Advertising Association Forges Multicultural Marketing Alliance

The Association of National Advertisers has formed the Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing to help marketers create campaigns that will resonate with a more diverse population of consumers.

With the demographics of the U.S. consumer marketplace shifting dramatically, what should marketing look like in the future?

To answer that question, the Association of National Advertisers is bringing together senior marketing executives from across various industries in a new Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing.

It is not about increasing casting of diversity but about embedding relevant cultural cues that accurately represent these growing segments.

AIMM is an effort to help marketers “to be as inclusive as possible, to represent people as they want to see themselves, in a way that is fair, and in a way that makes them feel good about themselves,” said Lisette Arsuaga, co-president and COO of Dávila Multicultural Insights and an AIMM board member.

The alliance includes thought leaders from the African-American, Hispanic, Asian, LGBT, and general market communities, ANA said last week in a press release announcing the initiative. It will create a blueprint for multicultural and inclusive marketing and will allow members to collaborate and share examples. The blueprint may include a multicultural knowledge center, mentorship program, best practices for multicultural and diverse demographic segments, alternative approaches to addressing industry diversity, and certification programs.

AIMM might also “recommend ways to best embed a multicultural point of view throughout corporate structures and ladders in order for companies to represent the communities they are targeting,” said Arsuaga.

Marketing typically is segmented into separate markets, such as Hispanic and African-American, but the alliance hopes to foster a more inclusive approach, Arsuaga said. AIMM’s purpose is not to minimize or dilute corporations’ efforts regarding specific segments, but rather to advance a “total market approach that is meant to be more holistic and inclusive, while maintaining—and even increasing—targeted marketing efforts toward these growing populations.”

“It is not about increasing casting of diversity but about embedding relevant cultural cues that accurately represent these growing segments,” Arsuaga added.

AIMM is bringing in leaders from across multiple industries so that it can include diverse input. “We want to understand from all perspectives what the direction of growth is,” she said.

The alliance and its more holistic approach will offer ANA members more continuity and support as multicultural marketing evolves, Arsuaga said. Because corporate growth is based on growing markets, and diverse-segment populations such as Hispanics, Asians, African-Americans, and LGBT people are growing, “it’s a smart business decision,” she said. “This is going to impact corporations across the board.”

AIMM members so far include AHAA: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing, 4A’s, Anheuser-Busch, Burrell Communications, Clorox, Coca-Cola, Dunkin’ Brands, Google, IW Group, Kaiser Permanente, Kellogg, López Negrete Communications, NBC Universal, OMD North America, Procter & Gamble, Target 10, Univision, Video Advertising Bureau, and Wells Fargo.


Allison Torres Burtka

By Allison Torres Burtka

Allison Torres Burtka, a longtime association journalist, is a freelance writer and editor in West Bloomfield, Michigan. MORE

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