A Cross-Cultural Approach to Defeating Indifference

Donnie Broxson, president, Acento Advertising
Donnie Broxson, president, Acento Advertising

"Strong marketers must go deep into segment-specific nuance while simultaneously thinking beyond cultural silos."

Donnie Broxson



1. Tell us one thing that’s happened recently that leads you to believe that there’s still a problem. 

Several macro trends are shaping culture and influencing the values, attitudes, and consumption behaviors of our audiences. Data overload and the related convenience economy has created pervasive indifference in today’s commoditized marketplace. This is seen in brand attitudes and shopping behaviors as well as cultural and political perspectives. Breaking through to achieve trust and sincere interest is harder than ever.

For diverse communities, who are often on the outskirts of marketers’ attention, finding a connection to a brand and meaningful content is even more challenging. Strong marketers must go deep into segment-specific nuance while simultaneously thinking beyond cultural silos.  They should look to create cultural connections by recognizing shared values, conversion points, and cultural fusion of diverse audiences. Only then can brands defeat indifference, matter in culture and in peoples’ lives, and deliver business growth in a culturally diverse world.  Engaging experts who understand the complexity of the marketplace is a positive first step.

2. How about something that proves we're making progress?

Progress requires a commitment to finding a universal insight that will ensure campaign consistency and brand authenticity, while addressing the nuance of specific segments to deliver brand connections, defeat consumer indifference and deliver business results.

The Empowerful campaign for Wells Fargo, demonstrates that we are making process.  We worked to deepen meaningful connections with diverse communities celebrating their unique challenges and victories.  Diverse communities of identity included African American, Hispanic, and Asian American consumers, as well as affinity communities of LGBTQ, Military/Veterans, and People with Disabilities consumers.  The initiative embraces the fact that people across all aspects of diversity face additional challenges as they create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities. Wells Fargo’s role became not just to celebrate their accomplishments, but to help propel them as they reach for what’s next. This insight had the power and elasticity needed to preserve relevance and authenticity to each segment, while deepening the brand’s role in culture.

3. What else needs to be done to get there? 

The first strategic step must be to deepen the brand’s understanding of its potential audience. Brands must invest in research that captures diverse insights across the cultural and linguistic spectrums. Comparative study of each segment allows marketers to fully understand both points of convergence and distinction. With data and diverse perspectives throughout the strategic process as a guide, proactive and thoughtful allocation of marketing dollars is a strong second step. These steps and the ability to understand nuances of culture and language can be inextricably tied to business outcomes.

Brands should seek to challenge the status quo to both respond to and impact culture. It is in that space that we redefine the value equation, play a role in culture, and become meaningful in the life of an overwhelmed consumer.

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