MIAMI BEACH, FL: Procter & Gamble, the consumer-packaged goods manufacturer, has progressed its multicultural marketing efforts by moving beyond several “myths” that are often applied to this discipline.

Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer at Procter & Gamble, discussed how the firm is approaching this area during a session at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2017 Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference.

“It has required major interventions to raise the bar on inclusive brand-building, including a soul-searching admission of our own biases to dispel some long-running multicultural marketing myths,” he said. (For more details, read WARC’s in-depth report: Procter & Gamble shatters multicultural marketing biases.)

One example involves handing off multicultural marketing to a “separate, specialized group or person”, like a Multicultural Business Development Organisation, which removes responsibility from brand teams and leaves budgets vulnerable.

“We’ve taken a simple action. We declared winning with Blacks and Latinos a priority, integrated multicultural marketing into every brand’s plans, and we’re holding brand leaders accountable for results among all groups,” Pritchard said.

A second misconception is assuming mass-market ads will appeal to every consumer, a perspective Pritchard summed up with the phrase, “We’re color-blind, so we don’t see differences.”

P&G, by contrast, is seeking to acquire in-depth insights that clarify the “needs, wants, tensions and problems” its brands can solve for granular customer groups. And this philosophy, he reported, yields ads that are “more appealing to everyone”.

Another widespread refrain is that general-market media buys can reach multicultural shoppers. Exposure and effectiveness, though, are not the same – and ads in more targeted content indicate respect for an audience, and secure greater engagement.

“We’ve changed our media mix to specifically reach unique consumer groups, doubling investment in Black-owned and Spanish-language media programming like BET, TVONE and Univision. This is yielding better results because the programs are simply more relevant,” said Pritchard.

The final “myth” that P&G has uncovered is that agencies talk a good game when it comes to multicultural marketing, but their internal teams frequently lack true racial diversity.

“To help, we’re also rolling out implicit bias-training for all agency partners, which has been mind- opening. And we’re hiring more multicultural agencies, because they have a deeper understanding of the hearts and minds of people with different cultures,” said Pritchard.

Sourced from WARC