Multicultural Voters - Who Needs Them?

Elections and Multicultural Voters – Massively important in the U.S.

Working with multicultural marketing, of course I believe that multicultural voters are important. BUT, are they important to your campaign, or not.  If so, then how important, and do you have the resources to effectively reach your core constituency.

For some quick hits you can visit this Infographic on Multicultural Voters.  For a few states here are some key multicultural segments to consider.

Taking a look at just a few states and which groups may play a key role.

  • California: U.S. Hispanic, Asian American segments are critical and rapidly growing.
  • Texas: Major U.S. Hispanic population deriving from Mexico / Central America
  • Florida: Another major Latino population yet different from the Southwest with major communities from the Caribbean, Colombia, Venezuela and South America.
  • New York: by definition – is extensively multicultural in/near New York City
  • Michigan: While on a statewide level, percentages are small, key centers for Hispanic (Grand Rapids) and Arab American (Dearborn) can play a pivotal role.

For marketers – specifically in the U.S. – Why do they matter and how can you reach them.

Obviously for marketers, the ability to get your brand message across in a relevant way to all segments of the population is important, but there are also significant limitations on resources such as the almighty BUDGET.

Infographic Impact of Multicultural Voters

While it is easy to say that you don’t have the resources to reach these segments, there are many ways to include these audiences without great cost.  In California & Texas, while there are benefits to having in-language Spanish outreach, it is possible to get your message to the majority of these groups in English.  For Asian American, not many have resources to translate into Vietnamese, Korean, Hmong, Filipino etc., but this should not deter marketers from considering how to reach these groups in English.

Resources and results dictate much of the decision around marketing platforms, however many times there is complacency that all markets are being reached through general market campaigns..

While Subway may have mass appeal and a picture of a sandwich will do, for political candidates, health insurance, and other government outreach programs these segments are key. Here are some quick resources to find out more about reaching these key multicultural markets..


Multiculturalism in the World Cup

Cultural heritage and multiculturalism in sport

The contribution of multicultural communities to international sport

In the craziness that is media, a joke quickly upsets somebody and the response becomes news.   A great example is that of Trevor Noah from The Daily Show chanting “Africa won the World Cup” and making light of the fact that there were significant contributions by French national team players of African descent.  Apparently the French ambassador was bothered enough to send a letter to the show resulting in a great response.

Outside of the freakout from headline blurbs on whatever homepage you use, there are interesting challenges that abound in the perception of multicultural sports talent.   While teams routinely recruit players from other countries, most of those players will be celebrated in their communities.

  • MLB (Major League Baseball): Caribbean & Latin American countries provide numerous important players to the league.
  • NHL (National Hockey League): Quite diverse and made up of predominantly Canadian, U.S., European and Russian players.
  • NBA (National Basketball Association): Predominantly U.S. born, with a significant make up of African American players and a handful of international players.

Yet, for national teams there are conversations about how they are maximizing their national sports resources.  When the U.S. team missed the 2018 World Cup there was criticism that U.S. Soccer was an “old boys club” and ignores talented players from underserved communities such as Hispanic or African American (SB Nation The “old boys club”)

Also, it is worth checking out Trevor Noah’s nicely handled response to the French Ambassador relating that there is no such thing as African – French, just French.

Embrace the multicultural contributions

The great point in the response is that both the cultural heritage as well as pride in one’s current country can be celebrated.  In the United States, it is common to refer to heritage, especially for communities who have recently seen rapid growth or influence such as:  Hispanic (Hispanic American), Asian (Asian American), and Arab (Arab American).  Like everything else, there can be both positive and negative connotations, but as France celebrates its victory, there is reason to celebrate the contributions of their diverse community.  Hopefully soon the United States will be able to do the same for U.S. soccer.

Other articles related to sports and diversity:

Hispanic marketing - no shortcuts

World Cup marketing - uniting multicultural sports fans & marketers

FIFA World Cup Marketing 2018 – multicultural opportunities

For sports fans, brands, and multicultural marketers alike, FIFA’s World Cup marketing is in a league of its own.   From June 14 – July 15, 2018 fans from throughout the globe will be on the edge of their seats.  While those who have teams in the draw will of course be rooting for their team, those who did not make the cut and haven’t abandoned the sport will be choosing other teams to watch based on whatever criteria they like (cool jersey, star player, playing against their rival).   But what does that mean for the United States sports fan?

