Multicultural Marketing: The Rise of ‘Total Market’

Multicultural Marketing: Total Market

More and more brands are aligning their multicultural marketing efforts under a new name: “Total Market.” The definition is still a bit vague, but the goal is to bring multicultural thinking into the overall strategy and address an increasingly diverse audience. While total market is viewed by some as the new answer to address all audiences, some view it as a growing problem for multicultural marketing.

So what exactly does the total market approach bring?  Here are a few key points:

Total market aims to make the multicultural audience the new mainstream audience. Toyota brought all of its ethnic marketing agencies onto one team to create the T2 — or Total Toyota — team. Toyota is the top auto brand for Latinos, African-American, and Asian-Americans, making it imperative for the brand to reach all of these audiences.

With total market, different ethnic groups are considered in all aspects of marketing. Walmart cut its multicultural budget and invested it in all its business units, adding a new requirement that all marketing efforts must include a multicultural aspect. By including goals for multicultural in every strategy, all groups are included and represented.

However, with this new approach, different ethnic groups can blend together. By creating one overarching strategy for all groups, details regarding specific ethnic groups can be left out. Another fear is that multicultural agencies can be left out in favor of general agencies that will now pay more attention to multicultural marketing.

It will take a bit more time to see how total market will play out for major brands, but hopefully we can soon see the effects as well as a specific definition. For more on multicultural marketing, read more on Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois’ multicultural approach and connecting with Latino audiences.