With the US Muslim Population Growing, Marketers Are Missing a Consumer Opportunity

Marketers must develop a better understanding of this growing population.

muslim familyUnless you were celebrating Ramadan or know someone who was, you may have missed the fact that the month-long religious fast ended on Monday. Unlike other times of year, Ramadan doesn’t have a national day of recognition. That includes a day or days that shoppers can score a deal as a means of acknowledgement.

The Atlantic argues that should change.

With the Muslim population in the US expected to rise from 2.6 million people in 2010 to an anticipated 6.2 million in 2030, there’s a growing market here in need of goods and with a desire to spend money.

The Atlantic highlights the work of Ogilvy Noorwhich says it’s the first Islamic marketing agency in the industry. According to Shelina Janmohamed, the firm’s VP, the key to reaching this audience is going beyond the traditional with “products and promotions delivered that speak to their new identity as American Muslims.” In England, Tesco markets are making millions ($51 million in 2013, to be exact) off of its marketing strategy directly targeting that country’s growing Muslim population.

Of course, Muslims shop on days beyond Ramadan, so this sort of developed strategy becomes a year-round chance to reach this market. Companies are already taking steps in this direction.

The key is developing an understanding of what it means to be a modern Muslim. That means everything from food to dress to religious practices and how products and services can meet those needs. Basically, we need to get to know our neighbors. (A step that needs to be taken for a number of diverse populations in this country, to be honest.) The American Muslim Consumer Consortium, which is referenced in the story, provides a good first step with lots of information and research available. The next step is making diversity a priority within companies and firms.

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