Digital Diversity: How Culture Impacts Digital

We’ve all heard the stats—multicultural populations are outpacing the growth of the general population, and digital trends are no different.

While at SxSW, Facebook’s Christian Martinez, Head of US Multicultural Sales, and Virginia Lennon, SVP, Partnerships for Ipsos MediaCT, presented findings from their study on digital diversity. In almost every category of digital, mobile, and social usage, multicultural consumers are more engaged and active than their gen-pop counterparts. Moreover, and not surprisingly, digital is the new home of this community, with geographical boundaries becoming less relevant. With the advent of video functionality built into every device, families are connecting in unique and novel ways. Lennon gave an example of a Hispanic family that held a virtual baby shower where all the attendees were participating via Facebook’s video conferencing platform.

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So what does this mean for pharma? Is it the same rally cry for more advertising targeted toward multicultural audiences? To some extent yes, but more accurately I believe this represents a fundamental shift in our business model to put diverse populations at the center of our go-to-market strategy. We are entering the stage of critical mass where reaching these consumers is analogous to targeting the majority. And it’s not just advertising that needs to make the shift—pharma needs to consider how services and platforms are built with diverse populations at the center of their design.

The bad news for pharma? We are behind. The good news? This represents greater opportunity for what can be captured beyond just a general market strategy. The formula for success isn’t drastically different according to Martinez—putting people first, coupled with personalized messages, and creative with cross-screen appeal, is the right way to capitalize on the opportunity.

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For a little fun check out this socially-inspired ad from Wendy’s featuring Jon Secada.

– Charles Auletta, VP/Group Director, Marketing