NEW YORK: Diageo, the spirits giant, believes multicultural marketing – as it is traditionally understood by brands – is an increasingly outdated concept.

Marc Strachan, Diageo's vp/multicultural marketing for North America, told delegates at the ANA Multicultural and Diversity Conference that a fundamental rethink was required.

"It actually is a terrible name. It's a name that's going to evolve and change if we're going to do this right," he said. (For more, including Diageo's move towards "culture-plus" marketing, read Warc's exclusive article: Why Diageo prefers "culture-plus" to multicultural marketing.)

"There's no such thing as a 'general market' strategy … It's out; it's over; it's an old way of thinking; it doesn't work. So you have to get rid of it."

For Diageo, the impetus to transform existing approaches is obvious, given that African-Americans, Hispanic shoppers and similar groups are expected to drive growth in the spirits category in the next 20 years.

"This is a business imperative; this is not a 'nice to do'. This is something we must make sure of," Strachan said. "Why are we afraid of going after their money? Their money is as green as everyone else's."

Having played a key part in boosting sales of Cîroc Ultra Premium from less than 100,000 cases to more than 2.5m cases by shifting the "dynamic" in this way, Strachan has proved this model works in practice.

"We're not multicultural marketers. We're marketers. And marketers do what? We market to consumers. We find insights. We find connection points. We find ways to drive people to choose our brands versus somebody else's," he said.

And when looking ahead, Strachan asserted that the ultimate metric of success would be to make multicultural marketing – and, indeed, his own job – irrelevant.

"In our three-to-five year journey, if we do this right, multicultural marketing … will be a part of our DNA. And we won't need a vice president of multicultural marketing. This role should go away, and I can go on to my next role."

Data sourced from Warc