Leading with ethnic insights

The notion of tapping into thought processes and insights from key ethnic groups such as African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Hispanic-Americans seems to be a trend that more communicators aim to employ.

The notion of tapping into thought processes and insights from key ethnic groups such as African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Hispanic-Americans seems to be a trend that more communicators aim to employ. In theory, it makes perfect sense given that these three groups combined account for more than 30 percent of the US population and is projected to steadily increase over the coming years.

It will become increasingly more important that communicators not only talk about leading with ethnic insights, but that we actually do so. Research shows that the effectiveness of communications campaigns increases when there is a measurable level of thoughtfulness and insights apparent to targeted consumers. These results tend to be very different than building upon existing campaigns and creating a post-strategy decision to incorporate tactics that “make sense” within ethnic segments.

Social media, for example, is a hot topic in communications. A recent Pew study showed that African-Americans are more likely to use Twitter than any other segment. Likewise, Hispanics continue to be one of the fastest growing online segments, while Asian-Americans still respond very positively to in-language media and communications sent through specific media channels.

Three tips will help you to maximize ethnic insights effectively:

  • Let research be a part of the equation. If a product or service indexes high or shows an opportunity for growth, don't fight it. Look at ways to evolve your brand.
  • Get beyond the tactics. Ensure a diverse group of communicators are a part of the process when developing the strategy. It still matters that the insight are authentic – so diversity does matter.
  • Try to avoid incorporating celebrities, organizations, and certain nomenclature just because it “sounds relevant.” Instead, make sure the initiative solves a problem or meets a need within the segment.

Rashada Whitehead, SVP/MD, Flowers Communications Group

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