Multicultural Marketing Blog: Reaching Muslim Audiences Finds Best Buy in a Tough Situation

Talk about a no-win situation. The US Muslim population is estimated at over 2.3 million by Pew Research. Their buying power is obviously attractive enough that Best Buy decided to incorporate a holiday message during the holiday season. Oh what a storm that ad created!
US Muslims were ecstatic that US companies were finally getting it and were interested enough to recognize one of their holidays. However non-Muslims were insulted. Many wrote that they'd take their business to other retailers because they felt that Best Buy was "catering to those responsible for the 9/11 attacks" (Note, this is a quote, not my opinion but what was shared by others online and in public forums).

The Muslims rejoiced Best Buy's move and Best Buy said it stood by its campaign. However many marketers believe that they ought not to go down the path that Best Buy did so as to not get caught in a similar storm.

So what's the answer to this problem? Unfortunately there is no clear cut, one answer.
Companies need to target market to ethnic populations. That means that they need to use ethnic media channels to attract ethnic populations. However mainstream media is influential and needs "diverse" messages for diverse audiences. However, companies will need to do more research to create these diverse mainstream messages without creating an explosive situation like the one Best Buy faced.

(Note: I'm not saying that what happened to Best Buy was right. Nor am I saying that companies should not be creating targeted marketing campaigns to appeal to Muslims.  However, perception is 99 times out of a 100, reality. So how can companies take those perceptions into factor so that your campaigns don't backfire?) Anyone???

Multicultural Marketing Blog: Johnnie Walker Black Label Woos the New Jersey Latino Community

Johnnie Walker Black Label wants to attract the Latino community! Johnnie Walker Black Label will be launching a grassroots community effort to showcase events, promotions and new business opportunities to New Jersey Latinos. Johnnie Walker is celebrating its centennial birthday and has a good reason to reach out to the Latino community in New Jersey.

Latinos making up more than 16 percent of the New Jersey population are a powerful force in New Jersey, representing the fastest growing segment in the state. The 52,000 Latino businesses found in NJ in 2008 are predicted to double by 2010 in New Jersey. This makes New Jersey the 5th largest concentration of Latino businesses in the country.
Gerry Rojas is the brand ambassador chosen by Johnnie Walker for their outreach to the NJ Latino Community. Gerry is an industry veteran when it comes to designing campaigns to target the Latino market. Johnnie Walker Black Label’s new brand ambassador, Gerry Rojas says that they want to celebrate the accomplishments of the Latino business community and also want the Latino community to participate in the celebration of their accomplishments.

It’ll be interesting to see how with Rojas’s help, Johnnie Walker will convince Latinos to give up their favourite tequila in favor of Johnnie Walker Black Label.

(I also look forward to seeing when Johnnie Walker will target market to the Indian American community. I hope they know that the South Asian Indian community is perhaps the biggest fan of Johnnie Walker Black and Blue brands!)

Social Media Marketing Blog: Hacked by Iranian Cyber Army? Ooh that hurts!

Every 2-3 minutes, over a 15-20 minute period, I kept trying to load Twitter and nothing would load. So I thought oh perhaps my internet connection is down. But no, everything else was working and all other sites were coming right up.

Then I went to google alerts to see if anything was reported on Twitter being down. Again, no news so I just ignore it. Then I asked a friend in India if Twitter was coming up for him and he said no. He dug around and found a "developing" story on about Twitter being hacked. reported that Twitter was hacked and the following message was posted on it:

Iranian Cyber Army



U.S.A. Think They Controlling And Managing Internet By Their Access, But THey Don’t, We Control And Manage Internet By Our Power, So Do Not Try To Stimulation Iranian Peoples To….

Take Care.


Hmmm……….Twitter hacked? Twitter, everyone's beloved, the favorite child of Social Media Marketers, the one that is in the limelight. That Twitter with it's big name geniuses can't protect itself from hackers?

Twitter's back online now and it's interesting reading all the tweets on what happened when the defacement message appeared on Twitter. All I can say is this is embarrassing!


Multicultural Marketing Blog: Tribune Hispanic Media Group to connect advertisers with US Hispanic community.

Who doesn’t understand the need to market to multicultural audiences? Marketing to Hispanics has become quite popular and many large companies like McDonald's, Coca Cola, and Johnny Walker, are increasing their focus towards this ethnic community. By 2010 it is estimated that Hispanics will have a buying power of almost a trillion US dollars so it’s not surprising that brands are clamoring to reach them.

The Tribune Company has launched Tribune Hispanic Media Group which is a national sales team for the Hispanic market targeted media. They will offer advertisers customized solutions across print, digital, mobile, direct and event marketing.

Tribune already has four Spanish-language media properties that reach an estimated 1.7 million Hispanic consumers in markets like LA and Florida where the Hispanic population is less than 30%.

Since Tribune’s four media properties already have a ready audience, the new sales team should have an easy job convincing brands to advertise with Tribune’s various media platforms.

Multicultural Marketing Blog: Coca Cola’s Year Long Engagement with Ethnic Communities

Brands are paying more and more attention to ethnic consumers of late. Brands like Coca Cola have taken multicultural marketing to heart and according to Coca Cola's Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Katie Bayne, Coke plans to focus more and more on multicultural Americans between now and 2020.

Coke’s CMO also pointed out that Coke is no longer focusing on event based marketing. Meaning it is not just targeting Hispanics around Hispanic events or African Americans during the Black History month.

Now this makes a lot of sense right?

Ethnic consumers don’t just make buying decisions a few times a year. They are buying year long and so engaging with them every day is the right thing to do. Wonder why no one got that until now?

Increasing the attention paid to multicultural or ethnic consumers is a smart marketing strategy. Brands are already finding out that ethnic marketing impacts the bottom-line with significant gains in sales and market share.

Social Media Marketing Blog: Twitter joins hands with LinkedIN

Twitter is what I would call the "favorite child" in the social media world.  Oh how it has just become the apple of the eye for social networkers! And as Twitter has grown its user base; it has also begun creating added value for its users. Twitter is now an important component of the online marketing strategy of major brands like Coca Cola, Dell, and Ford. Dell has even claimed that Twitter has generated millions of dollars in sales.

Twitter understands its own value too and is seriously focusing on growing it with partnerships around the social media landscape. Recently, Twitter announced a partnership with LinkedIN, one of the most respected business networking websites out there. Now you can link your twitter and Linkedin accounts; peep into your LinkedIN status updates and have your tweets sent to your LinkedIN connections. 

This Twitter-Linkedin partnership can lead to enormous exposure for those tweeps who will focus on crafting their tweets in such a way that they would appeal to the very-business oriented LinkedIn users. I’ve yet to try the features out but I’m sure I’ll give it a TweeIN soon!