Making an Impact on Multicultural and Diversity Marketing

July 9, 2015

By Janine Martella, director of committees and conferences at ANA

It’s that time of the year here at the ANA when the Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference and Awards are in full planning mode! As we’re building the agenda for the conference and promoting the awards, I’ve had a few opportunities recently that reminded me of how our society continues to strengthen and grow in diversity and multicultural awareness.

On June 26th, the day the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of same-sex marriage — a day that the LGBT community had fought for and wanted for so long — there was a palpable sense of joy and relief amongst those that had hoped for this decision. Especially for dear friends of mine who my husband and I stood up for as witnesses at their wedding just a year ago. Knowing that this was such a monumental event for them made the moment even more meaningful for me personally.

Just two days prior, we hosted the first ever LGBT-themed day at our Multicultural Marketing and Diversity committee meeting, kindly hosted by our member the NBA at their offices here in New York City. That day, we heard from Dante Mastri, Global Strategy and Capabilities, Global Merchant Services at American Express, on how their employee resource group spearheaded their LGBT marketing effort in addition to their regular full time jobs, because they saw the need and it meant so much to them. We also heard from Sarah Gorvitz, Director, Stolichnaya Premium Vodka at Stoli Group USA, about how they responded to Russia’s anti-LGBT movement prior to the Sochi Winter Olympics and Stoli’s efforts in building a crisis management platform. Hilary Shaeve, Vice President of Marketing at the NBA, shared an in-depth story on the prevalence of the Lesbian fan base with Women’s NBA and how they reach and engage this dedicated fan-base.

On June 30th, I had the honor of presenting at our member Kimberly-Clark in Neenah, Wisconsin along with ANA members, Mark Steele and Spiro Papathanasakis, Directors at eSSENTIAL Accessibility, regarding People with Disabilities. We were invited to share our stories to help support Kimberly-Clark’s Employee Resource Group, “Capabilities First,” an internal effort to help recognize and support their employees and families that are impacted by disabilities. The People with Disabilities category, which was introduced to the ANA Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference and the awards in 2014, has certainly gained momentum in awareness, especially as many influential, global brands have begun targeted marketing campaigns to this influential group. In 2014, the People with Disabilities category had ads submitted from top brands, including AT&T, Duracell (P&G), Equinox, Guinness, Intel, Mass Mutual, P&G Swiffer, Special Olympics Texas, and Walmart. With the People with Disabilities category gaining momentum as a key audience, I expect to see more brands submit for the awards in 2015.

As we’re moving forward with our plans for this year’s conference and awards, these events gave me the opportunity to realize how much of an impact we have had in recognizing and supporting these market segments throughout the year and on a personal level. Hope you can join us in Miami November 8–10 and hear more from experts in Multicultural Marketing and Diversity and celebrate the award winners!


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