Sixty percent of marketers surveyed said they spent more on new-media platforms for multicultural efforts in 2012, according to a survey by the Association of National Advertisers. The average increase was 9% for those that boosted their budgets; 24% of respondents spent the same amount while 16% cut their budgets for new media.
A continuing debate over whether to hire a specialized multicultural agency or tap a general-market shop for multicultural work is clearly set to continue: 52% of respondents said they use a multicultural agency and 40% said they work with a general-market agency for multicultural work.
Highlighting that issue, the finalists for this year's Multicultural Excellence Awards include McGarryBowen, for Hispanic work on Kraft Real Mayonnaise, and Hispanic shop LatinWorks. for general-market work for General Motors' Silverado. (The winners will be announced at the ANA's annual multicultural conference later this month in Miami.)
For many marketers targeting multicultural consumers, new media is one growth areas. A total of 88% of respondents said they are targeting Hispanic consumers through new media, 54% target African-American consumers and 37% Asian-Americans. A Spanish-language website has been created by 59% of the marketers surveyed, and 22 % have an Asian-language website.
To fund spending on new media, 56% of respondents said they took money from their general-market budget, 28% said they added new funds, and 22 % took the money from elsewhere in their multicultural budget.
The three most popular ways to reach multicultural consumers through new media are the company's own website (75%), online ads (72%) and search-engine marketing (71%). But other platforms are growing: 32% of respondents said they are using location-based apps in 2012, compared with just 2% in a similar ANA survey in 2010. Use of blogs has grown to 44%, from 27% in 2010, and 64% of respondents said they use mobile marketing, up from 59% two years ago.
Asked what new-media platforms they expect to use for the first time next year to reach multicultural consumers, 18% said they will add mobile and 22 % will try video.
Although 69% of marketers surveyed said they have a dedicated internal team for multicultural initiatives, there are clearly some in-house roadblocks to doing better multicultural work, at least in new media. Almost 70% of respondents cited inability to prove return on new media investment as a big concern. And those issues appear to be getting worse. In this year's survey, 48% of respondents cited their senior management's push-back or lack of understanding, up from 31% in the 2010 survey.
There were 106 respondents to the ANA survey, conducted online in June and July 2012.