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When it comes to marketing, cultural intelligence matters

Graduate | Dec 10, 2015 |

How do you target your marketing to a multicultural audience?

By knowing who that audience is, panelists at a recent marketing seminar said.

It may sound a bit obvious, but it has useful implications.

“It is important to realize that multicultural marketing is no different than marketing. It’s all about knowing your consumer and targeting them,” said Amy Gómez, the director of Hispanic marketing and senior group account director for the UniWorld Group.

Gómez and six other panelists took part in a discussion titled “Understanding the Multicultural Consumer,” sponsored by the Fordham Graduate Marketing Society.

The multicultural consumer is driving business strategy in many firms because that is where consumer growth exists, panelists said.

“Just look at the U.S. Census,” said Apoorva N. Gandhi, vice president of multicultural affairs at Marriott.

Minority populations are growing and businesses cannot ignore these numbers for much longer, the panelists said.

The other panelists were Joe Min, group account director at InterTrend Communications; Dorinda Walker, director of consumer strategy and key initiatives within multicultural marketing at Prudential; Jon Potter, CMO and executive vice president of brands at Moet Hennessy USA; Ali Rossi, product manager at Nielsen; and Samantha Huggins, an associate director at OMD.

The panel was moderated by Alison Munsch, a Gabelli School Personal and Professional Development adviser who also teaches marketing at Fordham.

The multicultural consumer is growing in buying power, Munsch said. This is why it is important for marketers to have a high cultural intelligence.

“Optimization is key,” Min said.

To do this, companies conduct market research. Several panel members discussed how their companies use data mining firm such as Nielsen to gather information. Min explained that research informs every decision at InterTrend.

Abeer Alkasbbi, MSMM ’17, who hails from Saudi Arabia, said the members of the panel shared valuable insights.

“What I appreciated most was the diversity of the speakers – not just their cultural backgrounds, but also their diverse professions,” Alkasbbi said.

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