Coca-Cola's "total and targeted" approach to multicultural marketing

Stephen Whiteside

Traditional approaches to multicultural marketing are coming under pressure from "total market" strategies which target shoppers of all backgrounds using a single idea. For Coca-Cola, however, achieving balance is preferable to pursuing a binary model.

"Inclusive marketing reflects multicultural insights, and goes beyond just putting a brown face in the ad. I think why this area is so controversial is that many companies have gone from multicultural marketing, and made this huge shift over to total marketing," said Lauventria Robinson, the firm's vice president, multicultural marketing, North America, at the 2013 ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference.

Brands that do not aim bespoke messages at Hispanic, African-American and Asian-American customers risk missing out on the chance to engage them in uniquely-effective ways, be it through niche media, endorsements or running ads in various languages.