The Do’s and Don’ts of Multicultural Marketing

Learn about the dos and don’ts of marketing that bridge the gaps between different cultures and ethnicities.

Multicultural marketing could be quite challenging. Consider the case of Hispanic marketing versus U.S. marketing for similar products. Specific terms or expressions could have different cultural connotations or meanings in Spanish-speaking countries, thus requiring a marketer to tailor their campaigns to the distinct sensibilities of their target audience.


Misunderstandings Can Decrease the Appeal of a Product/Service

To give you a practical example, think of the famous conundrum that Chevrolet, one of the biggest automotive companies in the U.S., experienced a few decades earlier: When they tried to promote their “Nova” model in Mexico, the company was met with lackluster success. The car was selling really well in the States, but Mexican audiences weren’t responding positively to the ads. The reason? Poor branding. “Nova” might echo images of deep space to an American, but to a Mexican, it closely resembles the phrase “Won’t Go”—not exactly what you want to hear when you are in the market for a new car!

This classic marketing hiccup serves as a great lesson for every marketer and branding consultant: Get to know the culture and heritage of your target audience because they might perceive things in different ways.


The Importance of Testing

It’s crucial to test Hispanic-marketing ideas before launching into a full-fledged campaign. Some companies use small communities or even limited countries as a testing pool, where they advertise a product to their target demographic for a short period, collecting data and analyzing the way consumers react to the item advertised. This process allows marketers to gain a better understanding of what works best to appeal to the audience they’re trying to engage.