The United States and Canada are a multi-cultural mosaic with people from every nation and ethnic group, and over 100 dif- ferent languages spoken.
You can benefit from the multicul-tural market by learning how to market
yourself to diverse communities.
1Learn your target community. Focus on a particular cultural community, and be aware of the significant
differences and subdivisions within
groups like Asians and Hispanics. A
person of Asian descent, for example,
may be Chinese, Korean, Japanese,
Malaysian or Philippine.
2Be number and color conscious. Colors are significant in many cultures. White signifies death in many
Asian countries, while red and gold
denote good luck, good fortunes and
prosperity. Numbers can be considered
lucky or unlucky.
3Make your office diversity friendly. If your target audience is Indo-Canadian, for example, decorate your
office with Indian artifacts, sovereigns, etc.
4Respect personal space. People in North America are quite comfortable conversing with people within
three meters, but people in many
Asian countries prefer a minimum of
five meters. Use special caution when
dealing with customers and co-workers
of the opposite sex.
5Subscribe to community magazines/ newspapers. These publications can
be a valuable investment. Placing an
ad is a cheap but focused way to spend
6Be prepared to bargain. When pricing your product/services,
leave room to negotiate. If your profits
are marginal, add something extra to
sweeten the deal.
7Partner with established ethnic businesses. People in the travel
and restaurant industries, for example,
know many influential persons in the
community. Partner with a business that
complements your service, and network
with community leaders who can help
promote your business.
8Learn a second language. We live and work in a global market, so
speaking a second language will open
doors for your business.
9Get a bi-lingual business card. In many Asian countries, giving
and receiving a business card is a sign
of respect and honor, and is done with
both hands. Print one side in English,
and the other side in your target market’s language.
10Celebrate community festivals. Familiarize yourself with your
target group’s special events. Place
an ad in a community newspaper,
such as “McLauren Associates wish
you Visaki.” Hold an open house at
your business center, give away sweets
and distribute special postcards
printed in the language of your
customers and prospects. Never take
a holiday when your community is
11Become an expert on your com- munity. Read ethnic newspapers,
and research and gather interesting stats
and stories. Learn where your target
audience hangs out, where they dine,
what music stations they listen to, etc.
This information will be valuable when
creating your marketing plan.
12Network. Discover the differ- ent ethnic business and social
groups (Chinese, Indo-Canadian,
Vietnamese, Hispanic, etc.) that meet
in your community. Whether you are
involved in a small business or work
for an established company, getting to
know these ethnic networks will be a
David McLauren, Ph.D., is a diversity specialist who speaks five languages. He can be reached at (888) 897-4224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit www.davidm-clauren.com.