It’s Time to #SeeALL

September 16, 2019

By Gilbert Dávila, chair of ANA Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Committee

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Marketers' No. 1 job is to deliver growth. Yet, consider the fact that, over the past three years, there has been a decline in after-tax profits among Fortune 500 companies (a reasonable surrogate for the business community). Also consider that among these top advertisers, over 60 percent are spending less than one percent of their advertising budget on segment-specific targeted media. Because the ANA and AIMM believe there is a correlation between these two data points, they are prioritizing inclusion and equality as a call to action for corporations looking to drive incremental growth.

We can reach and connect with ALL consumers in relevant and meaningful ways ultimately lifting corporate growth. ALL is the critical word. Today's modern family is highly multicultural by nature and our work must reflect that in order to be relevant and inclusive. Recognizing diversity is no longer enough — we must incorporate it and celebrate it. Everyone should feel included and valued. According to the US Census, more than 40 percent of the U.S. population identifies as Hispanic, African American, Asian or of mixed cultures. This ocean of untapped growth is available to all of us in the form of talking with and to multicultural audiences — being more inclusive.

Yet, multicultural and inclusive marketing today remains largely untapped. Most companies believe they are reaching all segments via their general market dollars. According to the 2018 ANA/AIMM Multicultural and Total Market Benchmark Survey Report, embedding cultural insights in strategy and creative executions when targeting Asian, African American, Hispanic and LGBTQ consumers is only present 15 percent of the time. For this reason, ANA's AIMM has created CIIM — the Cultural Insights Impact Measure. CIIM is a new metric that identifies the impact and effectiveness of cultural insights in ads and programming and how these have the potential to affect sales lift. Created in partnership with NBCUniversal and AIMM member companies, AIMM's CIIM evaluates advertising creative in various categories. Scores by multicultural, inclusive and general population segment attributed to creative and programming tested will be based on a 100 index, with the intent to gauge the extent in which culture may lift brand growth against an overall industry norm.

Reaching, including, celebrating and validating African American, Hispanic, Asian, Senior, Disabled, LGBTQ+ and Non-White Hispanic segments is the right thing for our country. It's the right thing for our businesses. It's the right thing for our industry.

In the words of AIMM's Co-Chair, Tony Rogers: "Let's challenge ourselves to drive growth in our business and, in doing so, bring America with us."

Step up and take a bold stand. If not us, then who? If not now, then when? Join the ANA and AIMM. It's time to #SeeALL.


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