Marketers Learning Multicultural Marketing Is Everyone’s Responsibility

Walmart’s Senior VP of Brand Marketing and Advertising, Tony Rogers, addressed a crowd gathered at the ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference in Miami Beach earlier this month to announce what many companies are finally catching on to—multicultural marketing works best when everyone takes responsibility for it and it’s not relegated to silos.

Rogers, who made waves at last year’s ANA event by announcing that Walmart was going to move multicultural into all its business units, said his real eye-opener was during a layaway campaign the company re-introduced to their general market last year.

“The ad we ran on the Latin Grammys didn’t mention layaway,” Warren said. “Our [Hispanic] agency Lopez Negrete did a great job doing what we asked them to do. We just weren’t asking them to do the right thing.”

This year, Walmart is using the Latin Grammys spot as a platform to talk about layaway.

Rogers told the crowd that one hundred percent of Walmart’s growth is going to come from multicultural customers so their spending against multicultural customers will likewise grow by at least one hundred percent.

Rogers also brought up the importance of giving multicultural agencies “a seat at the table” from the beginning. “Previously, multicultural efforts would lag by several weeks or a month because the general market work was done first,” says Ad Age. “This year, the Hispanic wireless-contract campaign took the lead in Walmart’s back-to-school wireless effort, and the general market followed.”

“I can’t agree more with Walmart’s strategy,” says José Espinoza, Vice President of Strategy and Development for Mercury Mambo. “Hispanic agencies (or any agency for that matter) provide stronger results when included in the integrated marketing campaign from the get-go. These results should be an incentive to every corporation and they must ensure their Hispanic agency has a seat at the table at strategy sessions, instead of just adapting general market concepts.”

Rogers also advised marketers to set multicultural agendas for every department and do check-ins to see if those goals are being met.

It sounds obvious, but the secret really is to treat your Hispanic and multicultural customers just as well as you would any others.