When multiculturalism meets marketing
Tiana Conley has known diversity from the beginning.
“I’m a person of mixed ethnicity,” she says. “My father is African American and my mom is an immigrant from the Philippines. I’ve grown up embracing this dynamic of diversity in my family.”
It has translated to her career, too.
Tiana is Kellogg’s Vice President, Global Brands and Strategy, with a specialized focus on our portfolio of ready-to-eat cereals. After stops at two other consumer product goods companies, she joined Kellogg last August.
One of the selling points?
“When I look at Kellogg, there’s a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion and a really good track record,” she says. “I soon realized that while we celebrate what we’ve been able to achieve, the company always looks ahead at what more we can do.”
She immediately joined our Kellogg African American Resource Group (KAARG), which supports and promotes the hiring, retention and career advancement of African American employees. With chapters at multiple Kellogg locations across the United States, KAARG offers regular networking and learning and development opportunities for its members and the organization.
“It actually couldn’t have worked out better, because within a month of being here, KAARG held its first-ever offsite summit where all members came together,” Tiana says. “It allowed me to fast track my relationships with the organization.”
KAARG does a lot to bring diversity to the forefront at Kellogg, but Tiana knows there’s a much bigger picture to consider: how can Kellogg better market to and reflect the consumers it serves?
As of 2020, 51% of American children are children of color, which means the “minority becoming the majority” is no longer a prediction.
“If you look at the demographics of the U.S., it’s really no longer a homogenous media or consumer environment,” Tiana says. “It’s a combination of a bunch of cohorts, and if we aren’t recognizing that and marketing against that, we will lose.”
Multiculturalism meets marketing
Top of mind for Tiana these days?
“Our recruiting pipeline,” she says. “I strongly believe that you attract diverse consumers of the world by having a diverse workforce that reflects those consumers. That’s an opportunity for us in the marketing function. Another is how we buy media and invest in it and reflect multicultural insights. That’s not to say a man can’t market to a woman, for example, but I think it’s important that you have diversity represented in the room.”
Kellogg has a multicultural marketing framework in place, including a steering committee of leaders who are helping the company embed multicultural insights into everything it does. This includes creative marketing content, like social media campaigns and commercials – areas that Tiana knows very well.
“I’ve been speaking to a lot of senior leaders about multicultural marketing, our presence in media, our amount of investment in media, how we portray people in media,” she says. “There is truly definitive, numeric, empirical data that supports the case for diversity.
“And to me, it’s more than a business case,” she adds. “It’s a case of the heart and the mind. And if we can crack that code, everybody will win.”