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Multicultural Marketing Focus in on the markets you've been missing to broaden your business's horizons.

By Rhonda Albey

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Focus in on the markets you've been missing to broadenyour business's horizons.

You've probably seen those ads showing cookies, cupcakes ora peanut butter sandwich, with the caption: "Got milk?"Those ads boosted milk sales in the first quarter of 1996 by 9.5percent over the same period in 1995. An attempt was also made toincrease milk consumption in the Hispanic community by launching a"Got milk?" campaign in Spanish-language media.Apparently, however, the creator of the initial Spanish-languageads had a limited grasp of the culture. The phrase "Gotmilk?" was literally translated as "¿Tieneleche?" But "¿Tiene leche?" doesn't exactlymean "Got milk?" in the way the advertiser intended."¿Tiene leche?" is roughly translated as "Areyou breast-feeding?" Fortunately, the milk producers came upwith a better approach for the Spanish-language market. Theircurrent ads show a family group, with the caption, "¿Yusted, les dio suficiente leche hoy? (Have you given them enoughmilk today?)"

As this story shows, multicultural marketing is not simple. Notethat the milk producers' successful ads did more than merelytranslate the English-language ads into grammatically correctSpanish. They used an entirely different approach to the consumer.Consider the subtext of the two ads: the comedic English-languageads appeal to a sense of anxiety about the self: "What if Ilose a $10,000 radio quiz question about Aaron Burr because mymouth is full of peanut butter and I don't have a glass ofmilk? What if the senior citizens' group I'm entertainingattacks me because I didn't bring them milk to go with theircookies?" The Spanish-language ad, on the other hand, appealsto a mother's sense of responsibility for her family:"Have I taken good care of the people who depend on me?"The person who created this ad understood who does the buying inthe Hispanic community and what's important to them.