Cultural Convergence Marketing – Addressing the New “General Market”

Oct 29, 09 Cultural Convergence Marketing – Addressing the New “General Market”

In our business, the term “General Market” has come to have a specific definition – we have known it over the years to describe the population that has comprised the largest mass of the population, namely “non-Hispanic whites.” The “General Market” has traditionally commanded the lion’s share of marketing budgets and attention, while the ethnic segments have played a supporting role. This brings up an interesting question: how do terms like this that have been in play for so long evolve when the world and marketplace outgrow them?


Based on observations of shifts in demographics, the term “General Market,” as we once knew it, is no longer relevant. Just like we use ethnic specific terms like Hispanic and African-American, perhaps it’s time to call the Anglo segment what it is: Anglo.


Why is that? Anglos are no longer the “General Market Population” the way they once were. They no longer account for 50% or more in some very critical demographics and markets. Nationally, they still comprise more than 50% of the total population but let’s take a look at the composition at a more granular level.


Consider this: In the top 25 metropolitan markets, between the ages of 18-44, Anglos make up only 48% of the total population while the Multicultural Market (Hispanic, African-American and Asian) makes up 52%. The so-called “minority” is now the “majority” in this key age group of 18-44 and in the markets that make or break a “national campaign.” With this being the case, do we reassign who the term General Market is meant to describe or do we need to come up with a new term altogether, a new approach?


In anticipation of this changing environment, we have adopted a new way of viewing and addressing the marketplace. We call it Cultural Convergence Marketing. We define it as, “The deliberate practice of designing marketing communications strategies that appeal to the common connection points found across all segments of a brand’s total market customer base.” If multicultural segments have become the dominant influence in many key markets, is it not logical that a brand should take a hard look at its communications to make sure it really connects with these consumers?


Over the years, we have used this approach to lead clients down paths with many rewards at the end. For example, the Cultural Convergence model has helped our clients:

  • Build stronger, more cohesive brands that connect across all ethnic groups.
  • Realize greater efficiencies in agency resources and production.
  • Re-align the agency resources they tap into to best address these new needs, based on the new “General Market.”


We look forward to continuing to maximize our clients’ marketing efforts by viewing the world through the Cultural Convergence Marketing lens. We are confident it is not only the way of the future, but is the way of the now. As always, we welcome any and all discussion around Cultural Convergence Marketing and how you might apply it to your business.

1 Comment

  1. I agree with your cultural convergence marketing theory and have been propogating similar concept, that is, looking for similarities across cultures and market segments in Canada for greater efficiencies and effectiveness. For example, between Chinese Canadians and South Asian Canadians.

    A universal brand personality and footprint can be projected across different market segments, however, the challenge is in its unified communication, treatment and execution. This requires indepth market analysis, due time and investment, measurement and a vision to see beyond immediate results. I believe we lack these in a nascent market like Canada.

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