Radical Multicultural Marketing: Examining the Communication Strategies Used by Multicultural Marketing Agencies: An Abstract
Developing innovative communication strategies is crucial for marketing agencies to survive. Traditional marketing tends to rely on the conventional structure of market research, advertising and planning teams. However, marketers are beginning to take more drastic approaches in ensuring they differ from their competitors. As Sam Hill and Glenn Rifkin (1999) indicate, this form of radical marketing is not only about innovation (Hayes, 2000). Rather, radical marketing is defined as the new and sometimes aggressive ‘techniques and approaches’ (ibid) that marketers use to target their audiences. Within this paper, I examine the strategies used by multicultural marketing agencies to communicate with multicultural audiences. The past two decades have seen a rapid increase in the development of multicultural marketing agencies, specifically targeting niche cultural groups (Edwards, 2014). The main research question asks ‘how do the strategies used by multicultural marketing agencies differ to traditional, general market agencies?’ In addition, this paper aims to explore a gap in research specifically for multicultural marketing, examining whether these developing strategies are too aggressive in attempting to tap into cultural sensitivities.
This paper applies Pierre Boudieu’s (1980, 1986) concepts of cultural capital and habitus. As I later analyse, these theories can be used to examine the behaviour of marketers and how they implement their skills and experiences when creating communication strategies. Through semi-structured interviews with 32 multicultural marketing practitioners, this paper examines two key findings from the collected data. I firstly examine how ‘lived experiences’ impact on how these practitioners connect with their specialist audiences. I expand upon existing studies, analysing the new lengths multicultural marketers are going to. In contrast, I explore how some marketers justify their existing cultural capital as being enough to develop communication strategies. I conclude by discussing whether there is a future for multicultural marketing agencies, in an industry where innovation is expanding into new markets.