Diversity is critical for American businesses today for a simple reason. The makeup of the population has changed dramatically and with it so have consumer demands for more minority representation in the workplace.

Take a look at these statistics: Pew Research reports that the Asian American population in the U.S. grew some 72% between 2000 and 2015. And according to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2044 more than half of all citizens will belong to one minority group or another, and by 2060 the number of Hispanics in the country will have grown by 115%, making up nearly 30% of all Americans.

That’s not all. According to a wide range of sources, Black consumers spend $1.2 trillion annually; women’s buying power drives 70% to 80% of consumer purchases.

Even now, groups long considered minorities — Black and Hispanic, specifically — are the majority in many urban communities.

For marketers, if these figures were squares to be filled in on a paint-by-number canvas, they would paint a clear and vivid picture of whom to target in ads, promotions and marketing campaigns.

To succeed in multicultural America, companies and their marketing firms simply must acknowledge the presence of these burgeoning bodies of consumers. That it’s the right thing to do goes without saying, but it is also apparent that catering to these populations is smart marketing.

More than paying lip service to the “idea” of diversity, however, successful campaigns must address the particular audience being targeted — its history and experiences, its customs and beliefs, its language and traditions — in a genuine way.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, marketers and campaigns that fail to connect with diverse audiences risk losing an enormous opportunity to build brands and grow their customer base, as well as the ability to recruit and retain multicultural talent on their own team.

Here are three tips from the Institute on how marketing campaigns can reach a multicultural audience.

  1. Remember that real people are behind demographics. Content must be created that takes into account their stories, desires and needs. They want to be heard, not just informed.
  2. Meet a targeted audience where its members are. By meeting and talking to them on a regular basis, marketers can learn which products and services fit their lives — and which don’t.
  3. Use technology to reach young, diverse audiences. Online is where they live, so that’s where marketers must be, too. But that’s not enough. Content must be relevant to their experiences, and it must be genuine because they’ll know it when it’s not.



—Tom Connor