What do you think when you hear the term "multicultural marketing?" If you're like most people, you might think Hispanic/Latino marketing, AfricanAmerican/black marketing, Asian American marketing, etc. The problem with focusing on these specific subgroups is that in doing so we are merely practicing multiethnic marketing, not multicultural marketing. I'm not denying that the cultures between these groups are often different, but ask any sociologist or anthropologist and they will tell you that culture is much more complex than the classification of ethnicity and/or race. Both Tiger Woods and I are black, but we have completely different cultures, and the same marketing strategy will not have the same effect on us. We have wildly different socioeconomic, geographical, and educational backgrounds. Pet owners have cultural aspects that are unique to them. So do comic book collectors, moviegoers, etc.


That's misuse of the term multicultural in multicultural marketing is sad, because, in practice, it has the potential to be an extremely powerful method of disseminating a message to, and communicate with, various groups much more effectively than is possible with a general market strategy. This is especially important when we need to deliver information, get feedback, or engage in open dialogue about issues such as education, healthcare, political, or community opportunities with people who might otherwise not be able to receive or understand the messages. True multicultural marketing allows niche business and niche products to better serve its target audience by understanding exactly what they need to provide. If you're doing multiethnic marketing now, that's great. Now the challenge is to delve deeper.