The Advantages of Cross-Cultural Marketing
Diversity in marketing and advertising has been a trending discussion going on in this industry for so many years and you know what, it has to stop being a discussion. You would think that if for every diversity conference and event, there was a campaign or advert that practices it, the ball would well and truly be rolling now.
Brands already embracing this wave such as Maltesers and L’Oréal have shown that authentic representation and inclusion in campaigns wins. And while they are great examples, in the bigger scale of industry is it really enough? Beyond this, it’s about time brands gave more thought to diversity in the form of intercultural marketing and strategy.
Considering advertising’s power to amplify and influence culture, it’s crazy how the industry is still yet to reflect society in terms of intercultural content. If we look at the music industry as a great example of this, recent collaborations have been intercultural such as Hip Hop artist Kendrick Lamar with rock band U2 (this isn’t even a recent revelation, think back to collaborations such as Jay-Z and Linkin Park to Lil Wayne x Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliot x MC Solaar). So since we know that there’s nothing more important than understanding consumers and the markets they engage with, there isn’t a better time to bring together diverse insights about commerce, culture and consumers through intercultural marketing when other sectors of society are doing it.
OPEN TO CHANGE
Generation Z, which is said to be the younger end of the millennial age spectrum and beyond, is predicted to be the generation that is going to make multicultural society mainstream. So in the western world, which arguably has the most diverse society, how long would it be before multi-cultural begins to transform into a rise of intercultural. While not all areas of business are suited to intercultural marketing, those in which millennials tend to be a part of are; it goes without questioning that brands within the entertainment, leisure and lifestyle sectors should implement a strategy or form of intercultural marketing.
For this reason it’s important for such brands to not lose their ability to resonate with millennials by sticking to what’s comfortable, and what they already think they know. Millennials don’t even limit themselves to the millennial thought, that’s why the culture they live by is so strong. They have a sense of curiosity, to discover themselves and the world around them.
So what does this mean for marketers in terms of strategy? All we can say is there’s little room for lack of representation, you just can’t excuse it this day in age. Diversity will soon be a must and eventually have to be a norm but it’s not just about ticking boxes. Millennials would see right through the ‘let’s be inclusive so people think we’re caring’ nonsense. It has to be real and it has to make sense to them, authenticity is a key. It’s a shame Pepsi didn’t get the memo.
All in intercultural strategy is about taking it to the next level. Adapting unique insights from intersecting cultures and communicating effectively to a greater mass of people. Intercultural marketing would allow brands to be able to transfer seamlessly from one culture to another, a challenge that could just be awaiting the advertising and marketing world in the near future.