World Cup 2018 Groups
World Cup 2018 Groups

NO Team USA – BUT……

It’s not just about booking plane tickets for the team, each country invests an enormous amount of resources and money into reaching the world stage.  While the U.S. sports fan overall may not prioritize soccer the way the rest of the world does, team USA not qualifying will impact more than just some travel plans.  The ripple effect will involve programming and of course changes to World Cup marketing plans  U.S. brands.  While the fair weather team USA fan may be on the sidelines, there will be a major interest taken by multicultural sports fans.  A quick list of some key fan groups.

  • Soccer fans: wide spectrum from youth soccer players to those with ties to countries outside the U.S.
  • U.S. Hispanic: 20% of the population and highly engaged with soccer.  Teams in the draw: Uruguay, Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Panama, Brazil (Latam)
  • Arab Americans: Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Morocco
  • Asian Americans: Teams in the draw: South Korea/Korea, Japan

Interest & Opportunity

This is an opportunity for marketers to connect with diverse segments of the United States through the uniqueness of this event.  While interest is high among all communities, one the most important and studied is that of the U.S. Hispanic community.  Quick hits from ThinkNow Hispanic Soccer Study in 2017

  • U.S. Hispanics self-identify more as avid soccer fans 22% – 11% for non-Hispanic.
  • Watching soccer highlights online 52% versus 36% non-Hispanic.

However, another community may be relevant for World Cup marketers.  The 2018 FIFA World Cup has a significant representation from the middle east with five Arab nations being represented.  World Cup marketing in 2018  may be one of the best opportunities for brands to connect with Arab Americans in addition to the key U.S. Hispanic segment.  Especially for brands or initiatives that are in the geographic regions where Arab Americans reside, this is an opportunity.


Report: How Asian Americans consume media

Asian Americans

These days, most U.S. immigrants are not coming from Mexico, as is the popular perception, but from China and India. These changing immigration patterns are leading advertisers to take a second look at the Asian American market, which is the fastest growing consumer segment in the country, according to the Asian American Advertising Federation.

The 3AF — a trade group comprised of Asian American ad agencies, market advertisers, media companies and industry specialists — aims to help grow the Asian American ad industry and raise awareness about the community. To help marketers reach this demographic, the 3AF has released a report that dives into the media consumption habits of Asian Americans.

It should be no surprise that television and the internet are the most popular channels Asian Americans consume, given the popularity of those channels with Americans overall. About 94% of those surveyed say they watch TV at least a few times weekly, and 92% use the Internet as often. Radio and print are also popular, commanding 84% and 71% of the audience weekly, respectively. Among digital channels, social media is popular, with 87% using social channels weekly or more often.

What isn’t as popular is satellite radio, with 42% of respondents saying they have never used it.

In terms of language, most consume media in foreign languages to some degree, but about 33% rely almost exclusively on English-based media.

The report breaks down television consumption by language for Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Korean and Vietnamese consumers. 3AF has more on the study.

Asian-Americans and the Internet

Asian-Americans are one of the most wired groups in America

Fully 75% of English-speaking Asian-American adults have used the Internet.  Numbering well over 5 million, these Asian-American Internet users are also the Net’s most active users.  By comparison, 58% of white adults, 43% of African-Americans, and 50% of English-speaking Hispanics are online.

Asian-Americans who responded in phone surveys conducted in English are among the nation’s heaviest users of the Internet on a day-to-day basis – fully 70% of them are online on a typical day.  This is significantly higher than any other English-speaking ethnic group; 58% of white Internet users go online on a typical day, along with 48% of Hispanics and 39% of African-Americans.

As a group, Asian-Americans have been online a lot longer than their peers. Almost half are Internet veterans with more than three years of online experience, and 80% have been online for more than two years.

When Asian-Americans go online, they stay connected for longer than anyone else.  Almost 40% of Asian-American users who are online during a typical day spend two or more hours on the Web.  About 15% spend four or more hours online.

What Asian-Americans like to do on the Web

Asian-Americans engage in their favorite online activities at a much higher rate on a typical day than other groups, indicating that Asian-American users have made the Internet an integral part of their daily lives.  This pattern cuts across all the major Internet activities, whether it is for fun, to look for information, to transact commerce, or to search for information related to major life activities.

There are also some general differences between what Asian-American users like to do and what other users prefer.  As an example, Asian-American users are proportionally much more likely than others to get information about financial matters, travel, and political information.  Asian-American users are also more likely to use the Internet as a resource at school or at work.

  • 34% of Asian-American users get the day’s news online during a typical day, compared with 22% of whites, 20% of Hispanics and 15% of African-American Internet users.
  • 78% of Asian-American users have sought travel information online.
  • 53% of Asian-American users have sought financial information online.
  • 49% of Asian-American users have sought political information online.
  • 68% of Asian-American users have used the Internet for school research, compared with 51% of white users; 59% of Asian-American users have gone online for work-related reasons, compared with 50% of white users.

