By Crystal Albanese, senior manager of committees and conferences at ANA
In just under two weeks, the marketing and advertising industry’s best and brightest will gather in Los Angeles for the ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference, presented by Time Inc. One of the featured speakers at this year’s event is Brian Beitler (pictured), EVP and CMO at Lane Bryant. Last year, Lane Bryant launched its groundbreaking “Plus is Equal” campaign that helped bring female body positivity into the national conversation. With this campaign, the company has helped to pave the way for broader acceptance of a previously ignored consumer segment that represents nearly 80 percent of African-American women and 75 percent of Hispanic women. Below, Brian shares a quick look at his upcoming presentation, his take on the importance of multicultural marketing in today’s marketplace, and what he sees as the future of multicultural marketing.
What are you speaking about at the 2016 ANA Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference?
The role that a brand plays to not only create growth for stakeholders, but to drive a bigger change in culture where necessary. In 2015, we launched our “I’m No Angel” campaign to reignite the Lane Bryant brand, redefine the way we see women’s bodies and beauty, and change the fashion industry forever.
In today’s marketplace, why is multicultural marketing so important?
I’m not sure we should even be talking about multicultural marketing in a world where diversity is the norm, not the exception. There are more than seven billion individuals in this world with diverse backgrounds and interests. Brands have a responsibility to understand the passions, appetites, and interests of each of their customers — the explosion of data is increasingly making that possible — and to develop products and messages that resonate with each of them. In many cases, you can find commonalities, like ethnic backgrounds, political beliefs, or personal passions that allow you to communicate a focused message that speaks to a large group of people. But to classify things as multicultural or not is beside the point in a world that is becoming even more diverse and subdivided for all kinds of reasons.
What do you see in the future for multicultural marketing?
I see technology, big data, and increasing diversity pushing us toward more personalized communication in every way. I also believe more and more preferences will be determined by our current and prospective customers. Brands will give the consumer control of the messages they receive, including the content, means, frequency, and timing of those messages. Brands will also increasingly allow consumers to have control of their assets/content and to share it with others within that customer’s sphere of influence. We are truly entering into an exciting world where everyone is a content creator for the brands they love.
To hear more from Brian Bietler, join us at the 2016 ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference, October 9–11, at the JW Marriott L.A. Live in Los Angeles, Calif. He’ll be joined by CMOs and top marketers from Clorox, Prudential, Wells Fargo, Intel, Target, Nestlé, Pernod Ricard USA, and more. Plus, find out who will win the ANA Multicultural Excellence Awards!