The New Mainstream: Who are they? Where are they? Why do you need to know about them? It’s the growth now and in the future. Tips for marketing, today.
By Peg North
Strategy and Business Development, EthnicTechnologies.com
There are major shifts in former minority populations, which are now majorities in some areas. These changes are so dramatic that these groups are now referred to as The New Mainstream. Hispanics are the most populous. African Americans are also growing, but percentage-wise, Asians are growing most quickly. As the results of the 2010 census are quantified, the demographic information becomes breaking news. Sample headlines include items like:
- African Americans move South; reversing trend; a vibrant middle class, with money to spend that is not weighed down by the stigmas and stereotypes of the past. Atlanta, for the first time, has replaced Chicago as the metro area with the largest number of African-Americans after New York.
- Hispanics are more than half of America’s growth in the past decade. They are 16.3% of the total population or estimated at 56% of the nation’s growth from 2000 to 2010 or approximately 50MM plus today. This growth is attributed to high birth rates among Hispanic families.
- Tipping point in birth rate this year. Minority births become the majority, nationwide.
Although the Hispanic population is growing rapidly nationwide, most Hispanics still live in nine states that have large, long-standing Hispanic communities: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York and Texas. In 2000, 50% of Hispanics lived in California and Texas alone. Now there are more Hispanics living in Los Angeles County (4.7 million) than in any state except California and Texas. The Hispanic population has more than doubled in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Maryland and South Dakota.
The majority of Hispanics in the U.S. are bilingual, but appreciate being spoken and marketed to with respect and in culture. They value family and community. Hispanic women make many of the financial decisions for their families.
As for the Asian populations, according to the census data released so far, in some of the larger states like California, Texas, New Jersey and Illinois, the Asian population growth is outpacing the Hispanic population growth. The same trend is observed in most of the key counties in the Los Angeles and San Francisco DMAs (Designated Market Area). Asians accounted for 72 % of the growth in New Jersey’s population and 47 %of the growth in Illinois’ population. California saw a staggering increase of more than 1.4 million Asians, and Texas an increase of nearly half-a-million Asians.
In summary, no matter what your marketing challenges are, now is the time to look at and understand multicultural populations. The New Mainstream:
- They are The Game Changers
- One size does not fit all
- They are growing in population in every state
- They are active consumers, not low income rather cash transactors
- They are multi-channel responders
- They respond well to direct mail especially if it is “culturally tuned”
- Many are entrepreneurs starting up businesses at 3 times the average
Even if you thought you understood the markets, now is the time to reconsider. Run fresh data, learn and test.
Tips for marketing to multi-cultural Americans:
- Learn about and understand these populations. What ethnicity are they? What language do they prefer? What is their country of origin?
- Think “family.” Women play a large role here; test gender selects. Create an emotional connection.
- Communicate value positioning — Coupons, newspapers, direct mail, call center, out of home, and online media should all carry the same messaging.
- Communicate “in culture and with respect” in all media
- Build a relationship with Mothers – Hispanic, African American and Asian — by helping them find valuable solutions for their home. Finances, education, health, beauty, food, celebration and homecare are just a few of the areas with which they are concerned.
- Provide culturally relevant tips on how to live a healthier, more productive lifestyle. Show you care.
- Focus on the local environment and community; be sincere. These communities consistently donate to the causes about which they care.
- Physical stores and bank locations have appeal. These consumers respond to personal attention. Consider holding educational functions at retail locations. Finance, health, travel, education and style are all successful topics with this market.
- Test here and now.
Peg North is as a senior strategist for Ethnic Technologies (www.ethnictechnologies.com), focused in helping clients understand and market to the growing ethnic populations. Ethnic Technologies is the platinum standard in multicultural marketing, allowing clients to segment their database by ethnicity, religion, language preference, Hispanic country of origin and gender more accurately and comprehensively than any other approach. She can be reached at PNORTH@EthnicTechnologies.com or 866-333-8324.