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 Marketing Minorities is a Tremendous Business Opportunity

Carl Williams, MS -DJzone Staff Writer

Carl WilliamsI think one of the most important words we will see much of in the future will be the word Diversity. According to the 3rd Quarter 1999 American Minority Report, US corporations recognize that the present makeup of the workforce is vastly different from what it was a decade ago and more changes are expected. Today, small businesses and corporations have made an effort to advertise and promote diverse workplaces for potential employees. Here in Orlando, FL Walt Disney's career and job opportunities motto is "Drawing Creativity from Diversity". Disney is clearly marketing different groups and cultures to want to work and experience their entertainment with their organization.

My goal in writing this article is to help DJ operators around the world market minority groups. I see that demographics and spending power is changing. For example, in full page advertisements in newspapers around the country, there are seminars on how to advertise to the Hispanic market to increase one's marketshare. Latin music artists are topping pop charts and record labels see this as a great opportunity to make lots of money and you should too.

Willard Hill, VP of emerging markets at Aetna Retirement Services, recently held a daylong briefing on the opportunities in US emerging markets. The group was introduced to data that projects that the nation's Black buying power will reach $533 billion in 1999, up 72.9 percent from 1990. Over the same period, Hispanic buying power will increase 84.4 percent, to reach $383 billion and Asian buying power will show the most dramatic rate of growth at 102 percent, to reach $229 billion (Reprint from Aetna's June 1999 Diversity Bottom Line Ad). The Aetna Ad also stated that companies that are able to tap into this growth now, with the right products and services as well as the workforce expertise to serve these markets are looking at an unbelievable business opportunity. Your entertainment DJ service can also tap these emerging markets with the right attitude and marketing plan.

One of the simplest ways businesses and major corporations market a group is by the television. TV is the quickest way to influence masses to buy a product or service. This is why it is so important for a DJ to get a video of their performances to get gigs for the price that you think you're worth. A picture is a thousand words, however, TV ads or dynamic videos can be very expensive. Although marketing on the television may be very expensive, watching how companies market in this medium can help you market any group you desire in your area. For example, Coca Cola Bottling Company, Pepsi Company or McDonalds Corporation have many commercials with blacks drinking or consuming their products. These major companies want to appeal to the black community to spend their money on their products. Other commercials indicate that they speak the Spanish language. Those businesses want to market the Hispanic community to use their product or service. In general, we as a society tend not to focus on commercials, however as business people we have to! We as disc jockeys can learn what major companies are doing to market specific groups and use those techniques to market the group on a local level through the distribution of flyers, brochures, business cards or showcase opportunities which tend to be more affordable for our budgets. So the next time you see a Gap commercial, ask yourself how can I use that idea to market the message it is trying to convey to the international masses?

A more economic way to market diverse groups is through print. Earlier, I mentioned flyers, brochures, business cards etc. After reading this article, browse through the rest of DJ Times and other major national magazines. You will find that businesses that want to appeal to a specific group will have someone representative of that group involved in their marketing strategy. Even though we mentioned the Gap commercial earlier, it is a good example. Imagine the commercial was a magazine advertisement. It clearly markets men, women, black, white, blondes, brunettes 18-30 years old people. A study I did at Penn State indicated that if one wants to market a group, culture or age range then one must show a representative of that group. People relate to that and it will work. Any organization that uses Rupaul as a spokesperson will market a definite specific community.

It is great to produce videos, brochures or flyers that have pictures of people who your DJ business wants to market, but there is a whole lot more then just showing some pictures. Jose A. Gonzalez of Sonido con Elegancia in New York, NY states that being successful in the minority market requires that one thoroughly understand the culture that they are dealing with. I personally do not entertain Spanish or Jewish events that involve language or religious tradition because I do not want to mess up a special day for a family and friends. My company, DJ Connoiseur Enterprises have disc jockey/emcee entertainers who can speak Spanish and who understand the terminology and tradition for bar/bat mitzvahs. Jose states that his employees must know the type of music appreciated by the different cultures. If you are able to market minority groups then you better have the knowledge and support to meet their musical needs or traditions. Also, if Latinos request your service...please be prepared. Jose states that Latino music is different like American music. Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Colombians and Cubans all appreciate different types of Spanish music so you must do your homework and be prepared with the right selections which have to be the best of the old and new music. The last thing your DJ business needs is a DJ wearing a cowboy hat playing Christian songs at a Bat Mitzvah. The end result will be negative marketing or word-of-mouth and that is the last thing you want to do when you're trying to grow in a specific market.

In a nutshell, it comes to research, proper planning and preparation to marketing minority groups. Market your specific group by studying TV commercials and magazine ads. Look for the trends and patterns. Advertise with pictures that represent the specific market your DJ business is trying to attract. Use words such as Groove, Soul, Jams, Motown, R&B, Hip Hop to attract Blacks or people who are from urban environments; Use Latino, Spanish, Salsa, Merengue, Bachata as words to attract Hispanics or people who want a Spanish themed event; or emphasize High Energy, Techno and Dance words to attract Asians. Finally, have employees or sub-contractors who understand the music, language or tradition specific to groups. Communicate and convince your client that your DJ service is knowledgeable, professional and confident in meeting the needs of the party they're trying to put on and they will hire you. Do a great job at their event and your positive consistency will hopefully bring many referrals. Good Luck!





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