A table comparing Asian-Americans’ use of the Internet with other groups can be found in the main body of the report.

Differences between Asian-American men and women online

In virtually every case, Asian-American men engage in online activities at a higher rate than Asian-American women.  This is linked to the fact that the Asian-American Internet population is 58% male, 42% female, compared to the general Internet population, which is split 50-50 between men and women.

Large numbers of online Asian-American men and Asian-American women use the Internet on an average day. But they tend to favor different things.  On a typical day, Asian-American women enjoy the Net’s fun activities, like finding information on their hobbies, listening to music and getting sports information.  They are also big consumers of financial information and like to purchase goods online.

On the other hand, Asian-American men on a day-to-day basis like to get information on all kinds of different subjects.  Asian-American men are major online consumers of financial information, travel information, and political news.  Asian-American men are more likely than most others to buy products online, as well as buy and sell stocks.

The results in this survey are largely based on surveys conducted by the Pew Internet & American Project throughout the year 2000. From March 1 through December 22, Princeton Survey Research Associates conducted surveys with more than 26,000 adult Americans, including 486 Asian-Americans, of which 340 use the Internet.


Asian Americans Rank First in Internet Use

Asian Americans Rank First in Internet Use

English-speaking Asians have flocked to the internet like no other group, according to a recent PEW report.

The popular narrative says that Euro Americans “lead in technology adoption while other racial or ethnic groups struggle to keep up,” says the analysis. However, the PEW study says English-speaking Asians are more adept in the new technology and exceeds the rest of the population, including Whites.

The PEW analysis qualifies it’s report by noting that they did not poll non-English-speaking Asian Americans. A 2012 PEW survey found that 63.5% of Asian Americans say they speak English “very well.”

It was suspected that Asian Americans had a larger presence relative to their numbers in the general populace .  But until now, there hasn’t been little hard data to support this thesis.


Not surprisingly, the next group in the categories were Whites, followed by African Americans and Latino Americans.

RELEASE: Almost everything about Asian Americans

Here are some of their findings for the English-speaking Asian Americans:

  • 95% use the Internet. It is not even close. In second place, only 87% of Euro Americans  use the Internet.
  • 84% have broadband at home. The gap here is even wider. Only 72% of Whites have broadband.
  • 91% own have a smart phone. 66% of Whites own a smart phone. When including less advanced mobile phones, Asian American usage jumped to 98%.

Researchers surmise that Asian
Americans’ tendency to have higher education and higher income contribute to higher use of high-tech devices.

Hopefully, the findings will convince PEW surveyors to include Asians in their other research about the Internet use and social media.

RELATED: AAPI social networkers make their presence felt

It kind of reminds me of the surveys PEW did in 2011 that gave the education, incomes levels, education, religion, political preference, social attitudes of African Americans and Latinos. The research group skipped Asians because we were numerically too small to get accurate data.

As the Asian American community has grown  PEW research did a similar analysis of  Asian Americans resulting in the 2012 “The Rise of Asian Americans.”

It appears PEW has fallen into its old habits again. Several followup surveys released after this February 2016 report didn’t include Asian Americans.


faces of asian diversity

Diversity within the Asian American segment

faces of asian diversity

Complex make up of the U.S. Asian market

According to Pew Research grew 72% between 2000-2015 and is outpacing the growth in the Hispanic segment of 60% during that same period.  While the growth is astounding,  the diversity of this segment in many areas is incredible.

  • No single country of origin group dominates.
  • 20 million Asian Americans trace their roots to more that 20 countries.
  • By 2055 Asians are projected to surpass Hispanics as percentage of all U.S. immigrants.

Here is a list of the 19 largest origin groups that make up 94% of the Asian population in the U.S:  Bangladeshis, Bhutanese, Burmese, Cambodians, Chinese, Filipinos, Hmong, Indians, Indonesians, Japanese, Koreans, Laotians, Malaysians, Mongolians, Nepalese, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, Thai and Vietnamese.

The three main origin groups make up the majority of the overall Asian population: Chinese (24%), Indian (20%), Filipino (19%).

Where do they live?

Just like the Hispanic market there are some important centers of populations from certain backgrounds.  The top 10 states are: CA, NY, HI, TX, NJ, IL, WA, FL, VA, MA and each have a different set of characteristics.

  • California: 31% of the overall Asian population and represents 15% of the statewide population. Led by Filipino, Chinese and Indian populations.
  • New York: Asians make up over 8% of the state population with Chinese and Indian representing the majority.

