Once upon a time, multicultural agencies were employed by clients to reach a specific audience, such as African-Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, Hispanics and Latinos, or Native Americans. While many agencies where able to thrive within this industry, it was clear that multicultural agencies would need to evolve and adapt to persevere in the marketplace.
A factor that has contributed to the continued success of multicultural agencies is the changing demographics. Markets such as Los Angeles provide multicultural agencies an advantage over a general market agency because of their ability to reach the dominant Hispanic population through strong community relationships, in addition to media outreach targeting bilingual and Spanish-language media outlets.
With the growing trend of multicultural practices within general market agencies and the changing economy, many multicultural agencies have responded by incorporating different ethnic practices into their agencies. For example, adding a Hispanic practice to an African-American specialist agency or adding an Asian/Pacific Islander practice to a Hispanic-focused agency.
In addition, multicultural agencies have also incorporated general market outreach as part of their services, allowing continued growth and expansion. This shift has allowed multicultural agencies to provide their clients a “one-stop shop” option for all their communication needs targeting various consumer groups.
As the US demographic continues to shift, the ability to reach multicultural audiences will become a prevalent need if companies desire to maximize their revenues. Multicultural agencies have proven that they can compete and prevail against general market agencies in the multicultural marketplace. Now is the time for multicultural agencies to take advantage of their expertise, step up to the plate, and prove that no one understands the multicultural market better than they do.
Kim Hunter, president/CEO, Lagrant Communications