How do agents feel about their industry’s efforts to reach the multicultural market?
With 77 percent of respondents (Figure 13) wanting to make inroads into the multicultural markets and cultivate them as a bigger part of their business, the question then becomes — why haven’t they?
One factor points to an interesting contradiction that arose in the data. A solid 69 percent of respondents said they had seen “a modest or meaningful increase in insurance industry focus on reaching multicultural markets in the past 10 years.” (Figure 14, see next page). In addition, another 24 percent said they believe they will see an increased focus on multicultural markets within the next five years. Only 7 percent said they do not expect an increase or change to the current level of multicultural focus.
With such a dramatic number of agents bullish on the industry’s multicultural focus then why did they also give their industry a C grade?
It’s an interesting question in need of closer study and the seeming disconnect becomes clearer when taking a more in-depth look at the grades respondents gave the industry. First, while 69 percent of respondents cited the industry for increasing their focus on multicultural markets over the last 10 years, only 19 percent of them witnessed a “meaningful” increase. That leaves 50 percent of respondents claiming a “modest” increase in focus. When taking that roughly 50 percent modest outlook, the idea of agents giving the industry a C grade falls more in line.
As for that C grade, 57 percent of respondents scored the industry’s multicultural efforts as average. Another 23 percent gave an answer of “good” while 15 percent gave the industry a “poor.” Again, when taken together, these grades fall heavily into the margin of marginal or average.
While those numbers are currently low, Figure 10 (page 61) offers a blueprint to help advisors achieve deeper penetration of the multicultural markets. As noted earlier, respondents believe marketing materials customized for the target market, access to a translator when needed and partnering with a multicultural advisor will help them be more successful when selling to multicultural clients.