Newsroom > MZI in the News

July 11, 2009

Maximizing Market Share Means Reaching Out to Ethnic Minorities

The Essential Insight:
The growing ethnic population within the United States is a market segment that companies who wish to maximize their growth cannot ignore. Reaching ethnic minorities in the United States requires marketing campaigns that appeal to each group’s unique consumption habits and preferences.

Fast Facts:

  • 29 Million Americans prefer media targeted specifically to their ethnic group
  • American companies currently allocate only 3-4% of their advertising budget towards reaching minority groups.
  • Connecting with minorities in terms that they can understand builds lasting brand loyalty.

As ethnic minorities within the United States continue to grow in both size and influence, companies can no longer ignore this increasingly important market segment. According to New California Media, however, American companies allocate only 3-4% of their advertising dollars for marketing campaigns that directly target individual ethnic groups in the United States. Considering that 29 million Americans prefer media that is targeted specifically to their ethnic group, such diminutive numbers represent a costly oversight by corporate leadership.

The growing number of first-generation Americans who have not yet assimilated into mainstream American culture represents a lucrative, but untapped market segment. Language barriers and personal choice are among the chief reasons that these ethnic groups remain distinct from the American consumer population. Many immigrants simply have not yet connected with American culture in a way that enables mainstream advertising and public relations techniques to effectively reach them.

Each ethnic group internalizes a unique set of cultural values when growing up each ethnic group faces unique challenges, desires, and needs in America. Companies who develop targeted marketing campaigns that can communicate with ethnic minorities on their terms, in their languages, and with their needs in mind, stand poised to win over this sizable market sector.

Research suggests that marketers must look beyond broad generalizations such as “Hispanic,” “Asian,” and “European.” The category “Hispanic,” for example, can be broken down into Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and South Americans, among other categories. Understanding and catering to the true needs of each of these groups will allow companies to build loyalty among these groups on a scale rarely achieved by other marketing approaches.