Wal-Mart On Multicultural Dollars: Destroy The Silo

Companies that seek to build relationship with Hispanic, Asian and African-American consumers should take their multicultural budget out of a silo and push it out to all of the company’s business units. That’s what Walmart Stores has done and what its senior vice president of brand marketing and advertising, Tony Rogers, advised. Speaking Tuesday at the ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference in Miami Beach, Rogers believes such actions will force behaviors throughout all of a company’s divisions to change for the better, with all on the same page with respect to understanding the multicultural consumer.

To gauge performance throughout all departments, executives should set four or five annual objectives. Among them, Rogers said, is how your marketing efforts do against the multicultural audience. He also reminded his peers and supply-side companies to force discussions on identifying business insights, while continuing to drive business and sell product. “Companies that treat marketing as a discipline know how important and powerful this is,” Rogers said.

In other sessions on the second and final day of the conference, New York Times national correspondent explored identity and the recognition of mixed-race Americans – a fast-growing group throughout the Deep South, once the epicenter of segregation. Fueled by intermarriages, colleges including the University of Maryland at College Park now have the largest enrollment of mixed-race students than ever before.

Picking up on a topic explored in Monday sessions by AT&T executive Jennifer Jones, Time Warner Chief Diversity Officer Lisa Garcia Quiroz was set to explore further ways diversity can be key to business growth for a large company.

Other sessions on Tuesday include a presentation on Hispanic and African-American share growth from MillerCoors vice president of multicultural marketing Alpesh Patel, and afternoon breakout panels featuring Procter & Gamble Co. senior marketing manager Ida Chacón and Univision Communications senior vice president of brand solutions Graciela Eleta; and Post Foods brand manager for U.S. Hispanics Mike Foley with MV42 executive vice president Steven Wolfe Pereira.

For more coverage from the ANA Multicultural conference, visit www.hispanicad.com

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