Multicultural Marketing

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Multicultural Marketing
in Contemporary U.S. Markets
Chang-Hoan Cho, Ph. D.
Assistant Professor
John Holcombe
Vice President
Insights Marketing Group
Daniel Murphy
Vice President
Insights Marketing Group
Insights Marketing Group, Inc. 1
Proprietary Statement
© Copyright 2004 Insights Marketing Group, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, photocopied, stored on a retrieval system, or transmitted without the express prior written consent of the publisher.

Contact Information
Chang-Hoan Cho, Ph. D.
Tel. (352) 392-0420
Fax (352) 846-3015
3057 Weimer Hall
PO Box 118400
Department of Advertising
College of Journalism and Communications
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-8400
John Holcombe
Insights Marketing Group, Inc.
2512 Swanson Ave.
Miami, FL 33133
Tel. (305) 858-2787
Dan Murphy
Insights Marketing Group, Inc.
321 Stanaford Rd.
Winston-Salem, NC 27104
Tel. (336) 760-1636
Insights Marketing Group, Inc. 2
Executive Summary
Contemporary U.S. markets are becoming more ethnically diverse with more distinctive cultural values and customs among various ethnic groups. According to 2002 Census Briefs, ethnic consumers comprise nearly 30 percent of the U.S. population. This surge of ethnic population is creating enormous marketing opportunities with greater purchasing power among the ethnic markets. Accordingly, U.S. marketers are making every effort to entice these lucrative ethnic markets by developing effective marketing strategies. People tend to live within their cultural boundaries, and cultural diversity in the U.S. significantly affects how ethnic consumers perceive and process advertising messages. According to key cultural theories (distinctiveness theory and accommodation theory), ethnic audiences feel more affinity for culturally accommodating messages and respond more favorably to culturally targeted ads. In this vein, U.S. marketers are trying to develop the most effective marketing strategies to appeal to these emerging ethnic consumers. To prepare for the complex multicultural marketplace, U.S. marketers should build cultural adaptability and understanding and establish insights about the cultural factors they use in comparative marketing analysis for these ethnic groups. This analysis tool can be termed “diagnostic multicultural analysis,” which utilizes four key cultural marketing elements: cultural affinity, acculturation, cultural sensitivity and cultural acceptability. This paper addresses these concepts in terms of their operationalization and practical applications to multicultural marketing.

Insights Marketing Group, Inc. 3
Due to continuous immigration and growth of minority
population, the U.S. bears a resemblance to a microcosm of the world, characterized by diverse ethnic subcultures (Doka 1996). Therefore, many people believe America is no longer a “melting pot,” but is a “salad bowl” with distinctive subcultures within the nation. America will continue to become more ethnically diverse, with more distinctive cultural values, norms, and behaviors. Accordingly, marketing in the U.S. is becoming more complex and requires sophisticated tools of cultural analysis. To survive in this competitive marketplace, marketers should be able to target many lucrative subcultures with effective cross-cultural or culture-specific advertising campaigns. The successful development of an effective communication campaign should begin with an in-depth

understanding of cross-cultural differences in socio-cultural values and behaviors. This in-depth understanding of subcultural
differences will help marketers understand how these differences affect marketing activities and communication patterns, and it will help identify important attitudinal and behavioral characteristics that constitute distinctive subcultural markets. In this...
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