Aug 23, 2016 by Pepper Miller – Forbes
Total Market strategy is defined by the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies as “a marketing approach followed by corporations with their trusted internal and external partners which proactively integrates diverse segment considerations. This is done from inception, through the entire strategic process and execution, with the goal of enhancing value and growth effectiveness. In marketing communications this could lead to either one fully integrated cross-cultural approach, individual segment approaches, or both in many cases, but always aligned under one overarching strategy.”
In reality, it’s business as usual, with multicultural segments being addressed via casting and work that is often stereotypical. And many marketers are now realizing that multicultural market share and customer-satisfaction gains made when ethnic agencies were used are evaporating.
Carlos Santiago, CEO of Santiago Solutions Group, also reminds us that some corporations’ decisions to dismantle internal multicultural resources only further intensifies the need for ethnic talent: “The dissolution of multicultural centers of excellence puts more responsibility on already strapped brand managers,” he said. “There’s no one to call to ask for help, except general-market agency partners who lack ethnic talent and who are not cultural experts.”
In the end, Total Marketing is neither good nor evil. It is not a diversity initiative. It is a concept of how marketing could work. It should be inclusive, and CMOs should keep minority-focused agencies and media in the mix to continue to address the specific needs of these segments.