PHOENIX: Brands need to take a targeted approach to multicultural marketing if they want to genuinely connect with different groups of consumers, according to Engelina Jaspers, vp of corporate marketing, Americas, at Hewlett Packard, the technology company.

Speaking at the ANA 2009 Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference - Warc's coverage of which is available here - Jaspers said there was "tangible business potential" in campaigns that focus on specific audiences.

HP recently launched an initiative in one US city whereby it aimed to communicate with Hispanic consumers in Spanish right the way through from its broadcast ads to its point-of-purchase materials.

A one-size-fits-all marketing programme not only "misses opportunities" overall, but also "under-serves multicultural audiences", Jaspers said.

Firstly, she advised, advertisers should "pick and prioritise which markets you'll focus on", an emphasis that need not apply solely to differing ethnic groups, but which could also focus on geography, or regions that provide detailed data on sales and market share.

Secondly, brands need to include a diverse range of people in their ad campaigns, as "when customers recognise themselves in your brand, they create a bond", and "what you do in the general market should reflect the face of the United States."

Thirdly, partnerships can help companies engage different audiences, something HP has successfully achieved through its tie-up with the National Basketball Association, which has been "a great benefit for our multicultural programme," Jaspers said.

To access Warc's coverage of the ANA 2009 Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference, click here.

Data sourced from Warc