The massive shifts we’re experiencing in the American market are creating incredible opportunities for organizations willing to embrace multicultural marketing.
And to make that happen, you’re going to need a top-notch multicultural marketing director.
But how do you know whom to hire for this important job? What should you look for in a potential candidate?
Whatever you do, don’t hire someone just because they have a Hispanic last name.
Back in the days when social media marketing was getting on its feet, it wasn’t uncommon for business owners and organizational leaders to hire any young person they could find to manage their social media presence.
Many believed that adolescents and college-aged youth had an intuitive grasp on how to make social media work for organizational brands.
But it didn’t work.
Very soon, organizations realized they needed to search for and hire professionals to be there social media managers, the same as they do for any other position in their organization.
Why didn’t hiring young people work?
Sure, they all had social media accounts, they knew how to upload pics and videos, and they knew how to mention, like, share, and join or create social media groups.
These early social media managers had a working mechanical knowledge of social media.
But what they lacked was an understanding of how to use all of that potential as a way to identify and engage followers, while staying true to the organization’s voice and messaging.
The same is true of hiring a multicultural marketing director.
What to Look for in a Multicultural Marketing Director
Just because the candidate for a multicultural marketing director is multicultural, and knows all the cultural “mechanics” of being Hispanic, doesn’t mean that he or she understands or has the experience of taking that knowledge and putting it to work for your brand.
With that said, here’s what I recommend you look for.
Quality #1: Strategic Thinking
The first quality you should look for in a multicultural marketing director is their ability to think strategically.
This begins with a little business sense.
- Do they know your organization’s goals?
- Do they understand how marketing works to help reach those goals?
- Are they asking strategic questions about your organization’s vision and direction?
Strategic thinking should also shape how they look at your target audiences.
- Are they up to speed on the latest demographic changes?
- Do they understand the opportunity this presents to your organization?
Strategic thinking also means that they know how to create and execute a plan.
- Do they know how to get their thoughts together in a workable multicultural marketing plan?
- Do they grasp the scope of the marketing challenges ahead?
- Do they have solutions for these challenges?
Bottom line: you don’t want a multicultural marketing director who’s only explanation for their decisions is “Trust me.”
Quality #2: Relational
Humans are social creatures. But Hispanics take this to a whole other level.
Whether consumers or donors, Hispanics expect and respond to messaging that carries warmth and affection.
As an example, when one enters a Hispanic home, it is customary to go around the room and personally greet each person who’s there, whether you know them or not.
Coming in and breezing by with just a wave is interpreted as rude and un-social behavior.
No matter how urgent the business, there’s little reason in the Hispanic culture to not take twenty minutes making sure everyone is comfortable and that everyone is doing well before talking business.
Multicultural marketing must value relationships over efficiency.
So if your multicultural marketing director is not relational, it’s unlikely that your Hispanic audience will respond well to them.
It’s also likely that your new hire will burn out in this job unless they sincerely enjoy the time it takes to create the deep relationships that Hispanics are looking for in the brands to which they’re loyal.
Quality #3: Creative
Sure, Hispanics are known for enjoying bright colors, but this is not the kind of creativity I’m talking about.
You don’t have to be a graphic artist to be creative. What I mean is that your multicultural marketing director needs to be a creative problem solver.
He or she must have the ability to capitalize on marketing opportunities with limited resources.
Most marketers feel that they work with a limited budget, but multicultural marketers are likely to get the tightest budgets approved for them, even as their target audiences are rising out of the minority status.
You’ll need someone who’s able to think outside of the box to craft marketing messages that get shared and trusted.
Quality #4: Passionate
Of course, your multicultural marketing director needs to be passionate about what they do.
But just as importantly, they need to be passionate about the people to whom they’re marketing.
A good multicultural marketing director is fascinated by the people and cultures that they are communicating to. They must have a love for the people they’re marketing to that goes beyond a paycheck, traffic metrics, and conversions.
Every day, they will be engaged in meetings, conversations, and research that is centered on the people they’re dedicated to reaching.
Make sure you get someone with a history of engaging he cultures your brand wants to reach.
- Have they volunteered in nonprofit or church work among the culture?
- Have they lead projects or initiatives in a multicultural setting?
- Do they have an insider’s view of the way the culture reacts to certain messaging?
Of course, you’ll want to see if the candidate is passionate about your brand or cause, too.
The perfect match is the person who sees how your business or nonprofit is exactly what the target culture needs.
Quality #5: Teachable
Since marketing strategy, technology, and audiences are constantly changing, teachability is a quality every multicultural marketing director must have.
He or she must have an insatiable thirst to learn new things every day.
They must have a humility about their work that allows them to let go of outdated ideas or methods and embrace new, proven ones.
They need more than intuition. They need the data to back it up.
- Do they subscribe to blogs and other publications on marketing and, specifically, multicultural marketing?
- Have they read up on classic marketing books and authors?
- Do they attend webinars, seminars, and conferences in their field?
- Do they learn from advice or criticism from outside experts? Or, do they get defensive about their current methods?
The best multicultural marketing directors are flexible and curious by nature. They’re not trying to reinvent the wheel or claim know-it-all status.
This also makes them great people to work with.
Quality #6: Hispanic Ethnicity
Your multicultural marketing director needs to be of Hispanic ethnicity.
It’s true that people from other ethnic backgrounds have lived or traveled in Hispanic cultures, but this can’t replace someone who’s had the culture ingrained in them since childhood.
Besides that, you want someone who your audience will feel comfortable with immediately.
We shouldn’t judge people by their looks, but marketing is all about perceptions.
That’s why you need a Hispanic face to represent your brand to Hispanic cultures.
Of course, you can have people of many backgrounds working in your multicultural marketing team. But the leader needs to look like and think like the audiences you’re trying to reach.
Quality #7: Bilingual
Recent data from the Cervantes Institute reveals that over 577 million people speak Spanish in the United States. And in a strange twist, within 10 years there will be more native Spanish speakers living in the U.S. than in Spain.
So while it’s important that your multicultural marketing director is Hispanic, it’s also important that they understand and speak the native language of their audience.
Not every Hispanic American speaks Spanish. And there’s no rule that says they have to.
However, in multicultural marketing, you must have someone who is fluent in the language of their audience, even if they’re using English in a particular campaign.
So before you hire someone, make sure they are proficient in reading, writing, listening, and speaking Spanish.
This really is a must.
It might be easier to hire the first Hispanic available for the job when looking for a multicultural marketing director.
But don’t settle!
This is such an important role on the team. You need someone with these seven qualities to get your multicultural marketing strategy started right.
Don’t just hire your Hispanic brother-in-law (as amazing as I’m sure he is!) because he has a Spanish last name.
Take your time and find that right fit. You’ll be glad you did.