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By the Gonzales Group

RISMEDIA, July 17, 2008-Organizations measure success by returns on investment (ROI). While in many cases, multicultural or diversity programs have been considered “soft” programs whose returns have also been “soft” and difficult to gauge, successful organizations are learning to leverage and demonstrate the contribution that multicultural marketing can have on an organization’s bottom line.

A lack of measurement tools has forced firms to estimate the effectiveness of their multicultural efforts. Organizations often utilize traditional and static measurement tools and do not take into account the enormous potential that multicultural initiatives can yield.

Multicultural initiatives are often not factored into the overall strategic or business plan of an organization. Organizations often position multicultural initiatives as a “minority/social advocacy” exercise rather than as an economic one.

By using broader organizational metrics, organizations can link multicultural business outcomes more effectively. To show a measurable return on investment for multicultural programs, link these efforts to the organization’s overall sales and marketing functions.

Multicultural Methodology

Multicultural markets are growing rapidly and each represents billions of dollars in spending power in the U.S. Companies are increasingly competing for these growing markets, especially at a time when the traditional White non-Hispanic home buying population growth overall has slowed significantly.

Linking internal multicultural initiatives with external efforts to capture nontraditional or diverse markets for your firm’s products and services not only enhances the credibility of your multicultural efforts-it also enhances the credibility of your marketing efforts to the multicultural consumer.

If you have a multicultural initiative, make sure the effectiveness of a campaign directed at multicultural market consumers is being evaluated against your business plan on a timely basis. The only way to know if a multicultural initiative is effective is to monitor and evaluate it.

Ask yourself:

– What is being expended on the initiative?
– What is the return?
– How many more customers were gained?
– What is the company’s market share and penetration?
– What elements of the campaign worked well and which did not?

By modifying your balance sheet, you can help your organization measure the contributions of a multicultural initiative. By placing multicultural measures into a larger context and linking it to new measures of asset growth, you can break out of the “soft” multicultural silo to show that multicultural marketing and outreach presents a valuable and profitable opportunity for your business.

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