What if I were tell you that today in this country, there are more Latinos in America than Canadians in Canada? What if I were to tell you that the Latino birthrate outpaces the Anglo birthrate by 20-1? (Actually, it’s closer to 25-1.) And what if I told you that for the last few years, the Anglo death rate has been outpacing the Anglo birth rate? (Yep, Anglos are not multiplying fast enough to replace themselves.) Now take all that in, and what if I asked you do you know, literally and figuratively, where your audience is coming from? Or your co-workers, for that matter?

Show Notes:

  • There’s a big difference between Hispanic Marketing and marketing to Hispanics
    1. Hispanic Marketing uses outdated stereotypes and anecdotes to try to explain nuances
    2. Marketing to Hispanics means treating people as people, using data and insights to better serve the Hispanic community
  • History may not repeat itself, but it certainly does rhyme. Mark Twain
    1. There are many similarities between emerging communities of today and those of the past
    2. Knowing what binds us all is as important as noticing the differences
  • America will become a minority/majority country sometime near 2043, but it already has a multicultural mindset
  • Diversity is more than a demographic. Diversity is a mindset.
  • Ethnic segments are leading lifestyle trends. We choose to start with the ones who are setting the pace. – Neil Golden, Former CEO, McDonald’s

Transcripts: 

Welcome to Episode 12 of Navigating the Fustercluck—a podcast full of snackable insights to help you navigate the love/hate world of creativity and marketing.

My name is Wegs, like eggs with a W, joining you from Deaf Mule Studios in Dallas, and whether you work in advertising, design, gaming, fine art, commercial art, content creation, whatever it may be, we’re here to talk about Multicultural Marketing.

Surprisingly, Multicultural Marketing is something this white kid from Wisconsin actually has quite a bit of experience in, especially Hispanic.

Full confession, I hate Hispanic Marketing. That said, I love marketing to Hispanics. Here’s what I mean, Hispanic Marketing is the old, stereotypical way of trying to reach Hispanics. Speak Spanish and stick a soccer ball and an abuela in your messaging and you’re good. Sounds funny to you? Still happens all the time.

Marketing to Hispanics, on the other hand, is like marketing to anyone. Dig into the data. Mine the insights. Be relevant. And guess what? That may even mean communicating in English.

This may all sound kooky, but the secret sauce ain’t much of a secret: treat people like people.

How, you may ask, did I get involved in Multicultural Marketing?

Many moons ago, Mike Johnson, at the time the brand manager of Miller Lite, called my friend, mentor and boss, Tom Hansen.

You guys are my problem solvers, Mike said, and I have a problem.

Sure, Mike, we’re always here to help, Tom said.

Well, I’m not happy with the Hispanic resources we’re finding.

Tom replied, No problem, Mike, we’re here in Texas, we’d be happy to hook you up with some guys we know who specialize in that.

Nah, I’ve got something else in mind, Mike said. I want you to start a new Hispanic agency.

Well Mike, we responded, we’re really flattered, but we don’t know Spanish, and even though we live here in Texas, we don’t pretend to be cultural experts. So, thanks so much, but for your sake, we’ve got to say no.

Mike stayed silent for a beat. Then another beat. Tom and I looked at one another. We were afraid that we may have pissed off our largest client. Finally, Mike spoke:

What if said we’d pay you X?

Tom and I looked at one another again.

Then we both faced the phone, and in stereo replied… Si’!

After we got off the call, shaking my head, I looked at Tom and said, Well, there’s another fine mess you’ve gotten us into. I can’t wait to see how you get us out of this one.

Tom shot me a glance and said, Funny, I was just looking at you and wondering the same thing. Go start a Hispanic shop.

Fortunately, we found quality people like Juan Carlos Olivar who was working for Coca-Cola, and Victor Macias, who owns Deaf Mule Studios where this is being recorded today.

So, that answers how I got involved in Hispanic Marketing.

The better question, the more interesting question, is why I stayed in it.

You see, my grandparents were immigrants who left Putzleinsdorf Austria and crossed the Atlantic, settling in Cudahy, Wisconsin. They lived in an immigrant community of Europeans names like Schmidt, Gmeindl and Wegerbauer. Today, their old neighborhood is still an immigrant community, except its residents have names like Flores, Alcocer and Rodriquez.

My grandparents died before I was five, so I never knew them well. But, by hearing the immigrant stories of their Hispanic successors, I realized that they all came sharing the same hopes and dreams.

As Mark Twain once said, History may not repeat itself, but it certainly does rhyme.

It’s brought me so much insight and joy to be part of this collective story. One larger than any one generation or ethnicity. Being involved in Multicultural Marketing has brought me closer to this experience, and my grandparents, too.

Kinda crazy for a white kid named Wegs from Wisconsin.

It also makes me sad. Sad that so many are so afraid by the browning of America. I’m not going to delve much deeper into that. However, from you better get used to it, because it’s inevitable. Just listen to this introduction to one of my talks:

What if I were tell you that today in this country, there are more Latinos in America than Canadians in Canada? What if I were to tell you that the Latino birthrate outpaces the Anglo birthrate by 20-1? (Actually, it’s closer to 25-1.) And what if I told you that for the last few years, the Anglo death rate has been outpacing the Anglo birth rate? (Yep, Anglos are not multiplying fast enough to replace themselves.) Now take all that in, and what if I asked you where your next customer is coming from? Or your next co-worker, for that matter.

Trust me, when I lay this out, I see plenty of jaws drop to the floor.

My advice, get down with the brown, my friend, because not only is that where things are headed, that’s where things are at right now.

By now, many of you have heard that by 2043 or so, America will become a minority/majority country. We’ll have more people of color than white folks.

But if you’re responsible for your bottom line right now, that’s still a long ways away. So, maybe you feel that you can afford to wait. Well, let me throw this wrinkle in…

Forget 2043, we’ve already hit the tipping point.

 

According to Ethnifacts, when you factor in mixed households, multiracial urban populations, intermarriages and LGBTQ people, we’ve already reached the tipping point. Meaning that a new, more inclusive mindset is already leading the way in shaping the latest version of America.

Attitudinally, the Multicultural mindset is here. And a new reality will need new eyes.

Diversity is more than demographics. Diversity is a mindset.

Your eyes are useless if your mind is blind. So it’s important to see diversity as more than a demographic wave. More than a hiring objective. It’s a mindset. An open-minded, inclusive way of looking at things. One that appreciates and yields new ideas, tastes and relationships. And for many people, diversity is an important value, which they expect those that they work for and do business with to value, too. Welcome to the modern mindset. Welcome to diversity today.

 

Let’s Take a Short Breather… (EXHALE.)

 

…We’re here at Deaf Mule Studios to remind everyone that this is Navigating the Fustercluck. And I’m Wegs, your world-weary host hoping that you can avoid many of the mistakes I’ve made during my otherwise adventurous career. Now back to the broadcast, or narrowcast with a final thought from Neil Golden, former CMO of McDonald’s who said…

Ethnic segments are leading lifestyle trends. We choose to start with the ones who are setting the pace.

Think of music, fashion and food, and it’s pretty hard to disagree with what Neil is saying…As a marketer, it’s time to get onboard. The future is here.

Well, that about wraps up our 12th episode of Navigating the Fustercluck.

Here from Deaf Mule Studios, I’m your host, Wegs, like eggs with a W, thank you for listening in. Until then, please feel free to reach out to us on Twitter at NavigatingF. Remember, we’re all in this together. Here’s to you. Here’s to the future.