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Kelly McDonald

Diversity and Marketing Segmentation Expert; Acclaimed Author, How to Market to People Not Like You

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Business | Diversity & Inclusion

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Kelly McDonald Keynote at NSA 2015

Kelly McDonald

Changing Demographics

Kelly McDonald is a nationally recognized marketing expert, with deep specialization in diversity marketing and business trends. She was named #1 on Successful Meetings magazine's list of "26 Hot Speakers".

Kelly is the author of How to Market to People Not Like You and has been featured on CNBC, in BusinessWeek, on and on Sirius/XM Radio. As a top advisor to businesses and organizations, Kelly shares marketing insights and teaches strategies and tactics for cultivating diverse consumers emotionally, rationally and with cultural relevance.

The U.S. population is increasingly diverse, and in some industries, the composition of the workforce is 70% minority. These changes bring unique challenges to employers and workers as values sometimes differ between various cultures. Among Hispanics, the largest ethnic minority in the U.S., values and customs often differ depending on country of origin and level of acculturation. Learning the key differences in values and cultural expectations among different segments can help your business attract, recruit and retain the best employees.

Hispanic students face unique challenges compared to other students, including the expectation of speaking two languages and being bicultural as well as bilingual. Values differ in Anglo and Hispanic culture as well, and often students are torn between what is expected of them at school and what is expected of them at home.

Educators also face unique challenges: from strained resources to bilingual education to getting parents involved in their child’s education, today’s educators are consistently asked to do more with less, and to learn how to connect with both the student and parents. It is imperative to understand Hispanic values in order to understand the barriers that keep Hispanic parents from becoming involved in the children’s school activities.

Marketing your product, service and yourself is vital to growing business. But exactly how does one do this effectively? How can the average small business market itself with limited dollars, yet achieve maximum results? Learn how to focus on what you need to know to effectively build a solid advertising and marketing plan.

The best and smartest companies are finding that listening to what customers want and delivering on every promise, no matter how small, keeps customers happy and coming back for more. Customer service is an integral part of the customer experience. As such, it must be addressed holistically in a marketing plan to ensure that the experience of the the customer meets the promise of the brand. Learn how to incorporate customer service into the development of a marketing plan, not merely address it as an after-thought or separate departmental silo.

The U.S. Hispanic population is exploding, and in some industries, as many as one in four workers is Hispanic. This shift in demographics is a permanent one and brings many changes to our society and our workforce. These changes also bring unique challenges to employers and workers as values sometimes differ in Anglo and Hispanic culture.

Among Hispanics, values and customs often differ depending on country of origin and level of acculturation. Learning the key differences in values and cultural expectations among different Hispanic segments can help your business attract, recruit and retain the best employees.

The U.S. Census reveals that there are now more than 50 million Latinos residing in the U.S., and that Latinos are now the largest minority group in the country. By the year 2020, Latinos will account for one in five U.S. residents. Virtually every major brand, product and service is scrambling to learn how to tap into this large, lucrative and growing consumer base.

Cultivating the Latino consumer will help you grow your business, today and in years to come. But it requires more than just translating a message into Spanish: you’ll need to know which is the right Latino customer for you and how to connect with this consumer emotionally, rationally and culturally. Attendees will leave with specific strategies and tactics for developing effective marketing messages targeted specifically to the Latino market.

It’s getting harder and harder to connect with others because there are so many barriers to connection. Technology is our friend, but also our enemy as we have more and more ways to filter out the information and communication we don’t want. So in order to connect with someone, you must learn to tap into relevant belief, values or habits. And that can be hard to do when someone is different from you.

This presentation will focus on key diverse market segments, emerging market segments, and how major companies are learning to penetrate these groups, either internally or as customer base expansion, to form deep and lasting connections.

Everyone has heard of social media and social marketing, and most everyone knows at least a little something about Facebook, MySpace and/or Twitter. But there is tremendous confusion about how to use these tools for business marketing.

With so much pressure on marketing budgets, social media & marketing is a dream come true, because it costs little or nothing to execute. But you’ve got to learn the ropes of how to do it effectively and correctly, to truly reach new & existing customers with relevance.

We all know that the customer is king. In our increasingly competitive business environment, it’s more important than ever to cater to customers’ needs, desires and provide customer service that goes way beyond basic politeness and courtesy. And terrific customer service doesn’t have to break the bank: it’s not about spending more to keep customers happy, it’s about truly understanding the customer experience from a personal point of view.

Additionally, in today’s diverse marketplace, recognizing that not all customers are the same and that needs may differ with cultural values, this session will address key customer insights to best deliver exceptional service to your Spanish-speaking customers.

The 2010 Census reveals just how diverse America has become. For example, for the first time in our country’s history, one in three Americans is not White. But diversity comes in many forms: racial, ethnic, gender, generational, sexual preference, linguistic, even lifestage and level of affluence, to name a few. Diversity of thought helps companies stay leading-edge and proactive as well. And learning about differences in values among different groups is the key to maximizing relationships, marketing efforts and business opportunities.

Why don’t Boomers realize there’s more to life than work? And why don’t Millennials realize that their 5:00 pm yoga class does not take precedence over a client deadline? What happened to “paying your dues”? Why doesn’t my supervisor praise and appreciate me for all the great things I do every day?

These questions are being asked and grumbled about in every office everywhere in the country. Any time two or more generations work side by side, there are going to be potential differences in the approach to work and collaboration. But never have the differences between these generations been so profoundly marked as they are now. Why? And more importantly, how do you learn to work with someone who has such a different approach to work, not to mention their values and priorities?

Our marketing environment has become more complex, and consumers have become more sophisticated. Diversity marketing is the new norm, and this doesn’t simply mean racial diversity. Diversity comes in many forms: gender, race, age, lifestage, language preference, sexuality, and hobbies or special interests are all ways in which people’s differences are recognized. By recognizing these differences and tailoring your product, message or marketing efforts to reflect consumers’ uniqueness, you are validating the importance of a consumer group.

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  • "Kelly's understanding of customers today – and customers tomorrow – is impressive."

  • "[Kelly] takes a complete look at business and helps business owners identify the necessary steps they need to keep their companies healthy and relevant to the different needs of diverse customers. That's what is required for business survival today."

  • "Kelly's knowledge about diverse market segments is unparalleled. We've brought her in time and again for corporate training, video and e-learning, and numerous presentations to our agents in the U.S."

  • "We are deeply committed to reaching diverse customer segments and Kelly knows exactly how to help us do that."