Ethnic Appends Will Prepare Your Data for the Future

A person’s culture is an inextricable part of his or her identity, affecting experiences, perspectives, and much more. In a country founded on immigration and in which immigrants and their descendants are expected to account for 88% of the U.S. population increase between 2015 and 2065, multicultural marketing is something marketers can no longer ignore. However, using data with incomplete ethnic information for multicultural marketing is more likely to offend consumers than attract them to your brand. But that doesn’t mean that you need to give up on your existing data. Continue reading to find out how the right ethnic append services can transform your data into a complete multicultural dataset that is ready for America’s changing demographics.

What is multicultural marketing

Multicultural marketing is simply a form of marketing that considers the increasing ethnic and cultural diversity in our country. In many ways, multicultural marketing simply extends the success of personalization in marketing. Marketers commonly target by personal information, such as past buying preferences, Web activity, and life events. It would be short-sighted to ignore ethnic backgrounds, which have more potential to affect perspectives than most other data categories.

How ethnic appends work

Ethnic appends work by augmenting your existing data with ethnic information. For example, your file may already have the following selects:

  •         First name
  •         Middle name
  •         Last name
  •         Zip code

A good ethnic append will add:

  •         Race
  •         Ancestry
  •         Gender
  •         Religion
  •         Language (including bilingualism)
  •         Assimilation

However, the quality of the appended information is even more important than having it in the first place. The information in lower quality ethnic appends is guessed based on common name origins. That approach is inaccurate, ignoring assimilation and lumping swaths of people into artificial groups.

For example, take two Rashid Abduls who are living in the same city. Although they have the same name, one is a first-generation African American while the other is a fourth-generation Pakistani-American. They are fluent in different languages, have different cultures, and buy different products, but some ethnic appends would place them in the same group because of their names. Avoid that kind of data mishap by using an ethnic append that is based on more advanced methods, such as AI-based mathematical models and statistical interpolation.


Culture and ethnicity are some of the most sensitive topics in marketing. Get it right and your campaigns can reach unprecedented levels of personalization. Get it wrong and you will alienate customers with accidental insensitivity. Getting your multicultural marketing on the right track starts with an accurate ethnic append, but it takes insight and analysis to navigate our multicultural society. If you are interested in learning more about marketing to your multicultural customers, try reading our brochure, Stirista: Your Guide to the Globalized World, for more ideas.


About the author

Stirista began as an ambitious project from an apartment in San Francisco. But as office space expanded, so did our client base. After a few short years, we have worked with the largest healthcare insurance provider in the world, the biggest telecommunication company in the US, and some of the most prestigious universities in the country. We are on the preferred vendor list for a handful of Fortune 500 companies, with three of the ten largest companies in the world turning to us for...

Read more