The Shift from Multicultural to Total Marketing and What it Means for Content Marketing

Tailoring advertisements and marketing campaigns to a specific ethnic group is nothing new; it’s called multicultural marketing. Smart companies know that unless their products or services are very niche, they need to hit a wide variety of market segments. Ethnic groups that were once in the minority are growing and marketers and advertisers have taken notice.

Now there’s a new trend: total marketing. Instead of creating campaigns, ads, slogans and other product packaging that is limited to one ethnic group, companies are including everyone, the total market in every campaign. While multicultural marketing is a separation of cultures, total marketing is all-inclusive.

Walmart has been a leader in the shift from multicultural to total marketing and other companies, like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, have followed their lead. A few years ago, Walmart eliminated its multicultural marketing budget and funneled it into other business units within the company. The move meant taking the focus off of creating ethnicity-specific advertising and refocusing on making multiculturalism a part of every aspect of the business.

Advantages of Total Marketing vs. Multicultural Marketing

Why is this approach better than segmenting with multicultural marketing? When campaigns consider a broad and diverse audience, they reach more consumers and resonate with more consumers. Sure, there is a time and a place for a Hispanic-specific, Spanish language advertisement, such as for placement on Telemundo or Univision, but thinking more broadly and including everyone in all aspects of marketing is a smarter approach.

Here’s another reason to move toward total marketing: In our increasingly diversified society, young consumers don’t always identify with just one segment. More and more young Americans are bi- or multiracial. They grow up in communities that are becoming more diverse. They share cultural experiences with each other and identify more with inclusion than with separation. The face of America is changing, and marketers know that they have to shift along with it.

Total Marketing works because millennials identify more with inclusion than with separation.

What does all this mean for content marketing? As content marketers, we can and should move forward with the trend of using total marketing. When you create content for your website or social media sites, think about your total market. Consider the diverse society to which you are marketing your product or service. Be inclusive of all ethnicities, but also other types of diversity: different age groups, both genders and the LGBTQ community. Find out what is meaningful and important to these diverse audiences and include them in your content. Doing so will open the door to more opportunities for you to get your product or service into the market and for a wide range of people to find you.

Knowing how to be diverse and to embrace all cultures in your content is not necessarily obvious. If your experience with multiculturalism is limited, you may need some expert help to get you started. It’s even better to work with a diverse team that represents a range of market segments and can deliver content to the total market. Reaching the up-and-coming millennial money-makers means bringing your company into the total marketing era, so it is worth your attention.