marioxcarrasco

/Mario X. Carrasco
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About Mario X. Carrasco

Mario X. Carrasco is Co-Founder and Principal of ThinkNow, an award-winning culturally-integrated market research agency based in Burbank, CA. The agency integrates Hispanic, African-American, and Asian insights into custom market research for companies and government agencies looking to thrive in a changing demographic environment.Under his co-leadership, ThinkNow has successfully launched several innovative market research initiatives, such as DigaYGane.com, one of the largest and most representative Hispanic online panels in the industry as well as the first Minority Business Owner (B2B) Panel in the U.S.

[Podcast] Black American Subcultures Matter, Too

At 13% of the U.S. population, Black Americans are key drivers of mainstream cultural trends. From music to sports, fashion, and the latest Tik Tok dances, the influence of Black American culture is evident in almost every facet of daily American life. But unlike other multicultural groups, African Americans are often still treated as a monolith by marketers. Faulty sampling methods and inadequate segmentation give marketers an inaccurate view of the Black American experience. And while social justice movements have pushed the needle of change forward for D&I initiatives, the complexities and nuances of Black American subculture are still widely misunderstood. 

The Impact of Culture on Multicultural Consumer Identity

For many of us, our ideals and attitudes about who we are as individuals are shaped by our heritage and cultural experiences. As consumers, our affinity for certain brands pass through these filters resulting in purchase behaviors that tie back to our beliefs and how we see ourselves. Among multicultural audiences, this presents a unique challenge for marketers. There is no one size fits all solution to gaining buy-in from this diverse group. U.S. Hispanics hail from over 20 countries of origin, and Asian Americans, 40 countries. Understanding the importance of identity to multicultural audiences is essential to mitigating cultural bias in your marketing campaign strategy and delivering culturally relevant advertising.

[Podcast] Remix Culture: Multiculturally Influenced, Influencing Culture

Multicultural audiences are significantly driving mainstream identity and influencing emerging trends. According to UM’s Annual Cultural Dimension study, two out of five general population consumers indicate being influenced by Latino, Black, and Asian segments when it comes to passion points like music, fashion, hair care, food, sports, and more.  As consumer behavior shifts in response to cultural identity and increased exposure to cultural norms via the internet and social media, brands work overtime to cultivate relationships steeped in the remix culture, which is primarily defined by a mindset, not the consumer. This paradigm shift is changing the fabric of what we know today as American culture. 

Marketing to Asian Identity, Not Assumptions

America is often described as a “melting pot” of different nationalities, ethnicities, and cultures. Much to the dismay of Teddy Roosevelt (who in a 1916 speech noted “There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism”), Americans have perfected naming each ethnic group within our borders distinctly, and those names have evolved.  For example, we dove into the names by which Hispanics prefer to identify. Responses ranged from “Latino/Latina” to country of origin, to the hotly debated yet emerging term “Latinx.”  We see a similar pattern among Black Americans, who do not identify with labels such as “African American” despite its use in the U.S. Census, media, and other databases.

Americans Say Masks Are “Necessary” To Prevent COVID-19 Spread

From grocery stores to airline flights, America’s debate over wearing face masks is playing out on small and large screens globally. What was once seen as a medical imperative has become politicized. Some see mask mandates as an infringement on their constitutional rights, and others, a patriotic duty. According to our research, however, most Americans have this collective request, “wear a damn mask.” ThinkNow conducted a nationwide online survey among American adults ages 18 to 64 to get their perspective on COVID-19 and wearing face coverings.

Selective Sampling Is Hurting Your Client’s Business

Many of us have heard or perhaps even live by the familiar adage, “what you don’t know can’t hurt you.” But ignorance is not bliss. A lack of knowledge can be devastating. That’s true in life and advertising. Just like a moth drawn to a flame, brands are attracted to things they don’t fully understand. This “fatal attraction” often results in poor outcomes. A classic example of this is a botched approach to multicultural marketing. Culturally tone-deaf advertisements. Misplaced investments in well-meaning social impact campaigns.