Efficiency or Effectiveness?

10 Dec 2012|martinrp

Added Value Cheskin’s Intercultural lead, Stephen Palacios, writes for ANA Magazine, exploring the challenges – and benefits – of a “Total Market” strategy.

“Is [NFL running back] Reggie Bush my African American strategy, or just my strategy?” asked the CMO of a Fortune 100 company in response to a question on ethnic marketing.  Having a dynamic sports hero as a spokesperson was intended to appeal to broadly to all consumers. The fact that he appeals more deeply to African Americans was a plus, making Bush both “efficient” and engaging.

This is the crux of the so-called “Total Market” strategy: Using ethnic value propositions more consciously to appeal across all ethnicities in a way that reflects the changing demographics and ethnicity norms. When done well, ethnically focused marketing strategies can be more efficient, often by eliminating or minimizing ethnic-specific marketing efforts.

The Promises: Drive efficiencies with a culturally inclusive view

Is this a tactic in search of a strategy? The promises of a Total Market approach are many – more efficient media buying, messaging that is broad in reach, a consistent brand message, fewer agencies to coordinate and therefore, less cost and greater speed to market.

The Total Market is attractive functionally as well as philosophically. Functionally, it appears to allow for great efficiencies. Philosophically, the notion that we are (finally) viewing the consumer landscape with a culturally inclusive lens seems like reaching a long anticipated social goal. P&G’s Covergirl Queen Latifah appeals to African Americans deeply, but all older women of a certain body type broadly (which, according to executives at P&G at the time, was a pleasant surprise).  Recent research has quantitatively shown the shifts in ethnic norms, whereby ethnic propositions can hold more universal appeal with consumers. These promises have already started to change business practices. On the agency front, there is a shift to consolidate media buying with media buying agencies throughout the multicultural- marketing realm.

On the messaging front, there’s more experimentation to see if ethnically deep insights can be used to help craft a brand message (as was done with General Mills’ Nature Made, whose positioning is based on a Hispanic insight), or if a brand message might be more considerate of an ethnic context…


To read the full article, click: Stephen Palacios_Effeciency or Effectiveness_ANA 2012


Stephen Palacios, Executive Director, Added Value Cheskin which codeveloped the new “Cultural Compass,” a tool that helps marketers quantify who to target, how to evaluate creative and which attributes to focus on in a Total Market approach.

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