Using Shopper Marketing To Target Minorities

The combined buying power of America’s minorities will increase from $1.6 trillion in 2010 to more than $2 trillion by 2015“¹.  “The Hispanic market alone, at $1 trillion (in 2010), is larger than the entire economies of all but 14 countries in the world”². Moreover, “46% of all mothers in the US are Latina, Black or Asian“³.

But how can companies best market to those minorities without falling back on banal stereotypes?

In this post, we present 10 tips for how to use multicultural shopper marketing to better target minorities.

Our world is home to 7 billion individuals speaking some 6,000 languages. They belong to 5,000 ethnic groups and live in 196 countries. shoppernewsblog devised 10 tips for any company which wants to create successful minority shopper marketing campaigns.


1. Be committed

The first and most important advice we can give to our readers is to be committed. Shoppers, and especially minority group shoppers, are sensitive to a company’s communication but even more to the actual execution. Is your workforce diverse and does top management include members of minorities or is your company led by white Caucasians only? Marketing to ethnic or religious groups should not be out of pity nor for the mere desire to increase profits. Instead, it should emerge out of a deep conviction of being able to better satisfy a group’s needs.


2. Be specific

Your company cannot target all minorities. Nor will your product be attractive to all of them. Segment minorities and prioritize. Even among minority groups, distinct subgroups should be accounted for. Take Hispanics in the US for example. You can distinguish them according to the language they speak (English-speaking only, English-Spanish-speaking, Spanish-speaking only), their country of origin (Mexico, Cuba, etc.) or their age (Hispanic millennials, Hispanic adults, etc.). Pick only subgroups for which your product is relevant and which are large enough to be profitable.


3. Be curious

Once you’ve selected your target minority, get to know them. Visit their fairies and street festivals, celebrate their culture by getting to know their artists, listening to their music and eating their food. Even more important, visit them at home and learn how they are living. Appreciate their uniqueness and learn about their values. Hispanics for example cherish family and community life whereas African-American appreciate respect. Your communication along the path to purchase should reflect these specific values.


4. Be humble

Don’t assume that you know all about minorities. Marketing to them requires expert knowledge. Contract agencies specialized in marketing to your specific target audience and incorporate them early on in the strategic planning process. They will help you to prepare focus groups and research panels to uncover the shopper insights which will be the starting point for your campaign. Literal translations and little adapted key visuals often result in cultural misunderstandings.


5. Be flexible

Tailor your product and packaging to your target audience. There are three different levels of adaptation ranging from minor adjustments to products designed entirely from scratch:

a) First are basic adjustments such as translating packaging into another language or adapting key visuals to cultural-specific needs.

b) The second level includes adjustments to the product to account for cultural differences. For example, a company targeting, among others, Jewish shoppers might guarantee to use kosher ingredients only.

c) The third level comprises products designed exclusively for the minority group. Take for example P&G’s cosmetic product line “My Black is Beautiful” directed at African-American female shoppers.


6. Be consistent

Using shopper marketing to target minorities requires a consistent communication along the entire path to purchase. This in turn, demands a deep understanding of the media the targeted shoppers consume and which marketing tools they value most. Hispanics for example tend to view more television and are more likely to use coupons.


7. Be selective

Select retail partners which target the very minority you want to address. First, they can provide you with additional insights on the specific minority. Second, they rely on the necessary infrastructure (i.e. Spanish-speaking employees and signage). For example, Unilever selected for its “Disfruta” campaign retailers such as Vallarta Supermarkets, FoodMaxx, and Food City which are traditionally serving Hispanic shoppers.


8. Be generous

Targeting minorities should not be a one-way business. Instead, be committed and contribute to their community by participating in charity programs and sponsoring events they organize. Members of minorities might be suspicious at first, so you better demonstrate your commitment. In the end, your involvement creates trust and authenticity.


9. Be self-critical

As for any other shopper marketing campaign, measurement is vital. It is not sufficient to have a campaign that looks nice in Powerpoint. Instead, you have to establish goals against which the campaign will be evaluated. Consider both short and long-term goals to ensure an optimal assessment of a campaign’s success.


10. Be creative

Minorities are not only another market segment to which you can sell your products. Use the insights you gain to uncover new sources of revenues for other markets as well. For example, McDonalds launched a Fiesta menu which was initially directed at the Hispanic population. However, it also outperformed in “non-Hispanic” neighborhoods and as such the minority acted as a trendsetter⁴.



Marketing to minorities is not very different from marketing to the majority groups. The campaign should be directed at a specific subgroup (i.e. African-American Moms aged 25 to 40 years) and must be based on concrete shopper insights. Additionally, the campaign must be consistent along the entire path to purchase using media the shoppers are actually consuming.

However, most important might be that your company is committed to the minority it wants to target. Make your organization a multicultural company and prove your commitment by positively contributing to the minority’s community.

Ask not what your minority shoppers can do for you — ask what you can do for your minority shoppers!


Click here for further posts related to Supertrends.


How does your company market to minorities?

Share your tips with us by commenting below on this post!







Stats on numbers of languages, ethnic groups and countries

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2 Responses to Using Shopper Marketing To Target Minorities

  1. Thank you for commenting Bret…

    Much luck for your business!

  2. Love the information, I am just starting building a market for my two pizza and kitchen cutters. I want to embrace all ethnic markets and find ways to get the cutters to everyone who will find them useful! Thank you again,
    Bret Richardson, owner Pizza Sharp

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