For political marketers, especially in California, New York, Washington, and Texas the Asian and Hispanic populations can make or break your initiatives.  To find out more about your district there are breakdowns down to the congressional district here.

Asian population by State 2010 Census

How can brands reach out to this important yet diverse segment.

For marketers, the first determination is going to come down to overall goals and of course budget.  If your brand is active in California or New York, then it is very important to specifically reach out to these markets in addition to any total market strategies that are in place. Similar to reaching out to the Hispanic market if your company does not have the ability to handle non English speakers, then the choice of language is made for you.  For those who have the resources and ability to engage specific segments in their language, then there are major benefits in doing so.  To learn more about your specific needs here are some additional resources.


Alcance Media Group: is a network that helps advertisers and their agencies reach important multicultural segments.

Multicultural Sports Fans

Do sports in the U.S. reflect the demographics of the United States?

In checking out some highlights from the NHL playoffs, I came across Hockey 101 by Snoop Dogg (aka Dogg Cherry) which brought to the forefront the question about African American viewership of the NHL.  In looking into this I found some interesting research by Demographic Partitions that was quite interesting and breaks down how different gender, race, and ethnic segments are represented in the fan base.

To some extent the community is reflected in the arenas for local sports teams.  However, this varies greatly depending on the sport, the team and other factors. While the sport itself  may fit traditional segment lines, there are numerous factors that can make a difference.

Some quick hits:

  • White/Caucasian fans:  NHL (92%) & NASCAR (94%)
  • Black/African American: NBA has more regular fans in this segment than White/Caucasian fans.
  • Hispanic: MLS has a strong following among the Hispanic market.
  • Gender: 37% of NASCAR fans who watched were female
  • Age: 63% of Golf fanbase is 55+ while the the youngest was soccer with 14% of fans for Real League Soccer falling in the 17 and under range.

For me, one of the more interesting factors to consider that was not touched on in this study has to do with how the fans of each team represent their community.   As a sports fan I have gone to many games and by just looking around noticed how the crowd may or may not represent their community.

  • Soccer in Northern California: you guessed it dominated by a Hispanic following.  From MLS to COPA AMERICA, to friendlies featuring Real Madrid, Manchester United and others  the latino population of the community dominates
  • San Jose Sharks (NHL): A hockey game in San Jose is actually one of the more diverse experiences with large representation of latino fans as well as Asian Indian fans in the mix due to the community.
  • Detroit RedWings (NHL): In a community that has a large African American population, my experience here is that this segment was under represented, which does reflect the overall NHL challenge.

There are numerous considerations behind the diversity of fan bases for teams. To be successful every team and league needs to continue the expansion of their fan bases to include all segments of their community.

2018 Diversity Calendar of Events

The United States is rich with diversity and if there was any question, just have a look at the diversity of our celebrations. From Martin Luther King day in January, Black History month in February, Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage month (May) to Hispanic Heritage month (September/October) to name just a few.

Have a look at the full break down from Diversity Best Practices and I’m sure you will find some that you weren’t even aware of (ex. Krishna Janmashtami…..will let you find that one in the list).

Here are some key ones that should be on the minds of  multicultural marketers.


January 15: Martin Luther King Day commemorates the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr., the recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize and an activist for non-violent social change until his assassination in 1968.

February is Black History Month in the United States and Canada.

February 9-25 Olympics PyeongChang:  OK, not an officially on diversity calendars, but is a celebration of diversity in athletics, athletes and cultures.

February 16: Lunar New Year, one of the most sacred of all traditional Chinese holidays, a time of family reunion and celebration. Lunar New Year is also celebrated at this time in Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Mongolia.

March is Women’s History Month.

May is Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in the United States.

Ramadan (Muslim): May 15 – June15: Ramadan is the Islamic holiday that takes place during the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.

2018 World Cup June 14-July 15, 2018

2018 FIFA World Cup

From September 15th to October 15th is Hispanic Heritage Month. This month corresponds with Mexican Independence Day,which is celebrated on September 16, and recognizes the revolution in 1810 that ended Spanish dictatorship.  For more information related to Hispanic Heritage Month visit Reach Hispanic.  For information related to advertising to this important segment visit Alcance Media Group.

Chinese: Mid-Autumn Festival: A celebration that begins on the 15th day of the 8th month on the Chinese lunar calendar.  For 2018 this will be September 22-24, 2018

November / December

Elections in the United States:  Of major importance to all multicultural segments in the United States and takes place and is theTuesday following the first Monday in November. It can fall on or between November 2 and November 8.  For 2018 the date is November 6, 2018.  More information at

Including the likes of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and New Years this period is key for marketers.  After all it seems that Toyotathon is almost a national holiday.