Your customers already are incredibly diverse. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 36% of the population identifies as a racial or ethnic minority group.
Your customers are going to become increasing more diverse. If current rates of national population change trend as they have for the past 20 years, by 2035, non-Hispanic whites will be outnumbered by “minorities”. Did you know that Hawaii, California, New Mexico, and Texas all already have more “minorities” than non-hispanic whites.
The rise of culturally diverse customers is not limited to large cities and the surrounding metropolitan areas. Racial and ethnic minorities now make up 19% of non-metro and rural residents and have become more geographically dispersed across the Nation.
Does your marketing and messaging reflect your culturally diverse customer base? Here are 3 easy ways to get caught up to speed so your business appeals to your entire community.
1. Recognize Diverse Holidays & Traditions
For most businesses, consumer interest is still strongest for sales and promotions. Expand your business’ holiday calendar to include new holidays and traditions, like the Chinese New Year (February 8th) or Day of The Dead (October 31st). Learn more about your community, and what traditions are commonly celebrated around town. In hispanic communities, a girl’s 15th birthday (her Quinceañera) is a major family and friends event. As an example, if your business is connected to party supplies, a restaurant, or event space, market the idea of using your business for a Quinceañera gathering.
Offer coupons and sales for these diverse holidays, and be sure to wish your followers well on social media!
2. Embrace Multi-lingual Media
It’s already increasingly common for businesses to advertise in the local, non-english papers and media. You should also produce marketing materials (menus, flyers, signs, coupons etc) in the most popular non-english language. It’s fairly cost effective to simply create front and back versions of your materials, where your message is translated on the backside.
To determine if you should translate parts of your webpage (Google’s automatic web page translation service isn’t always 100% accurate), take a look at your Google analytics. Under the Audience category. click “language”. If you see a fair amount of traffic from other languages, you could probably benefit from adding a special section just for content in that language. If you do opt to product an alternate language section on your site to appeal to your diverse customers, hire a translator to ensure your unique messaging and brand is accurately portrayed. Here’s a little food for thought: Best Buy has found that users of the Spanish language spend twice as much time on the website and also spend twice as much money per visit than users of the English site. An added benefit of including spanish language content is the increased opportunities for search traffic for spanish keywords.
3. Represent Them
I’ve written a lot about how images boost sales and engagement, but not if those images are overly homogeneous. Diversify the people in your images, or the models on your website. Whether it’s social media, advertising, or on your actual website, it’s important for the potential customer to see themselves using your goods or services. If your business make product selections, include items specific to their culture or community.
Bonus word to the wise: if you are not a member of their community, do not attempt that community’s slang to appeal to your diverse customers. This never works for brands!