America NEXT: This is the first of our newly-created multicultural strategy alerts on the dramatic impacts of the 2010 Census, termed the “transformational decade”, and its many businesses implications today.

Today’s topic is: Key Facts Marketers Need to Know about the 2010 U.S. Census . It’s an update of a Friday5 article published by Edelman Digital in December 2010 titled: “Predictions for a Digital, Multicultural World

1. Hispanics, African Americans and Asians account for 85 percent of all the growth in the U.S. in the last 10 years. The US population now totals 308.7M residents vs. 281.4M in 2000; the 9.7% growth rate is the slowest decade-over-decade growth since 1940. (U.S. Census)

The social, economic and cultural ramifications of the data are already reshaping how Americans see themselves and marketers should follow by redefining strategy and programming.

Many businesses will need to re-evaluate their core audiences segments to help ensure they are optimizing engagement with these growing populations who also have growing purchasing power (Selig Institute).

2. Currently, the fastest growing group ― Hispanics ― are on track to exceed 50M or roughly 1 in 6 Americans; among U.S. children, Hispanics are already 1 in 4 of all newborns nationwide. (Hispanic Business)

Ensuring that growing numbers of Hispanics continue to join the professional and creative industries in American society (i.e. as educators, lawyers, engineers, doctors and entrepreneurs, etc.) is essential for the on-going social, economic and cultural vitality of the nation. Companies have an opportunity to increase their engagement and involvement in growing their current and future workforce and community.

Youth marketing effort that does not speak to Hispanic audiences is leaving opportunity on the table.

3. The first of 78 million baby boomers born in the wake of the Second World War will turn 65 in 2011. At the other end of the spectrum, Hispanics, African Americans and Asians, accounting for 104 million today, tend to be 5 to 10 years younger, on the average, than the general population. (U.S. Census)

Focusing on demographics and acculturation levels alone will not cut it any longer; a model that capitalizes on consumer motivations and attitudes is imperative to effectively connect with various generations with various multicultural dimensions.

4. The demographic dispersions reflected on the Census point to continued growth in the south and southwest with TX, AZ, CA, NV, NC and FL experiencing the highest growth rates, fueled by Hispanic growth. African Americans showing increased moves towards warmer southern locations and more suburban areas in Washington DC, New York and Chicago among other places.

Hispanics are realizing that they’re not melding with mainstream culture, but influencing and defining it, while simultaneously holding on to their culture of heritage.

Similar to the adoption of dual-language, in-culture communications strategies, marketing coverage needs to go beyond larger cities in largest states.

Understanding how consumers live, love and play requires marketing insights beyond common held assumptions, e.g. such as all African-American being “urban”. WSJ March 25, 2011.

5. Diverse segments are increasing in importance; e.g., the Asian population alone grew faster than any other major race group between 2000 and 2010, increasing by 43 percent. (U.S. Census)

It is not all about Hispanics. Multiculturalism permeates today’s society. We can expect Asians, along with other ethnic groups, to drive business market growth in various categories.



Where are you coming down on the topic of multiculturalism in marketing: strategic imperative or tactical bolt-on? A competitive advantage for early movers? Either way, the data are irrefutable. America is a changed and changing landscape for all of us. Let’s get the conversation started.


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