Viewpoint: Multicultural Marketing and the Reasons Why

Felipe Korzenny
Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication, Florida State University

Recently, at professional meetings, some marketers have asked me if I am multicultural. I have been baffled by it. Does the question ask if several cultures reside in my identity? Most likely the question is the result of widespread confusion regarding what multicultural is. Thus, to simplify things my answer is, “I am just a Mexican.” Nebulous understanding and uncertainty pervade marketing circles regarding what multicultural marketing is about. Multicultural marketing mystifies marketers for different reasons.

Most companies do not know how or why this new multicultural marketing phenomenon is claiming our attention. Many seem to believe that it is just one more gimmick like others in the past that will go away soon. So, for the time being, “let's have an office of multicultural marketing to take care of this issue.” Leaders of companies continue to believe that new emerging minorities will become part of the next iteration of the “melting pot” symbology of the early 1900s.