Marketing in a Multicultural World: 2017 Google’s Marketing Forum

The Google US Multicultural team hosted the first ever Multicultural Marketing Forum (MMF) in the NYC and LA campus late March. The Forum, previously focused on the Hispanic audience, evolved its scope to include African American, Asian and LGBT audiences. The theme of the forum this year, “Marketing in a Multicultural World,” urged brands to continue to think of Multicultural audiences in all of their company’s initiatives and not as a niche audience. Those brands who successfully shift their mindset will reap the benefits and experience brand growth. Both event keynotes, John Leguizamo in NY and Soledad O’Brien in LA, shared their personal stories on how the lack of diversity in the media has created challenges in their career and presented opportunities for them to change the conversation in the industry. Both John and Soledad are now using their own voice to influence how consumers and executives think of Multicultural audiences.
Kicking off the forum, Eliana Murillo, Head of Multicultural Marketing, gave insight into Google’s latest Global Youth study exploring Multicultural teen’s behaviors, tastes, and wants. Making up 37% of all US teens, Hispanics and African Americans are getting phones at younger ages, value personalization by brands, shopping more online than older segments, and are more comfortable using credit cards (see below for additional Teen stats).
Oona King, Director of Diverse Marketing at YouTube, took the stage to discuss with clients and agencies how African American audiences want advertisers to connect with them. Through an engaging story that started with the beginning of time, Oona shared pieces of advice from content creators to brands, made the case that Black Audiences and creators are not “niche”, and built the argument for more inclusive ads on YouTube. In addition to YouTube as a platform to engage Multicultural audiences, Kelsey Price and Diego Antista and Yesenia Bello from the Multicultural team, unveiled new research in partnership with ThinkNow and Ipsos for Hispanics who search. Both behavioral and survey based research shows that Bilingual audiences are search superstars (Highest avg. number of search pay views per session, Highest search share % of all views, etc) and Hispanics are not as brand loyal as you think. In fact, 85% Of Hispanics are not certain of brand choice when they first begin looking for information online meaning brands have an opportunity to influence decisions.
In addition to Googlers sharing the latest and greatest pieces of Multicultural research, this forum featured three branded case studies from Nestle, State Farm and TMobile/MetroPCS. Margie Bravo joined Salvador Maldonado on a fireside chat to discuss their success in 2016 with Coffeemate, Nescafe and other brands. Margie discussed Nestle’s effort to bring together the company through summits and top-down leadership to help empower Nestle brands to embrace Multicultural efforts. Nikki Newsome from OMD discussed how their agency has helped State Farm amplify their brand message through the passion point of music and leveraging influential music icon, Prince Royce. Lastly, Judy Popky and Daisy Terrazas-Cole discussed TMobile & MetroPCS’s success partnering with digital first content and testing different ad formats that have resulted in a growth in store visits.
Hearing from those who develop content for YouTubers, Seth Baron, Head of Creative Buisness Partnerships at the Zoo, hosted a fireside chat with YouTube content creator Gabriel Zamora who most recently partnered with MAC cosmetics. Together the two discussed Gabriel’s journey on YouTube and how he builds authentic connections with his Multicultural audience. Closing out the event, Susanna Kohly and Jackson Georges brought the magic of Google to MMF by presenting Google’s journey in Cuba and the initiative behind the island’s first ever VR experience.  During the cocktail reception, attendees were immersed in a live Cardboard demo of the video taking viewers through the life of the National Cuban hero, Jose Marti.