Multicultural marketers are increasing their new media spend across all platforms and the fastest budget growth is being allotted to social media marketing, according to an Association of National Advertisers (ANA) member survey.

As the multicultural market continues to grow, 87 percent of marketers are either increasing or maintaining spending on all multicultural media compared to last year, according to the ANA  survey. Additionally, 84 percent of multicultural marketers are growing or maintaining budgets specifically for newer media platforms.

“Marketers have responded to the growing diversification of the U.S. population by increasing their spending to reach multicultural consumers,” said Bob Liodice, ANA President and CEO. “These consumers are younger, more acculturated, and more tech-savvy, making the use of newer media platforms more important than ever.”

Newer Media Usage

Over the past two years there has been little change in the ranking of newer media platforms utilized to reach multicultural consumers, indicating that newer media is being integrated into the more traditional marketing mix. The most popular newer media platforms are:

o Company website (75 percent)
o Online ads on third-party websites (72 percent)
o Search engine marketing (paid keyword) (71 percent)
o Search engine optimization (organic) (70 percent)
o Social media (67 percent)
o Mobile marketing (64 percent)
o Email marketing (63 percent)
o Viral video (e.g., YouTube) (51 percent)

The fastest growing multicultural newer media platforms are mobile, viral video, blogs, social networks/social media and location-based apps.  More than a quarter of marketers surveyed started using these platforms to reach multicultural customers in the past year or plan to use them in 2013:

o Mobile (33 percent)
o Viral video (29 percent)
o Blogs (28 percent)
o Social networks/social media (27 percent)
o Location-based apps (25 percent)

Metrics, ROI, and Marketers’ Confidence

While newer media platforms usage is on the rise, inability to prove their ROI is a top concern among multicultural marketers. Overall, respondents’ sentiments were lukewarm regarding the effectiveness of these newer media platforms _ only five out of 18 platforms received a high effectiveness rating from more than half of marketers surveyed:

o Company website (64 percent)
o Search engine marketing (paid keyword) (60 percent)
o Mobile (53 percent)
o Email marketing (52 percent)
o Search engine optimization (organic) (51 percent)

Newer Media Responsibility and Management

Nearly 70 percent of marketers surveyed said they have a dedicated internal team for multicultural initiatives. Additionally, 52 percent said they utilize an external multicultural agency for their multicultural initiatives and 40 percent utilize a general agency for their multicultural initiatives.

“There is an opportunity for more marketers to engage multicultural agencies, as only half of survey respondents are currently doing so,” said Bill Duggan, ANA Group Executive Vice President. “At the same time, general market agencies appear to be increasingly involved with communications targeted to multicultural segments. This is likely a result of some clients now ‘marketing to a multicultural nation’ rather than doing ‘multicultural marketing.’”


The average expected increase in spend on newer media for multicultural marketing in 2012 is 9.1 percent. As budgets continue to be under pressure, there is limited incremental budget (28 percent) for multicultural newer media; instead, funds are being reallocated either from the general market budget (56 percent) or the broader multicultural budget (22 percent).

Since 2010, the average percentage of the multicultural media budget allocated to newer media platforms has increased to 7.7 percent from 6.6 percent. When asked what single newer media platform receives the most spend related to marketing to multicultural customers, the top responses were:

o Company website (27 percent)
o Online ads on third-party sites (18 percent)
o Email marketing (14 percent)
o Mobile marketing (14 percent)


The 2012 Multicultural Marketing and Newer Media Survey was conducted online by the ANA during June and July of 2012. In total, 106 client-side marketers are represented in the survey. Participants included members of the ANA survey community who are periodically surveyed on a range of timely, industry-related topics as well as targeted ANA members with multicultural marketing interests.

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