Creative strategies for the Total Market

Lately, we’ve been discussing ways to adjust a brand’s marketing strategies in order to reach The Total Market. This is based on the reality that the multicultural minorities in many of the top DMAs are now the majority, giving brands a reason to redefine what their “general market” and segment advertising programs should look like in order to connect with the true market. In previous posts, we covered the fundamentals of Total Market-focused research, and in this post, we move on to the role of the creative process.

When developing creative to better reach the Total Market, we are talking about developing advertising that more effectively connects with a consumer base where the multicultural market segment has an even greater influence on a brand’s success than the traditional general market segment. This typically occurs when the advertising focuses on common behaviors, attitudes and lifestyles as a first priority, with culture, race and ethnicity playing a secondary role.

Two critical principles sit at the core of the Convergent Marketing Solutions creative approach.

  1. This IS NOT about expecting a single ad to serve as the answer for reaching an entire consumer base, made up of English-speaking non-Hispanics, Hispanics, Asians, African-Americans and other nationalities.  This has been attempted many times in our industry without any success, as this kind of advertising is forced to focus on the “lowest common denominators” of its target customers and never truly connects with anyone. 
  2. Rather, this approach IS about making adjustments to what would typically be considered the “general market” track of advertising.  It focuses on core human truths that transcend race, culture and ethnicity, AND is always supported with cohesive, integrated and culturally purposed campaigns that create a bull’s eye connection with the dominant segments.

 

So what does this look like?
The common threads that we have leveraged for our clients have ranged from music and community service to parental worries and concerns. For Sears, we focused on the cross-cultural appeal of children and community service to elevate the sponsorship of a Gloria Estefan tour into 34 brand building events across the U.S.  The buzz from these efforts made the tour a household name for a couple of months in a range of diverse communities.

For American Family Insurance, we leveraged the building blocks of protection and parents’ desires to see their kids do their best to create a spot that originally aired in Spanish and, because it played so well with all audiences, was later reverse-transculturated to English. These efforts led to some of the strongest brand metrics that the company had ever seen, across a range of audiences.

For Sara Lee Corporation, we made the artwork of a landmark pre-Colombian art exhibit that the corporate leader was sponsoring relevant to all cultures in all of our advertising efforts, including print, radio and PR.  This resulted in record-breaking attendance at the museums in which it was exhibited, as well as putting Sara Lee on the map as a company that connects with multicultural consumers.

 

Did someone mention cost savings?
In addition to building a more cohesive brand that reflects the reality of the Total Market, another advantage of this approach is the efficiencies that can be created through the creative and production process. One example of these efficiencies is the ability to create one core version and layer in ghosting techniques for other languages as compared to multiple production shoots. Efficiencies also come in the form of reduced agency redundancies that can be found by assigning a lead agency that can manage the entirety of a Total Market campaign as opposed to multiple agencies managing multiple consumer segments.

We believe that the right time to apply this method is now, as it is making significant advancements in branding and production efficiencies for numerous brands.

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