumer research highlights the significance of these diverse audiences, which includes Black, Asian American, Native American, and Hispanic consumers – comprising 40% of the U.S. population and possessing a combined purchasing power of $5.3 Trillion as of 2021. They insist on advertising that genuinely resonates with them, accurately reflects their identities, and embraces inclusivity and warmth for all. In a world where conscious choices matter, aligning your brand values with culturally relevant and inclusive marketing strategies is simply good business.
Meeting the expectations of today’s travelers requires not only acknowledging cultural and ethnic differences but also understanding the intersections of these diverse groups. The concept of intersectionality emphasizes how factors like race, age, gender, sexuality, and abilities combine to form each individual’s unique identity.
Embracing multicultural marketing is the key to staying ahead. It positions your destination as a trailblazer for positive change. Crafting campaigns to resonate with specific cultural groups open doors to new markets and untapped audiences. This leads to higher engagement, increased conversion rates, market share growth, and a standout reputation.
Demonstrating support for these groups is the key for overall success in multicultural marketing. Multicultural audiences are more likely to engage with, buy from, and advocate for destination brands that demonstrate genuine understanding, respect, and alignment with their cultural identities, values, and aspirations. Here are a few key areas where DMO’s can shine and begin fortifying their destination’s inclusiveness:
- Representation: Multicultural audiences want to see themselves and their diverse backgrounds accurately represented in advertising, marketing materials, and company initiatives. This includes visuals, narratives, and experiences that reflect their cultures, races, ethnicities, and identities.
- Cultural Relevance: Destinations that understand and incorporate cultural nuances, traditions, and symbols into their campaigns are more likely to resonate with multicultural audiences. This demonstrates a sensitivity to their cultural contexts and can create a deeper emotional connection.
- Authenticity: Multicultural audiences value being real. They want brands to genuinely appreciate and celebrate diversity rather than exploiting it for marketing purposes. Being genuine means that a DMO’s commitment to inclusivity extends beyond marketing campaigns and is reflected in its actions, values, and overall culture.
- Inclusivity: Brands that embrace inclusivity create spaces where people from all backgrounds feel welcome and valued. This extends not only to marketing but also to their destination experience, customer service, and interactions throughout the travel journey.
- Social Responsibility: Multicultural audiences are more likely to support brands that engage in social and environmental initiatives that align with their values. When a brand actively contributes to causes that matter to these audiences, it demonstrates a commitment to positive change.
- Diverse Media Properties: To ensure your content is noticed, one of the most effective and efficient ways is to utilize diverse media publishers and platforms that these audiences trust. When you talk to Black, Hispanic, Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI), and LGBTQIA+ Americans, they tell you just how much it resonates when marketers speak to them directly and invest in media that is authentic to their respective communities. By leveraging minority owned and operated media publishers and platforms, DMOs will be rewarded, with stronger engagement and positive brand reinforcement. The research proves it out.
- Partnerships and Collaborations: DMO’s that collaborate with influencers, artists, and organizations from various cultural backgrounds signal an openness to cross-cultural exchange and collaboration. This can foster deeper connections with multicultural audiences.
- Customer Engagement: Destinations that actively engage with their multicultural customers, listen to their feedback, and respond to their needs show that they value their opinions and experiences.
- Employee Diversity: Multicultural audiences also appreciate those that prioritize diversity within their workforce. A diverse team contributes to more nuanced decision-making and better understanding of varied perspectives. For DMO’s, having diverse thought leadership to plan and execute destination marketing efforts will help ensure more effective programming and results. Plus it can keep you from injecting bias into decision making.
Multicultural marketing isn’t just a strategy; it’s a mindset. Neglecting this paradigm shift will have dire consequences. To secure and expand market share, Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) must take a determined approach in recognizing, engaging, and connecting with these increasingly influential consumers. With their robust social backing and considerable purchasing power, these consumers are assuming an increasingly dominant market position.
Orange142 is a tourism focused digital marketing ad tech platform owned by Direct Digital Holdings, a minority owned and operated company. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is proudly at the forefront of everything that we do and we’re on a mission to dispel the Multicultural Media Scale Myth.
Reach out today and let’s begin a discussion about how to keep your multicultural marketing efforts thriving. Driving future market share demands it.