Budgets Limited For Multicultural Marketing Initiatives

September 1, 2015

This article is included in these additional categories:

African-American | Asian-American | B2B | Business of Marketing | Hispanic | Marketing Budgets

CMOCouncilGeoscape-Budget-Allocations-Multicultural-Marketing-Sept2015Multicultural consumers represented 92% of US population growth between 2000 and 2014, per a recent report, and research suggests that Hispanic and Asian households will outspend non-Hispanic Whites over the remainder of their lifetimes. Yet many marketers lack a multicultural marketing initiative or significant spending on one, according to a new study [download page] from The CMO Council and Geoscape.

The study is based on a survey of 150 senior marketing leaders across B2B and B2C organizations spanning an array of industry sectors. Overall, 49% of respondents said they do not have a multicultural marketing initiative in place. It should be noted that this figure is skewed by the B2B marketing respondents, of whom 80% reported not having such an initiative in place. By comparison, only one-third of hybrid organizations (B2B and B2C) lack a multicultural strategy. Given those results, it’s reasonable to assume that a majority of B2C marketers have a multicultural marketing initiative in place, though that is not specified in the report.

For those without an initiative, the top reason cited was that it wasn’t a priority for their organizations (36%), although insufficient budgets (34%) were also blamed.

Securing buy-in can be a challenge for these initiatives, as only half of respondents said they believe they have a high level of buy-in. While most have the support of their marketing leadership (70% feel they have it from brand management and 66% from the CMO), the same can’t be said about organizational support. In fact, 55% of marketers reported feeling a lack of buy-in from the CEO and 60% lack support from the board.

As one would expect, that has ramifications for budget allocations. A majority (54%) of respondents said that multicultural marketing initiatives occupy 10% or less of their budgets, though presumably this is influenced by the low overall adoption of these initiatives. Nevertheless, just 1 in 7 said the initiatives get more than one-quarter of their spending. Spending is determined by what is required to reach the company’s growth goals (53%), on ROI (49%) and on the percentage of multicultural consumers who are considered a fit for the company’s products or services (48%), per the study.

Despite the relatively low levels of spending, multicultural marketing initiatives ought to increase in importance. Some 53% of believe that’s the case, compared to just 2% who feel that they will decrease in importance for their organizations. It’s certainly hard to see how that would be the case…


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