Cultural Convergence Marketing – Starting with the Right Foundation

Nov 04, 09 Cultural Convergence Marketing – Starting with the Right Foundation

In a previous post, we discussed the changing demographic landscape that calls for a new marketing approach – Cultural Convergence Marketing. And you were left wondering – how do I apply this to my brand?

Of course we wouldn’t leave you hanging!  Over the next couple of weeks and months, we’ll talk about how to apply this model to help you serve your total market. You will be happy to see that you do not need a complete overhaul of your existing efforts. We will show you, by using your current resources, including your existing marketing budgets, how Cultural Convergence Marketing can help you:

  • Strengthen your brand inside of the total market.
  • Demonstrate measurable outcomes and metrics across the total market.
  • Save thousands (and possibly) millions of dollars every year.

This month, we start with the foundation: planning and research.

As with any marketing program, starting with the right research will give the program as a whole the best chance for success. Here are the four (4) key areas that typically comprise an effective Cultural Convergence research plan.

Assessment – An upfront assessment of the brand can determine the degree to which the Cultural Convergence model is applicable. In this assessment, it is useful for a third-party to look at a brand’s current growth objectives, budget allocations and target demo strategies to determine whether or not Cultural Convergence Marketing can be applied immediately or if there are some intermediary steps that would put the brand in a better place to maximize the full benefits of the approach.

Research Design – Considering that the Multicultural consumer is now the dominant population in many key DMAs, it may be necessary for a brand to reassess its traditional research approach, which typically oversamples the non-Hispanic white consumer and later overlays multi-ethnic consumers or under-represents the multi-ethnic consumer base from the outset. By reflecting the true ethnic make-up, many brand teams will be surprised to see the influence that Multicultural segments actually have on their total market. Additionally, this is the only way to find the common Cultural Convergence connecting points in an abundant and accurate way across the total market profile.

Qualitative – Many brands have studied the attitudes, lifestyles and behaviors of their multicultural segments, but have placed the lens of ethnicity onto the participants first, and then looked for the insights. With the Cultural Convergence model, the reverse is the best approach: focus first on the common attitudes, lifestyles and behaviors of your total consumer base and then overlay ethnicity. We have developed a tool called Lifemappingthat enables us to look at key variables, such as product consumption patterns and media behavior, to identify behavioral and attitudinal overlaps among a brand’s consumer base.

Quantitative – A well-designed quantitative study is a great opportunity for a brand to establish metrics for Cultural Convergence Marketing efforts – namely, identifying the growth potential for the various segments, benchmarking current share/sales and establishing market sizing. Additionally, a brand may find that a segment, such as the Hispanic segment, overindexes significantly in consumption, meriting additional investment.

Now that we have covered the foundation, stay tuned for the next steps: creative concepting and delivery/media.



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