This past March, Erica Hughes, the Director of Multicultural Marketing at Ally and Spartan Alumni sat down with Merri Jo Bales to talk about implementing a vision, awareness, and strategy amongst diverse consumer segments.
Erica Hughes is an award-winning marketing and advertising professional with a breadth of experience working for Fortune 500 companies. With a love of connecting brands with consumers, Erica has managed marketing strategies for iconic brands such as Chick-fil-A, Chevrolet, Reddi-wip and Slim Jim, just to name a few.
Currently, Hughes serves as the Director of Multicultural Marketing at Ally. In her role she is responsible for leading the vision and strategy for multicultural marketing. In addition, Hughes leads the organization’s efforts to increase awareness and consideration amongst diverse consumers segments.
Before joining Ally, Hughes lead digital & social media strategy at Chick-fil-A. While there, she was a key member in the marketing organization creating a vision for the internal marketing tech-stack. Prior to joining Chick-fil-A, Erica worked at Conagra Brands from 2012-2018. While at Conagra Brands, Erica took on a lead role in transitioning the organization from a traditional marketing company to a forward-thinking digital marketing innovator. In March 2017, Erica’s team at Conagra Brands was recognized by AdExchanger as a Top Ten Programmatic Advertiser.
Erica Hughes is a native of Flint, MI and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Michigan State University. In addition, she obtained a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Northern Illinois University.
The Three Key Principles
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are pillars that your company should stand by. How does the ethos of one’s brand show up in a way that is organic and authentic to them? It’s important to examine what a leadership team look like and values, because it is always a trickle-down effect.
- Multi-cultural marketing is directed externally, while DEI initiatives are usually directed internally. Once the DEI pillars are constructed internally, then a company can start working on multi-cultural marketing externally to create activation with consumers. This looks like events, media, content, programming, etc.
- Digital marketing moves and changes quickly. In order to succeed you must be on the forefront of the pace of change, and most importantly the organization also has to be willing to change quickly as the technology and parameters change. It’s all in the company mindset.