Marketing in a Multicultural America

October 20, 2015

By Lizette Williams, multicultural marketing leader, North America, Kimberly-Clark Corp.

September 6, 2012. This was the first day I started at Kimberly-Clark charged with leading our multicultural marketing initiatives, never having spent a day doing multicultural marketing. A brand marketer by trade and passionate about all things cultural, I thought I had enough of a foundation to pursue a new labor of love. Little did I know I was in for a surprise!

Eight weeks later, I attended my first ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference and this year I have the tremendous honor of co-hosting the country’s largest multicultural marketing conference. That first conference had such a big impact on helping me lay the groundwork and set a multicultural marketing vision for Kimberly-Clark.  One of the greatest benefits was meeting the people who would then become dear mentors, friends, and sponsors. I left invigorated, inspired, and ready to take on my newest career challenge.

We have been on a journey at Kimberly-Clark and I am so proud of the progress we have made. It has not always been easy. It has sometimes been referred to by one of my agency partners as “our missionary work.” A mission indeed. The truth is many days I found myself tapping into something I heard at the conference or calling on people I met to remind myself that I was on the right track. It was the year the Total Market Debate really came to a forefront, Marc Strachan told the story of turning around premium vodka with African-Americans, and I sat and talked to someone in the lobby for hours about the vision we had to see a more progressive depiction of people-of-color in the media.

I left that first conference and I knew I no longer just had a “job” to do — I had found my life’s work. I am beyond honored and humbled to host this year’s ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference. I hope each of you will truly leave inspired and ready to take on the amazingly fun and interesting, sometimes frustrating, but always worthwhile journey we call “marketing in a multicultural America.” See you in November!


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